The University of Tennessee baseball grounds crew’s job is to make it is to come in and make it look like nobody has been there, and that’s what they prefer.
“When people show up to the game and they look at the field and go, ‘Oh, they mowed it, the dirt’s there,”‘ said freshman grounds crew member Brinkley Mull.
If only it were that easy.
“We usually come in a few hours before the game,” he said. “There’s a lot in the process.”
The process takes a lot of time to complete.
“Probably 30 hours, 40 hours in a week is pretty easy for me to get in the spring during baseball season,” said senior groundskeeper Wheeler McCulloch.
All that work just for someone to mess it up.
“Yeah they might go out there and mess something up, they might tear up the grass make divot, do something that we don’t really like; but it’s our job is to clean up and make it look like nobody was here so they can start fresh every day,” said McCulloch.
A lot of hard work goes into making the field perfect, but no one notices until something goes wrong.
“I’ve always thought if people don’t notice us, it’s probably for the best,” said McCulloch. “We don’t want to cause an injury that’s obviously the worst possible thing that can happen in this job.
In addition to avoiding an error or an injury, another time they’re in the spotlight is again for another negative, rolling out the tarp.
“It’s a rough thing to deal with. It requires a lot of people and it’s heavy. It’s a struggle to pull it out and you know when they say it’s time to pulling tarp everybody sort of dreads it,” said Mull.
“I hate tarping, I wish it never happened if that’s the only publicity I get than I don’t want any,” said McCulloch
But it’s not the only publicity they get. As if it weren’t hard enough to pull the tarp, they also have to worry about it all going wrong and becoming a trending video online.
“So no publicity is better than publicity for me.”