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FightingBillini
02-02-2005, 10:05 PM
Today the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they had purchased Skydome renamed it Rogers Centre. They will do several rounds of renovations on the stadium. The first one will be completed by opening day. The Astroturf field will be removed and replaced with FieldTurf.

Toronto was the final major league stadium to use Astrotuf, although two football teams still use it. This means we have officially seen the end of Astrotuf in professional baseball. It all started in Houston. The Astrodome had translucent panels on the roof to let in sunlight. The glare off the panels blinded the outfielders, so some of them were painted white. That caused the grass to die. The Astros needed something new, so for 1966 they installed Astroturf.

Astroturf was used in many stadiums over its 39 years. Obviously it was used in all dome stadiums, but also where it never should have been, outdoor stadiums. Kauffman, Busch Three Rivers, Riverfront, Veterans Stadium, and probably more than I remember used turf outdoors.

I started this thread as a reflection on that horrible, awful substance. Astrotuf drastically changed the game. It played much faster than grass. More importantly than that, it changed the game in two ways:

1. It created the era of the dome. Baseball should never have been played indoors. It took a long time for teams to see the error of their ways. There are two remaning un-retractable domes. In Minnesota a whole generation of fans has never seen outdoor baseball.

2. It was unforgiving. Astroturf was hard, and had little give. Countless players in baseball and football suffered career ending injuries due to Astroturf.

I, for one, couldn't be happier that we have seen the last of Astroturf. I just wanted to hear some of your horror stories about it, playing on it, and the different injuries that it caused.
Discuss...

MUsoxfan
02-02-2005, 10:08 PM
I hope my Colts switch to FieldTurf next year. I'm just waiting for someone to get hurt

Brian26
02-02-2005, 10:09 PM
Is Fieldturf really that much better than Astroturf?

FightingBillini
02-02-2005, 10:12 PM
Is Fieldturf really that much better than Astroturf?

It is a million times better. I have been on it several times. It is soft and forgiving. It plays like grass. Football players say that there isn't a noticable difference between it and grass. I dont know how it plays for baseball, but I remember the Twins bitching last year that the ball wasnt as fast. It may not be grass, but it's still way better than turf.

FightingBillini
02-02-2005, 10:13 PM
I hope my Colts switch to FieldTurf next year. I'm just waiting for someone to get hurt

I dont know if they would pop for it now, with the new stadium on its way. How many years do they have left in the dome? 1? 2?

MUsoxfan
02-02-2005, 10:22 PM
I dont know if they would pop for it now, with the new stadium on its way. How many years do they have left in the dome? 1? 2?

5....they're still in preliminary financial planning for the new place

NSSoxFan
02-02-2005, 10:57 PM
Can you believe the plan they have has a cost of $800 million? That is almost 1 billion dollars for all you non-gifted math students out there!

Church Turtle
02-02-2005, 11:14 PM
What about the turfed infield at the old park? The SOX had it for a while.

Oh and I have to throw this in... The Brady's back yard.:D:

ChiSoxRowand
02-02-2005, 11:49 PM
The turf at the vet was horrible. I remember the Eagles-Ravens preseason game in 01' that got cancelled because of the turf.

SoxFan76
02-02-2005, 11:55 PM
Field turf is becoming more and more popular. Although I preferred natural grass, field turf is softer during the summer when the dirt is real dry. I never played baseball on field turf, but I played football on it. UofI has it, as well as NIU. I think it was Streamwood? High School that had it as well. Many others have it, those are just the ones I have been on. Does Plainfield have it? I forget...

doublem23
02-02-2005, 11:59 PM
I never played baseball on Astroturf, but some of my friends have played Ultimate Frisbee on it, and it makes for some nasty cuts after laying out for the disc.

FightingBillini
02-03-2005, 12:12 AM
Field turf is becoming more and more popular. Although I preferred natural grass, field turf is softer during the summer when the dirt is real dry. I never played baseball on field turf, but I played football on it. UofI has it, as well as NIU. I think it was Streamwood? High School that had it as well. Many others have it, those are just the ones I have been on. Does Plainfield have it? I forget...

