George Toma: Nitty Gritty Dirt man

George Toma: Nitty Gritty Dirt man

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582616469
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 09/28/2003
Pages: 206
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

Forewordvi
Introductionviii
Chapter 1An Amazing Journey1
Chapter 2From Coal Fields to Ball Fields4
Chapter 3Breaking into the Game14
Chapter 4Korea and Back22
Chapter 5Up Through the Minors28
Chapter 6Goin' to Kansas City34
Chapter 7Hail to the Chiefs46
Chapter 8Super Bowl Shuffle52
Chapter 9Where's the Grass?68
Chapter 10Conversion Experiences80
Chapter 11Talkin' Baseball86
Chapter 12Legends of the Fall92
Chapter 13Front Office Follies98
Chapter 14A Kick in the Grass106
Chapter 15Guten Tag and Aloha112
Chapter 16Toma to the Rescue122
Chapter 17Fake Grass, Real Challenges130
Chapter 18The End of Grass?136
Chapter 19The State of the Art146
Chapter 20The George P. Toma Hall of Fame158
Chapter 21Grass Growing 101168
Chapter 22Groundskeeping by Deceit180
Chapter 23And Then Some186
Appendix AResume192
Appendix BHall of Fame Acceptance Speech198
Appendix CKansas City Sports Commission Speech200
Appendix DSTMA Open Letter204

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