Head Groundskeeper Stays Busy While Tulsa Drillers Wait For Return

Wednesday, May 27th 2020, 10:25 pm
By: Daniel Hawk

TULSA, Okla. - The Tulsa Drillers would have been in the second month of their season and on the road tonight against Frisco Roughriders, instead the team sits idle.

One thing that's keeping busy at ONEOK is field maintenance.

Normally this time of year Tulsa drillers head groundskeeper Gary Sheppard is putting in close to 15 hours a day with his staff trying to get ONEOK Field ready for a game. For now, it’s still waiting and hoping.

"Just kind of maintaining out here and trying to keep it in game shape. We also have the soccer team that plays here. I think it’s important to keep it for whichever might come back first. We hope that one comes back and plays this year soon,” Sheppard said.

With baseball on hold, the roar of the crowd has been replaced by a lawn mower. Sheppard and his crew can get ONEOK Field prepped and ready to play if they have baseball in just three days.

"The grass of course is going to be mowed at the height it needs to be at the pitcher’s mound. It would have to be raised and a little bit of work on it. I would have to paint lines for a baseball field, put bases in, and we are ready to go." 

Some would say ballparks are like works of art and Sheppard has been at the forefront of his masterpiece for 27 years in Tulsa. He is hopeful opening day is right around the corner.

"We will get past this and get to an opening day at some point,” Sheppard said. “Keeping the maintenance and the upkeep right now is the challenge.”