Yeah, U of I has had it for 3 years now. A lot of teams are going that route. I would rather see grass, buts it's still better than Astroturf. It is pretty much replacing every astrotuf field, but also some grass ones. New football stadiums in Seattle, Baltimore and Cinncinati have FieldTurf, and they are open air. Seattle bitched they needed it because of the rain, and Cincy couldn't keep their grass alive (it obviously wasn't installed by Roger Bossard :D: ). It does feel good, I have been on it many times. However, I think all outdoor stadiums should use natural grass. A growing number of teams are using it because the upkeep is much less than on a grass field, and it never looks bad on TV. Unfortunately, I see most football stadiums switching to synthetic grass in the next decade or so.

I don't think it will catch on in baseball. Like Astroturf, it plays differently than grass. The Blue Jays will use FieldTurf for the next few years, but I believe they will switch to natural grass after the Argonauts move into their own stadium.

MUsoxfan
02-03-2005, 12:53 AM
I don't think it will catch on in baseball. Like Astroturf, it plays differently than grass. The Blue Jays will use FieldTurf for the next few years, but I believe they will switch to natural grass after the Argonauts move into their own stadium.

I'm not sure about that. The Brewers are talking about switching to FieldTurf because it's hard to keep the grass growing even with the retractable roof. I imagine the "field formerly known as Skydome" would probably have the same issues.

FightingBillini
02-03-2005, 01:05 AM
I'm not sure about that. The Brewers are talking about switching to FieldTurf because it's hard to keep the grass growing even with the retractable roof. I imagine the "field formerly known as Skydome" would probably have the same issues.

Possibly. They are at roughly the same lattitude, so they probably have similar temperatures all year long. However, its more about the land the stadium is on than the climate. County stadium didn't have problems keeping grass alive. Accept for weeks after games with heavy rain or snow, the packers always have healthy grass on their field. It may just be a bad plot of land. They will probably try different grasses instead of swtiching to FieldTurf. All the baseball player feedback I heard on the synthetic grass has been bad.

TDog
02-03-2005, 01:23 AM
... The Brewers are talking about switching to FieldTurf because it's hard to keep the grass growing even with the retractable roof. I imagine the "field formerly known as Skydome" would probably have the same issues.

Is the Brewers' roof all that retractable. When I was living in Wisconsin, the roof retraction system was broken. And the roof itself leaked when it was closed on rainy nights.

Only the White Sox infield at the beginning of the 1970s was covered in Astroturf (the Big White PR Machine called it Sox Sod) because management wanted to attract fans with the futuristic surface but couldn't afford to cover the outfield.

I read a paper some years ago by someone who insisted he could have grown grass inside the Astrodome, using colored roof panels that wouldn't have affected the fielders' ability to see the ball while providing what grass needs from sunlight. He wrote that he would have shown baseball how to grow grass indoors if baseball had bothered to ask.

Considering the evils the people from Monsanto unleashed on the world with their Astroturf invention, it's a shame baseball didn't.

Palehose13
02-03-2005, 09:29 AM
Is the Brewers' roof all that retractable. When I was living in Wisconsin, the roof retraction system was broken. And the roof itself leaked when it was closed on rainy nights.



It opens and closes without too much trouble now. I don't know if they fixed the leaking. More often than not, the roof is open...even in the winter.

wdelaney72
02-03-2005, 11:15 AM
The other problem with astroturf is the skinburns it causes if you slide on it. Many athletes have permanent scars from this.

One problem with FieldTurf is it gets VERY hot. I personally feel it has no place in outdoor stadiums, but it's about economics. FieldTurf is still cheaper than maintaining natural grass, which is why many college stadiums are using it.

The Colts and the Rams are the only domed teams left in the NFL using AstroTurf. I don't see that changing any time soon, due to both teams relying heavily on speed. FieldTurf would slightly slow both teams down.

