Amid the pageantry sure to accompany tomorrow’s opening of the Major League Baseball playoffs, the increasingly intricate patterns mown into stadium grass is sure to catch fans’ eyes. Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor pioneered the technique as an assistant in Milwaukee in 1993, the New York Times reports, and disciples coast to coast have taken up the torch.
“It’s completely an aesthetic issue,” says the man who’s carved diamonds and the like into Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Ballpark, where the Phillies host Milwaukee tomorrow. “It’s never going to enhance the play on the field.” Mellor produces a new design whenever the Sox return to Fenway Park, to prevent permanent tendencies in the grass. “Literally, every day I walk out here I get goose bumps,” he says, though “safety and playability are always my first priority.” (Read more grass stories.)