The story of George Toma, who climbed form his roots in a poor coal-mining town to the top of his profession as a groundskeeper for sports stadiumsincluding every Super Bowl, is told.
|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Goforth has written dozens of articles for local, national, and regional publications. He earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and after working for several newspapers, magazines, and advertising agencies, started Veritas Communications in 2000.
Read an Excerpt
An Amazing Journey
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to award the Daniel F. Reeves Pioneer Award to...George P. Toma!"
Hearing those words in Canton, Ohio, on August 3, 2001, took my breath away. The award, named in honor of the late owner of the Los Angeles Rams, is presented periodically to nonplayers who have made significant contributions to the sport. And now, my name was beside names such as the legendary voice of the NFL, John Facenda, who won the award in 1986.
I have a basement full of awards and plaques of all shapes and sizes. I have worked in two Olympic Games, one World Cup soccer tournament, baseball's All-Star game and World Series and every Super Bowl game ever played. I have maintained fields from Tokyo to Mexico City to Barcelona. But for this 74-year-old man, nothing compares with being honored where my boyhood heroes and the stars of today are enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.
It's been a remarkable journey for a kid from the coal mines of Pennsylvania, who had to go to work at age 10 when his father passed away. Although that plaque in Canton, Ohio, reads George Toma, I guarantee you that the fingerprints of countless owners, coaches, players, groundskeepers, sports journalists and fans are on it as well. Without them, there would be no Nitty Gritty Dirt Man.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||An Amazing Journey||1|
|Chapter 2||From Coal Fields to Ball Fields||4|
|Chapter 3||Breaking into the Game||14|
|Chapter 4||Korea and Back||22|
|Chapter 5||Up Through the Minors||28|
|Chapter 6||Goin' to Kansas City||34|
|Chapter 7||Hail to the Chiefs||46|
|Chapter 8||Super Bowl Shuffle||52|
|Chapter 9||Where's the Grass?||68|
|Chapter 10||Conversion Experiences||80|
|Chapter 11||Talkin' Baseball||86|
|Chapter 12||Legends of the Fall||92|
|Chapter 13||Front Office Follies||98|
|Chapter 14||A Kick in the Grass||106|
|Chapter 15||Guten Tag and Aloha||112|
|Chapter 16||Toma to the Rescue||122|
|Chapter 17||Fake Grass, Real Challenges||130|
|Chapter 18||The End of Grass?||136|
|Chapter 19||The State of the Art||146|
|Chapter 20||The George P. Toma Hall of Fame||158|
|Chapter 21||Grass Growing 101||168|
|Chapter 22||Groundskeeping by Deceit||180|
|Chapter 23||And Then Some||186|
|Appendix B||Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech||198|
|Appendix C||Kansas City Sports Commission Speech||200|
|Appendix D||STMA Open Letter||204|