Vanden Berg honored by MLB groundskeepers

Late Brewers turf manager selected for industry's Hall of Fame

Vanden Berg honored by MLB groundskeepers

The late Gary Vanden Berg, who was a member of the Brewers organization for more than 30 years, will be inducted into the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Vanden Berg passed on Oct. 10, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. The trophy for the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame was named in his honor upon its inception in 2011.

"Gary set a standard that we all admire to this day, not just in his profession but in his personal relationships, and we are thrilled to hear that he is receiving such a high honor from his peers," said Bob Quinn, Brewers executive vice president of finance and administration.

"His care for the grounds at County Stadium and Miller Park in often challenging conditions was always at the top of the class," Quinn said. "He was also a great friend to everyone in the organization and a mentor to many who have now become established in the industry."

Vanden Berg began his career in sports turf management when he joined the Brewers grounds department in 1981 as an assistant to Harry Gill, who is recognized as one of the founders behind the formation of the Sports Turf Managers Association. Vanden Berg was Gill's assistant until he died in 1990.

At County Stadium, Vanden Berg not only had to produce a quality field for baseball but also the Packers, who played some home games there through 1994.

When the Brewers moved from County Stadium to Miller Park, Vanden Berg tackled the challenge of managing grass in a retractable roof stadium and its shade patterns.

He also established an internship program in Milwaukee for college students aspiring to become sports turf managers. The STMA recognized the importance of Vanden Berg's internship program and established the Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant for students seeking internships who may not have otherwise been able to afford it.

The award will be presented during the MLB groundskeepers' annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.