Field back in form day after Great American deluge

Field back in form day after Great American deluge

CINCINNATI -- When the Reds' 8-1 win over the Giants on Monday was cut short after six innings because of rain, the outfield at Great American Ball Park looked like it was in danger of becoming part of the Ohio River.

But even before players showed up on Tuesday afternoon for the second game of a four-game set, the sun shined on a completely dry stadium.

"We've got some of the best grounds crewman you've ever seen," manager Dusty Baker said. "It looked like we were going to need Noah's Ark yesterday by the time that game ended."

Doug Gallant is in his 13th year as the head groundskeeper at Great American Ball Park, and in all those years, Monday was just the second time he saw so much standing water.

"That's the hardest I've seen it rain and the longest I've seen it rain with that intensity since I've been here," said Gallant, who added that it rained three inches in 45 minutes. "The dugouts were flooded, the seats were flooded. It was just not conducive to playing."

Had the decision been made to try to finish Monday's game, which was called at 10:51 p.m. after a 1-hour, 28-minute delay, Gallant said the field might have been ready for play by 2 a.m. And although Baker gave the credit to the grounds crew, Gallant said it was the drainage system that did all the work.

The field at Great American Ball Park is grown on pure sand, which draws in the water quickly. Then the water goes into a series of drains placed 20 feet apart from each other in any direction, before flowing out of the stadium under the ground in the right-field corner

Thanks to that system, the field was in top condition for Tuesday's game.

"Everything is fine, normal," Gallant said. "You wouldn't even know it rained."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.