COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. It was announced earlier this week that Steve DeLeon—Senior VP of Stadium and Field Operations for the Rocky Mountain Vibes—has been named the Pioneer League’s Turf Manager of the Year for the Vibes’ inaugural 2019 season.
Vibes President and General Manager Chris Phillips said: “We’re so proud of Steve and his dedicated grounds crew! This is an amazing individual achievement and quite the honor for the Vibes and the City of Colorado Springs!”.
Of the many aspects considered during judging and voting for the award, Pioneer League General Managers and Field Managers focused primarily on the following criteria: Field Setup for Pregame, Preparation of Field for Games, Overall Playing Surface, Infield Turf Area, Outfield Turf Area, Home Plate Area, Bullpen Areas, Warning Track Area, Pitcher’s Mound, and Professionalism of the Grounds Crew.
Winning this honor for the Pioneer League also makes DeLeon eligible to win the prestigious Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award for the 2019 season, sponsored by Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).
“Congratulations, Steve!” said Kim Heck, CAE & CEO of the Sports Turf Managers Association. “STMA is thrilled to learn that you have been selected the Pioneer League winner for your field management practices. It is such an honor receive this recognition.”
MiLB and STMA have partnered to present the Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award in each level (Single A, Double A, Triple A and Short Season or Rookie), presented during the Baseball Winter Meetings in December. The STMA panel of judges independently reviews and scores each candidate, before a separate committee compiles and validates the scoring. Applicants are also required to explain the challenges they faced during the season and how they and their crew addressed those challenges. In December, DeLeon and the Vibes will find out if they secured the subsequent award.
2019 marks DeLeon’s 29th season with the Colorado Springs club. DeLeon holds several degrees in higher education with a B.A. and two M.A.’s. When not working on UCHealth Park, he is busy officiating wrestling at various levels ranging from elementary school to high school. He has four kids ranging in ages from 14 to 37.