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Field of the Year: How ATS helped the Fort Wayne TinCaps hit a home run

Parkview Field is home to the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Beyond its brick archways at the gate lies the field with straight baselines shooting out from home plate and carpeted by lush green turf contrasted by the red clay boundaries. Baseball is filled with stories—stories of games, of players, of wins and losses. 

This season, Parkview Field was recognized as having the best field in the league. That recognition isn’t just a job well done for Keith Winter, the TinCaps' head groudskeeper; the field is central to the business of baseball, and not just while games are in play. 

“Whenever there’s a business considering sponsoring the team, the first thing they come see is the field, “ Winter says.

Winter credits the TinCaps’ President Mike Nutter with making it possible to invest in the products that yield the kind of results to earn Parkview “Field of the Year” recognition. 

“Not all teams give the funds and recognize how important the field is to the organization. Our front office prioritizes the field, and that is integral to the big picture,” Winter says. 

The condition of the baseball field says something about the organization, both the immediate organization and the parent organization according to Winter. “This league is a recruiting point for talent. When players in this league play on this field, and they know the San Diego Padres are our parent team, it doesn’t just say something about the TinCaps. It says something about the Padres. Players are more interested in organizations that provide them with great facilities.”

Winter credits having the right suppliers with the results he’s yielded. Advanced Turf Solutions provides convenience that simplifies the purchasing processes, freeing him up to focus on grounds keeping by providing easy access to ATS's strategic partner, J&D Turf.

For a groundskeeper like Winter, taking care of the dirt and the turf are equally important. Winter says, “ATS is a full service operation that makes it easier as opposed to dealing with multiple vendors. If I need something or I have a question, I just pick up the phone and talk to one person.”

He credits his sales representative with being more than just his supplier. “He’s my turf guru,” Winter says. “He is the one that I trust because I know he will give me the right answers. He has more knowledge than I do.”

Convenient service and expertise aren't the only reasons Winter remains a loyal ATS customer. The products he purchases from ATS are a great value and yield the results he needs.

“I think we’re getting the best bang for our buck. The products we use on the turf are expensive, but because we’re using post-patent products, they aren’t cheap but they are the best product you can buy. Their post-patent products have proven to be just as efficient and effective as anything else available in the market.”

ATS provides Winter with efficient service, access to the services he needs from J&D Turf, and products that consistently yield results, so Winter can focus his efforts on the moment when he knows he has achieved success.

“That 60 seconds when they’re done prepping the field [before a game]. The lines are straight and the turf is ready. I look out there and say ‘Man, the field looks beautiful tonight.’ And then they come out to tear it up, and we fix it. They tear it up, and we fix it. That’s what it’s all about in the grounds keeping game.” 

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