The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

October 3, 2013

MLB playoff notebook

BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox will pay tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings when the AL division series opens at Fenway Park on Friday with a giant "B Strong" logo mowed into the grass in center field.

The logo matches the patch the team has worn since the April 15 explosions that killed three and wounded hundreds more.

"We've been part of a lot of fun patterns through the years," groundskeeper Dave Mellor said. "But this one had a lot more meaning. It's an honor to be a part of 'Boston Strong.'"

The logo features the franchise's stylized "B'' logo above the word "strong," surrounded by a circle that takes up most of center field. It's more complicated than many of the designs Mellor has done in the past, but he had plenty of extra time to work on it because the team hasn't played at home since Sept. 22.

"There was a request from upstairs if we could do it," he said. "It was a fun challenge."

Outfield designs are limited to the two colors of the two sides of a blade of grass. Darker green is made by moving the grass in one direction, and running the mower the opposite way shows the lighter green side.

Fine points are made by rollers.

"The patterns are only limited by our imagination," Mellor said.

Well, almost.

"There are only two patterns you can't do, and that's Michigan and the Yankees," said Mellor, who studied agronomy at Ohio State. "That will kill the grass."

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STAR PUPILS: Carlos Beltran can't help but marvel at the Cardinals rookies who have produced from the get-go.

St. Louis led the majors with 36 wins from rookies and entered the postseason with a rookie closer and setup man. First-year slugger Matt Adams stepped in admirably at first base for injured Allen Craig with eight homers in the final month.

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