If you've ventured to Hoglund-Maupin Stadium for a Kansas University baseball game, you've undoubtedly been impressed by the condition of the field.
The grass is bright green with no bare spots.
Both KU field maintenance supervisor Jack Fitch and Alvamar golf superintendent Dick Stuntz deserve the credit.
"Floyd Temple (KU assistant athletic director) hired him as a consultant for all our athletic fields," KU coach Dave Bingham said of Stuntz.
"He gives advice. Jack Fitch and the maintenance people are in charge of the field. It's the best it's looked since I've been here. We've gotten a lot of compliments from teams who've come in. We put in rye grass in the fall and re-did it in the spring."
STUNTZ, WHO praised Fitch's crew, said planting rye grass was indeed the key.
"Rye grass is a gorgeous green," said Stuntz, also a consultant on KU's softball field and football practice fields.
"We still have Bermuda beneath the rye. Bermuda provides a better cushion. But it's dormant at this point. Ideal growing temperature for Bermuda is 89 degrees."
Stuntz said he'd accept the challenge of nursing grass at KU Memorial Stadium if KU ever wished to rip out the astroturf.
"If you go to a grass field, you must control traffic on the field. You can't have over-traffic," Stuntz said. "With the amount of activity on the field at this time, it's questionable to whether we could have a nice grass field.". . .
Kansas State baseball coach Mike Clark was disappointed with attendance at last weekend's KU-KSU series at Hoglund-Maupin Stadium. Five-hundred fans showed up on a chilly Friday night; 1,050 for a Saturday afternoon-evening doubleheader and 1,000 on a bright, sunny Sunday.
"THE ONLY thing disappointing is there weren't more fans here to watch it," said Clark, whose team split the series with KU. "On a beautiful day, I don't know why we don't have 5-6,000 people. It's time people wake up and watch baseball in Kansas. Wichita State, KU, a team that beat Wichita State, and K-State have good teams right now.
"People have got to get out and watch us play. I hope everybody gets out and watches the Jayhawks next time they are home."
KU's Bingham is just as supportive of Clark's program.
"He's got it going at K-State," Bingham said. "We've talked. We want nothing more than KU and K-State playing in Oklahoma City year in and out."
The top four teams during the Big Eight regular season advance to the postseason tournament in OKC. Right now K-State leads the league at 6-2, followed by Oklahoma State 3-2, Nebraska 4-4, Iowa State 2-2, Kansas 4-4, Missouri 3-5 and Oklahoma 3-6. Colorado has no team. . .
KU catcher Garry Schmidt, who hit a crucial homer Saturday against K-State, is swinging the bat with more confidence after shaking a shoulder problem.
"I MISSED a couple weeks because my shoulder was popping out. I have instability in the shoulder," he said. . .
Ever wonder what ballplayers say to opposing players when a pop up is hit near one's dugout?
"Our guys are pretty good about it," said KU coach Bingham. "They don't yell `Watch the wheelbarrow' or anything like that." . . .