Photographer Michael Durr with Aerial Photography by Daniel Woody

Victory Field Grounds Team Covers All Bases to Ensure Every Game Is Enjoyable

The historic Victory Field proudly stands as part of White River State Park, and has been home to the Indianapolis Indians since 1996.

This beautiful stadium is a testament to the countless games and memories it has witnessed. This year, nestled within the stands, fans will look down on a newly installed baseball field, and while at first glance it might look as gorgeous as it has for nearly 30 years, you can thank the dedicated grounds team that has toiled tirelessly to ensure that this field remains a pristine canvas for a sport that captivates thousands every summer.

“For the installation of the new field, we had three to four months to work with our designer to come up with a design,” says Joey Stevenson, Indianapolis Indians director of field operations. “It was fun to rethink all those little fine details, like how we wanted the outline of the warning track and how it follows the wall, where we wanted irrigation spigots, and things like that.”

This is Stevenson’s 18th season at Victory Field, and to say he is a savant is an understatement. He grew up on a family farm in southern Illinois and started working at a golf course at 15. His college years were spent at Purdue University, where he majored in turf science. After graduating he spent two years at major league ballparks and has been here in Indy since 2007.

Joey Stevenson, Indianapolis Indians director of field operations

Despite being a minor league field, there are many people who consider Victory Field to be one of the nicest ballparks in America. “We’re able to spend the time on the grass, edges and mounds to make it perfect, and that’s really rare,” Stevenson says.

With the help of Stevenson’s field operations coordinators, Bryce Huebner and Zach Green, this team of three, along with a diverse group of interns united by their passion for baseball and their commitment to excellence, works day and night to craft and maintain the field throughout the season.

For a 7:05 p.m. game, the grounds team will arrive at 9 a.m. and work to create a harmonious blend of artistry and precision. During those early morning hours, they inspects every inch of the field, scouring for any imperfections that could mar a player’s experience. The field gets mowed and a lot of time is spent on the infield skin, nail dragging, floating and getting the conditioner levels right. For Stevenson and his team, perfection is the only option and no detail escapes their gaze.

While many might think the grass demands the most effort, it’s actually the dirt surfaces that need meticulous attention. The mounds, plates and infield require a lot of effort to keep surfaces level and the moisture content correct. On a typical summer day, the infield dirt can be watered six to seven times.

As afternoon approaches, some of the nuances change from game to game, but generally the staff will water after lunch, check the warning track and make preparations for the team’s batting practice. Stevenson and his team will regain control of the field from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. “We tear down batting practice, drag dirt surfaces, chalk the lines and water the skin one more time,” Stevenson says. This is all before the first pitch is thrown.

Bryce Huebner – Field Operations Coordinator for Victory Field.

Once the game starts, the staff will do some detail work in the third and sixth innings, and will drag and change bases. After the game, the staff works to have the field ready for the next day. When all is said and done, they work around 14 hours daily to keep the field in pristine condition.

“It’s cool to come in and think this is our office,” Stevenson says. “Around 10:30 a.m. when they fire up the popcorn and the ballpark comes alive, it’s really cool to step back and look at what we are doing.”

This job is not just about maintaining the field; it’s about creating an experience. Stevenson and his team take pride in crafting a welcoming atmosphere for players and fans alike. For in the heart of this historic stadium, the grounds team certainly leaves their mark – a legacy of dedication, excellence and unwavering passion. And as long as there is baseball to be played, their work will continue, as a silent tribute to the timeless beauty of America’s favorite pastime.

As you sit in the stands this season, we hope you take a closer look and appreciate some of these intricate details.

For information on this season’s games, visit, and follow the Indians on Instagram, Facebook, X/Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok.

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