Pulling Tarp: Baseball’s Favorite Pastime

So when anybody makes the decision to get into pro baseball they’re told one important nugget of information: “You have to be willing to pull tarp.”  For those who don’t know, the tarp is that big square thing that covers the field during rain delays.  The reason most people don’t like to pull tarp is because it can be somewhat messy.  The tarp is wet (and stays wet after getting rolled up), has infield dirt all over it and presumably has the chemicals that treat the field on it as well.  Also, it often gets pulled in the rain – so you get really wet.  Add to that the act of taking the tarp off, which usually involves lots of standing water and it’s not a very fun task.

There’s another important note about pulling tarp — you never really know when you have to do it.  You could have to pull tarp in the morning, during a game, after a game, on the weekends, at night, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, here or there or anywhere (if you caught the Green Eggs and Ham reference, point for you).

Box Office Manager Shannon "dressed" the field in its tarp...See what I did there?

Now take a second and get inside the 20 something female mind. You there yet? ………….I know, scary, but glad you got there safe.  Now that you’re in this mindset you know that getting ready to got out with friends means a lot of prep work. You have to pick the right dress and shoes and get your hair set and makeup in order etc. This is nothing short of what I’m assuming is a six-hour process. Logically, one would not want to pull the tarp after this lengthy ordeal…well tough, this is Minor League Baseball. Saturday Night’s tarp crew might have been the best dressed tarp crew in the history of baseball. I’m glad to say I was in a t-shirt and jeans. I’m also glad to say I had shoes on for this one (see below).

That brings us to Saturday night. On Sunday the University of Michigan and the University of Connecticut played at Pelicans Ballpark. Rain was in the forecast late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. That meant we had to pull the tarp Saturday night…literally at night. Around 8pm everybody in the front office got a text message that we should be ready to pull the tarp on the field at 8:30. What made things complicated is that it was 8pm on a Saturday night and it also happened to be a certain member of our front office’s birthday, with most of us ready to go out together to celebrate.  After mutch kvetching we all got to the park and pulled tarp…still dressed to the nines.

Green feet!

Nobody really thought much of not wearing shoes for pulling the tarp.  I’ll be the first to admit I’ve pulled tarp barefoot, no big deal.  When a handful of the people on your staff are in high heels, barefoot seems like a better option.  Pulling in heels could lead to this.  Or this.   Or this.  What was not expected, however, was that Sports Turf Manager Corey Russell had fertilized with a tracking device earlier…the tracking device being a greenish substance that might look like paint if you step on it.  So Happy St. Pattie’s Day!  Several members of our staff wound up members of the green foot club.

Long story short.  The Pelicans pulled tarp in dresses and heels on Saturday. That, is dedication.

Till Next Time,


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