The players unions by now should have fought harder to get rid of all astroturf. It's a horrible surface to the players.

AZChiSoxFan
02-03-2005, 11:38 AM
Can you believe the plan they have has a cost of $800 million? That is almost 1 billion dollars for all you non-gifted math students out there!

:reinsy As long as I'm not paying, who cares?

AZChiSoxFan
02-03-2005, 11:48 AM
I read a paper some years ago by someone who insisted he could have grown grass inside the Astrodome, using colored roof panels that wouldn't have affected the fielders' ability to see the ball while providing what grass needs from sunlight. He wrote that he would have shown baseball how to grow grass indoors if baseball had bothered to ask.

Considering the evils the people from Monsanto unleashed on the world with their Astroturf invention, it's a shame baseball didn't.

I have to call BS on this one. It's always easier to claim, after the fact, that you knew how to get something done than it is to just go ahead and do it at the time. I mean really, why didn't this clown just call MLB and tell them he knew how to do it? He was really just sitting by his phone waiting for it to ring?? Come on. Why wouldn't he have just sold his "process" to MLB and made a bunch of money?

Brian26
02-03-2005, 11:54 AM
Field turf is becoming more and more popular. Although I preferred natural grass, field turf is softer during the summer when the dirt is real dry. I never played baseball on field turf, but I played football on it. UofI has it, as well as NIU. I think it was Streamwood? High School that had it as well. Many others have it, those are just the ones I have been on. Does Plainfield have it? I forget...

I'm aware of several schools around the area that have been switching to field turf over the years. I was blown away at first when I found out that high schools were even using this stuff. But, when it was explained to me, it makes a lot of sense: I guess the IHSA has very, very strict rules about the condition of football and soccer fields for games. I'm not sure if this is a new thing or not (maybe spawned by a lawsuit because of an injury?). Essentially, football teams and soccer teams aren't allowed to hold any weekly practices on their playing fields before the week's games in fear of destroying the turf. So, they have been forced to hold practices on auxiliary fields. This isn't a problem for some schools with extra land...but for other schools it's a huge problem. This is where fieldturf comes into play. Wheaton College, for example, just completely replaced their football field with fieldturf, and now they hold all of their practices right on the field where they play their games.

Brian26
02-03-2005, 11:57 AM
I have to call BS on this one. It's always easier to claim, after the fact, that you knew how to get something done than it is to just go ahead and do it at the time.

Might be the same scientist that claims to be able to power automobiles with orange juice and diet coke.

batmanZoSo
02-03-2005, 12:44 PM
It is a million times better. I have been on it several times. It is soft and forgiving. It plays like grass. Football players say that there isn't a noticable difference between it and grass. I dont know how it plays for baseball, but I remember the Twins bitching last year that the ball wasnt as fast. It may not be grass, but it's still way better than turf.

Field Turf sucks. It's nothing like grass. There's no traction whatsoever...worse than astro turf in that regard. And I hate the way it has those silvery and dark grains like a living room carpet. But you can't comb it and make clean stripes like you can with grass.

It might be a step above astro in the injuries department...but then astro turf injuries usually happened on multi-sport fields because of the seams. But both suck royally compared to grass. I would absolutely hate to play on field turf, I'd rather play on astro.

daveeym
02-03-2005, 01:01 PM
The other problem with astroturf is the skinburns it causes if you slide on it. Many athletes have permanent scars from this.

One problem with FieldTurf is it gets VERY hot. I personally feel it has no place in outdoor stadiums, but it's about economics. FieldTurf is still cheaper than maintaining natural grass, which is why many college stadiums are using it.

The Colts and the Rams are the only domed teams left in the NFL using AstroTurf. I don't see that changing any time soon, due to both teams relying heavily on speed. FieldTurf would slightly slow both teams down.

