World Series turfgrass choice is Platinum TE Paspalum
Besides being the best teams in baseball this year, what do the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros have in common?
Their turfgrass. Both teams play on Platinum TE Paspalum.
As baseball fans tune in to the 2021 World Series, whether at Minute Maid Park in Houston (scheduled to host games one, two, six, and seven) or Truist Park in Atlanta (scheduled to host games three, four, and five), the vibrant green turf is the same.
Platinum TE is a patented turfgrass variety of the seashore paspalum species. Developed by leading turf industry expert Dr. Ron R. Duncan, Platinum TE entered the market in 2007. Since then, hundreds of sports fields and golf courses across five continents have chosen Platinum TE. In addition to the World Series, Platinum TE has also been the turfgrass of choice for major golf events such as the PGA Championship; and one year from now, Platinum TE will be in the spotlight again as the one and only turf surface of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Platinum TE at Minute Maid Park
The first Major League Baseball team to select Platinum TE was the Houston Astros in 2009. The shade challenges presented by Minute Maid Park’s retractable roof required a turf with exceptional low light tolerance. Platinum TE met the challenge. According to Duncan, Platinum TE is able to maintain its canopy density and uniform surface with five hours of sunlight per day supported by grow lights to extend the growth activity in the shade-prone areas. Other turf species require at least eight hours.
Platinum TE at Truist Park
The Atlanta Braves began experimenting with Platinum TE while playing at their former venue, Turner Field. The players responded well to its performance. As a result, upon construction of the new stadium in northwest Atlanta in 2017, the playing surface was converted entirely to Platinum TE.
While Truist Park does not have a roof, shade is still a factor. Depending on the time of year and the sun’s position, large areas of the field can receive extended periods of shade.
Platinum is highly adaptable to a wide range of mowing heights. In golf course applications, this feature allows Platinum TE to be used on golf course tees and greens at very low heights of cut as well as fairways and roughs at increasing heights of cut. The baseball field managers at Minute Maid Park (Izzy Hinojosa) and Truist Park (Ed Mangan) have perfected the nuances of turf height to give their players maximum advantages.
Varying the height of cut affects the reaction and speed time of the ball. Lower cuts speed up the roll of the ball, and higher cuts slow it down. Depending on the preferences of the players, Platinum TE allows for adjustments.