Grizzlies groundskeeper feeling “lonely” at ballpark


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Going to work is a little different for David Jacinto these days.

“Right now it is, yeah,” says David Jacinto, when asked if he’s feeling a little lonely at the ballpark.

Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the minor league baseball season, Thursday’s game at Tacoma would have marked the season opener for the Fresno Grizzlies, with the home opener originally scheduled for next Tuesday.

“I’m kind of sad, because we should be excited right now in this moment,” said Jacinto. “Because today (Thursday) is opening day.”

Normally this time of year, Jacinto, the Grizzlies longtime head groundskeeper, would be putting in long days with his staff, trying to get the field at Chukchansi Park ready for another season of Grizzlies baseball.

But for now, Jacinto is the only Grizzlies employee still coming to the ballpark these days.

All the rest are working from home, and Jacinto’s staff is made up of seasonal and gameday workers who are not needed right now.

So two-to-three days a week, the only sign of life at the ballpark, is the sound of Jacinto’s lawnmower going around the field.

“Just mow the grass and basically, try to keep it clean,” says Jacinto.

Regularly mowing the grass is Jacinto’s way of keeping the ballpark ready for when the season hopefully resumes.

“If you let it go, it’s a mess on the grass,” says Jacinto. “You have to manicure.”

Through all this, David is very thankful for the Grizzlies ownership, which is still paying his salary.

“Everybody has to pay bills,” says Jacinto. “At least, we don’t got that worry on the side.”

And trying to keep an optimistic attitude about others eventually joining him out on this field again.

“I hope by the end of this month (baseball is back),” summed up Jacinto. “But we don’t know.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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