The Seattle Mariners have a new field.
For more than a month crews have been working to replace the playing surface at Safeco Field and the final piece of sod was recently put in place, according to a Friday morning tweet by Mariners’ head groundskeeper Bob Christofferson.
It is the first complete renovation of the play surface since Safeco Field opened in 1999.
The addition of sand to the field raised the playing surface about four inches over the past 18 years. Crews removed about 3,000 tons of sand and brought in 1,300 tons, Christofferson said in a video posted by the organization. Crews also replaced 260 tons of infield dirt with a new, redder dirt used by 20 Major League Baseball teams.
The new grass comes from Olympia’s Country Green Turf Farms, the company that provided Safeco’s original playing surface.
A laser mapping system was used to make sure the field to assure it was flat and free of abnormalities that might cause baseballs to take a bad hop.
“It’s something I wanted for a long time,” Christofferson said of the renovation in the Mariners’ video.
Christofferson, who ran the grounds crew at Cheney Stadium before the opening of Safeco Field, documented the transition with photos posted to his Twitter account, @BCsodfather.
Here’s a look, starting with his Oct. 5 farewell to the original field: