It had to happen. America loves its lawns and America loves baseball. Here’s a fact for the next cocktail party: 28 Major League Baseball stadiums have natural grass fields. Soooooo, Major League Baseball has joined with the Scotts Co. to offer to America’s lawn lovers grass seed mixes that are the same as those used in the local MLB stadium. You live in Massachusetts and have been a Red Sox fan forever, you can now overseed your lawn with the same mix of grass species and varieties used in Fenway Park in Boston. Those of you unfortunate enough to be Chicago Cubs fans can buy a grass mixture the same as grown in Wrigley Field. (What about selling cuttings of the ivy on the fences of Wrigley Field?)
It will take a while, but Scotts intends to offer seed mixes for all 28 stadiums. When they come out with the mix for Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, I may give it a try even though I don’t know if the results will be all that terrific.
On professional baseball fields, turf is not grown on regular dirt like we have. They use very complex mixes of sand and other materials to allow the grass roots to grow deep so ball players don’t kick up pieces of sod when they make a sudden turn with their spiked shoes. The field must drain very well and very fast so if it rains in the morning, the field will be in good shape by the afternoon game.
Another reality that might pose some problems for us yardeners when we try to grow the mix used at Comerica Park is that those grass varieties are designed to handle the intensive watering and fertilizing professional groundskeepers must use to keep that turf looking perfect throughout the entire baseball season.
I predict that all 28 mixtures for the stadiums will be different — helping us yardeners understand why it is important to plant grass seed proven to work in southeastern Michigan. That is why if you look carefully at the high-end mixture for sunny spots in this area and then compare the mixture that is available from the same company for sunny areas in Boston, the mixtures will be different. The big grass seed companies go to a lot of trouble and expense to determine the best combination of species and varieties of seed for the area in sun, part-shade, and in areas getting heavy use, all different mixes.
So when they come out with the mixture of grass seed used in Comerica Park, I will buy a package and plant 1,000 square feet just for fun. I think I will make a nice little sign to stick in the plot that says “Go Tigers!” just to help keep up my hopes for a better season this year.