WEB EXCLUSIVE: Royals Hall of Famer George Toma reflects on his career as groundskeeper

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Every visitor who walks into Kauffman Stadium for the first time usually has the same response.  Whether it's the fountains, the crown scoreboard or the actual playing surface, Kansas City's jewel of a ball park has always been the talk of baseball.  

This week, Kansas City celebrated the 49th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. 

Royals Hall of Fame groundskeeper George Toma was there for opening day. Long-considered the best in the business, he has worked countless Super Bowls, World Series’ and college football bowl games – ironic considering both the Chiefs and Royals played on artificial turf for much of his career.

Royals Hall of Famer Groundskeeper George Toma. Photo courtesy of the Royals Hall of Fame.

He has worked for the Glass family, Ewing Kauffman and Charles O. Finley, and saw goats eating the grass in the outfield at the old stadium.  Toma said he never would have had any success had it not been for his student helpers from Kansas City Public Schools, especially Lincoln, Central and Paseo High Schools who made up a big part of his crew over the years. 

Royals Hall of Famer Groundskeeper George Toma. Photo courtesy of the Royals Hall of Fame.

He’s been retired for several years, but Toma still loves hanging out at the "K" and chatting with current Head Groundskeeper Trevor Vance, whom he praises for keeping the field in immaculate condition.

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