The players unions by now should have fought harder to get rid of all astroturf. It's a horrible surface to the players. Turf burns are the worse. They go a lot deeper than you'd think, you can get em through clothes. often times they'd stick to clothes and untuck them etc and you'd get them in real uncomfortable spots. And you're almost guaranteed a bit of infection from them due to the sweat, dirt, tobacco, spit, piss (you heard me right lot of soccer and football players just go in the middle of the game) and anything else you can think of that just sits on it. I got real bad shin splints almost instantly from the turf also. Turf is just all around nasty.

SOXFAN82
02-03-2005, 02:14 PM
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2004/baseball/mlb/09/08/bc.bbn.expos.cubs.ap/tx_909_sosa_getty.jpg"IF I PLAYED ON ASTROTURF THIS WOULD OF NEVER HAPPENED"

Fenway
02-03-2005, 02:23 PM
Didn't take them long to get the new website up

http://www.rogerscentre.com/


SkyDome really can't grow real grass because of the number of events they have besides baseball.

FightingBillini
02-03-2005, 02:54 PM
Field Turf sucks. It's nothing like grass. There's no traction whatsoever...worse than astro turf in that regard. And I hate the way it has those silvery and dark grains like a living room carpet. But you can't comb it and make clean stripes like you can with grass.

It might be a step above astro in the injuries department...but then astro turf injuries usually happened on multi-sport fields because of the seams. But both suck royally compared to grass. I would absolutely hate to play on field turf, I'd rather play on astro.

I have been on it, and I have played on it. It is much much MUCH better than Astroturf. I never had problems with the traction. Its not like turf, but turf has much more traction than grass anyway. Also, it can be combed. It is always combed to even it out. During games, the rubber pellets get thrown all about and bunched up in spots.

NFL players rank Grass and FieldTurf 1 and 1A. There is nothing like grass, but it is very close. Astroturf is absolutely horrible, and I dont think you could find a single player who would rank it higher than FieldTurf. The injuries from Astroturf dont come from seams, they come from the extreme traction. If players make a juke, their foot stays one place and their body goes another. Also, its very very hard (basically like putting a half an inch of padding on top on concrete). Admittedly, FieldTurf does get very hot outdoors, due to the little rubber pellets. I don't think it should be in any outdoor stadiums, but Astroturf wasnt any better. I remember on a 100 degree day in Cinncinati, they said the temp on the field was 140!!!

Fenway
02-03-2005, 03:00 PM
They junking the White Way scoreboard they had and going with Daktronics


http://daktronics.com/dak_news.cfm?articleID=399

http://daktronics.com/images/whatsnew/bluejays_500.jpg

dickallen15
02-03-2005, 04:24 PM
The turf at the vet was horrible. I remember the Eagles-Ravens preseason game in 01' that got cancelled because of the turf.

Wendell Davis, then of the Bears, blew out both his knees at the Vet on the same play.

ode to veeck
02-03-2005, 04:37 PM
Possibly. They are at roughly the same lattitude, so they probably have similar temperatures all year long. Howev

At the same latitude yes, but weather in Milwaukee is much, much colder in winter and much, much hotter in summer, like night and day weatherwise. A lot, lot less sunshine in Seattle as well.

FedEx227
02-03-2005, 06:09 PM
Most IHSA stadiums now have FieldTurf, I know from following my state champ winning team (Downers Grove North :) ), and seeing all the various FieldTurf, and the players say its great, unfortunately...Gatley Stadium the public league stadium still has AstroTurf...that and the field is shaped like a plateu.

jake27
02-03-2005, 06:58 PM
we have astroturf on the football in our dome here and i played flag football on it. i got cut up and had so many strawberries... it was terrible. very hard, just not fun :mad:

Hokiesox
02-03-2005, 11:27 PM
I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I'll never forget Wendel Davis of the Bears blowing out his knee in Philly on the "seam"

Nixey 02
02-04-2005, 10:43 AM
I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I'll never forget Wendel Davis of the Bears blowing out his knee in Philly on the "seam"

I believe that Wendell blew out his knees on the old Philly turf.:?: