Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: What are those sand sprays on Tropicana Field's turf?

Sand splashes at the Trop

I notice that every time a ball hits the turf in the outfield at Tropicana Field it creates a spray of something light-colored. Could this be sand used as a cushion for the turf? I've never noticed it on any of the fields in other stadiums.

Rick Vaughn, vice president of communications for the Rays, said "the in-fill mix on the AstroTurf is sand and rubber. The rubber is applied first and the sand over the top, just like top-dressing natural grass. The sand will eventually work its way into the rubber and create less of a splash."

Team provides Rays' uniforms

The Tampa Bay Rays seem to mess up a lot of uniforms. How many uniforms is each player provided? Do players pay for uniforms? How do they clean those messed-up uniforms while on an extended road trip?

Again, we turned to Rick Vaughn, vice president of communications for the Rays, for an answer.

He tells us that every Rays player gets two of the following uniforms:

• Home (white)

• Away (gray)

• Batting practice

• Dark blue tops

• Light blue tops

The players do not pay for them; the team provides them. The team also provides the "throwback" uniforms that the players wear on special occasions.

Each Major League Baseball stadium has laundry facilities available, and the Rays' clubhouse staff washes the uniforms, home and away.

Who's that behind home plate?

My mother has noticed a couple who sits in the front row behind home plate at every Rays home game. She was wondering who they are, and if they are related to a Rays player.

We believe you're referring to Jack and Mary Critchfield, who have had seats just to the left of homeplate (as viewed from the centerfield camera) since the Rays started playing in 1998.

Dr. Jack Critchfield was the former CEO of Florida Progress Corp. (parent of Florida Power) before it was sold to Progress Energy.

And he played a key role in helping bring a Major League Baseball franchise to St. Petersburg.

Critchfield also has the honor of having a ballpark named after him, at his college alma mater, Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. You can read about it on the college website:

And you can read this 2008 St. Petersburg Times story about the Critchfields and other season ticket holders:

Q&A: What are those sand sprays on Tropicana Field's turf? 09/19/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 5:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Puerto Ricans in Tampa Bay wait with dread as Hurricane Maria approaches island


    TAMPA — As Hurricane Maria swirled in the Atlantic Ocean, Sarykarmen Rivera got a phone call from her parents in Puerto Rico. They had an ominous message.

    Sarykarmen Rivera sits for a portrait with a picture of herself and her family in her hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico, while at the Univision studios in Tampa on Tuesday. Rivera's mother, father, and extended family are currently in Puerto Rico and she worries about their safety as Hurricane Maria approaches. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B


    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project


    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  4. Hurricane Maria strengthens on way to Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    An even stronger Hurricane Maria is moving steadily toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and is likely to still be a powerful category 5 storm when it arrives.

    [National Hurricane Center]
  5. Tampa Bay concert venues offer deals, take donations for Hurricane Irma victims


    After a week-plus of concert cancellations brought on by Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay music scene is ready to get back to work. And Irma is still front and center in everyone's minds.

    Victor Wainwright