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HOUSTON (CW39) – Baseball season is in full swing, and so is southeastern Texas’s peak season for thunderstorm activity. As one can imagine, the two do not mix very well! Crews here at Constellation Field are always looking up, and not just out of caution for foul balls, but also for threatening weather. Lightning is dangerous, especially if you are out in an open field, or metal bleachers. The staff here knows that very well and takes necessary precautions to keep crowds and players safe. 

Ryan Posner says that “Any strike with 20 miles is going to delay the game. Our grounds crew is part turf management and part meteorologists. We need to find out if it is just a pop-up shower, or if the rain will stick around for a while making it more suitable to just postpone the game.”  

The Skeeters take lightning very seriously. Posner adds, “With lightning, it is no questions asked, everyone must get off the field.” 

Sports fans are not a fan of rain during the games, and neither is the office staff for the Skeeters. It adds a dreaded element to their workday. This involves covering up the field, which can be difficult at times. Gusty winds and slippery conditions involved with thunderstorms can make it even tougher. Posner admits he’s even taken a tumble on the field a few times! 

“As a minor league team, the front office staff is also the tarp crew. We will get an email from our grounds crew, that says literally just the word ‘TARP’! Usually that email just sends chills down your spine.”, Posner laughs.  

Sports fans are not a fan of rain during the games, and neither is the office staff for the skeeters. It adds a dreaded element to their workday. This involves covering up the field, which can be difficult at times. Gusty winds and slippery conditions involved with thunderstorms can make it even tougher. Posner admits he’s even taken a tumble on the field a few times! 

“As a minor league team, the front office staff is also the tarp crew. We will get an email from our grounds crew, that says literally just the word ‘TARP’! Usually that email just sends chills down your spine.”, Posner laughs.  

Posner also mentioned that teams like the Rockies must take altitude and the dry air into account when playing ball. Humidors are used to store baseballs. This helps prevent the balls from drying out and travelling further in higher elevation parks, skewing statistics. In Denver the air is 20% less dense than it is at sea level. Before humidors were used, Coors Field had the nickname “Coors Canaveral” due to the dry baseballs lofting so far into the stands.  

“That is not really an issue here”, Posner says. “If anything, the ball gets knocked down due to the higher moisture content”, he adds.  

The humidity does make the ball more pitcher friendly. This allows for additional friction to the surface of the ball, allowing for the pitcher to grip it better.  

If you think you are hot in the stands, remember it is even hotter on the field! Turf, similar to dark clothes, absorbs more of the sun’s thermal energy. Posner tells me that the players do a good job of keeping themselves safe in the heat.  

“Their bodies are their temples”, he adds.  

Posner also states that he always feels bad for the catcher due to all the equipment they must wear. As for the fans, there are lots of shaded areas, ice cold drinks, and even a pool! This way you can enjoy the game, stay cool, and have fun!