PRESS RELEASE – The St. Paul Saints don’t know what their roster will look like when they open CHS Field on May 21, but they now know who is in charge of making sure the field is ready to go for first pitch. The Saints have hired Nick Baker as Head Groundskeeper for CHS Field.
The 27-year-old St. Paul native will be in charge of developing and maintaining a first rate playing surface for the facilities many users. He will also be responsible for the care of CHS Field’s many landscape highlights in and around the ballpark. It will feature a planter in front of the batters eye in center field, a large lawn area just beyond the left field wall, and trees inside the ballpark, in the Gallery area on the concourse, behind home plate and along the left field concourse. Prior to moving into the ballpark Baker will collaborate with Peterson Companies, the Chisago Lakes company which designed and installed the field, on all turf and landscape related matters. He will also supervise a facility grounds crew staff.
Baker is no stranger to the well-manicured grounds of sports venues in the Twin Cities. Baker spent 2012-14 on the grounds crew at Target Field under the guidance of Larry DeVito. During his three years at Target Field, Baker worked year round, including during the winter, plowing and melting snow, mowing the grass, getting home plate and the pitcher’s mound ready for game day, getting the field ready for concerts and machinery maintenance. He finished his time with the Twins in June of this year and then went back to work the All-Star Game.
Baker spent the last six months as the Assistant Groundskeeper at the University of Minnesota. He worked on TCF Field, the football practice fields and maintained the softball and baseball fields.
“Nick comes highly recommended and has learned from some of the best in his industry,” said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer. “We’re thrilled to have landed someone with his combination of experience and passion for his work. The field may be covered in snow now, but pretty soon Nick’s hard work will be on display for everyone to see.”
Prior to his time at Target Field he got his hands dirty by working on the grounds crews at both Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets and Principal Park, home of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
Baker is a graduate of Iowa State University in Horticulture and Turf Management.