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Groundskeeper Jones joins Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins lavish off-season spending spree has finally trickled down to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.  After securing the services of perennial All-Stars Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, and falling just short on Albert Pujols, the Marlins have taken that leftover Pujols money and secured a top-notch groundskeeper. 

Greg Jones, the second Head Groundskeeper in team history has been hired by the Marlins as their top assistant for the 2012 season.  Jones joins the organization which has re-branded from the Florida Marlins with new colors and logos for the upcoming season, as they move into a brand new stadium on the former site of the Orange Bowl.

“I came to York because having my own field was a goal,” says Jones.  “But ultimately I’d like to have my own field in the Majors eventually, and this puts me a step closer to that.”

Jones is hardly a stranger to Major League Baseball, coming to York after serving as an assistant to Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry at Oriole Park in Baltimore.  He spent four seasons at Camden Yards from 2007 through 2010.  Prior to that, Jones assisted on the fields of other minor league teams including the Richmond Braves and Myrtle Beach Pelicans and his alma mater Clemson University, before joining the Orioles.

“Baseball groundskeepers tend to be a very close-knit community, and my time in Richmond ultimately led to the opportunity with the Marlins,” Jones continued.  Chad Mulholland was in charge of Richmond back then, and then he went to the Phillies as an assistant, and helped me get in with the Orioles because of people he knew.”  Once he took the Marlins top job, he had another spot for me.”

One exciting aspect of the Marlins new stadium is a retractable roof, which will shield fans from the oppressive summertime temperatures and frequent rain that has sometimes hurt attendance in South Florida. 

“I guess I was a little disappointed to hear we’ll still have a tarp down there, even with the roof just in case.  But Chad told me to not get my hopes, that we’ll still have to put it on once in a while,” laughs Jones. 

Despite the fact a summer inYork involved many more tarp pulls than his new position will, Jones spoke highly of the Revolution as he readies to go south.

“I wouldn’t change a thing.  I wanted to have my own field, and they gave me that opportunity and I’m grateful.  I learned a lot when I was here.  As excited as I am, I actually am a little disappointed I wasn’t here longer than one season, but there was just a great opportunity I had to take with the Marlins,” said Jones.

Jones becomes the second Revolution groundskeeper to rub elbows with Major League players.  Sovereign Bank Stadium’s original grounds man Brandon Putman re-located before last season toPeoria, Arizona, where he oversees the fields for the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners spring training and minor league complexes.

-Paul Braverman

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