O's Santarone named to Groundskeepers Hall of Fame

O's Santarone named to Groundskeepers Hall of Fame

BALTIMORE -- Late Orioles groundskeeper Pat Santarone has been named to the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers Hall of Fame.

Santarone joined the Orioles as head groundskeeper in 1969 and spent 22 seasons at Memorial Stadium before retiring on Opening Day of 1991. During that time the Orioles won five American League pennants and two World Series, and fielded 25 AL Gold Glovers.

To be considered for induction into the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame, a person must have ceased employment for at least five years and have made a significant contribution to groundskeeping and/or the sports-turf industry at the Major League level. Each team has one nominee and one vote.

Santarone started his career with Class A Elmira, taking over for his father, Val. He worked with future Orioles manager and Hall of Famer Earl Weaver when Elmira became the Double-A affiliate, and the two reunited in Baltimore.

After retiring to Montana, Santarone passed away in May 2008. He will be inducted -- along with Pete Flynn of the Mets -- on Sunday at Coors Field.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.