The unsung heroes of the ballpark: Bisons grounds crew works year-round to make Sahlen Field beautiful

Bisons Grounds Crew
Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 04, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mowing the grass, raking the dirt, and pounding the clay. These aren't just chores for the workers at Sahlen Field in downtown Buffalo. It's a career.

"Being at the stadium every day, working with my hands, it's just perfect," said Bisons head groundskeeper Kelly Rensel.

For Rensel and the rest of the Bisons grounds crew, taking care of the downtown ballpark is a passion. The field is more than just something they keep up with, it's a work of art.

"We always gotta come in everyday like today is the first day somebody's coming to this ballpark," Rensel said. "So it has to be spotless."

That takes a lot of work. On game days, the crew works 12-14 hour shifts to ensure the grass is healthy, the dirt is level, and the mowing lines are perfect.

Throughout the season, they go through 1.5 tons of mound clay, 10-12 tons of calcined clay, and countless cases of chalk, paint, and fertilizer. But it's all worth it.

"Just being here all day, doing what you love to do, you can't beat it," said grounds crew member Adam Noyes.

The fans know how pretty this field is and so do those outside of Buffalo. Last season, the crew won the Sports Turf Managers Association Professional baseball field of the year and the Field of Excellence Award from Pioneer Athletics.

"That's our Oscar," Rensel said. "It's one of the highest honors we can get."

"It just shows that our efforts have been all for something," Noyes added. "People recognize it and we know what were doing."

Well deserved recognition for those who make Sahlen Field what it is; working every day with passion as the unsung heroes of the ballpark.