The Dunedin Blue Jays are getting all new uniforms and a revamped field in time for next season.
The team's parent organization in Toronto announced a new logo today, which means fresh uniforms for the 2012 season.
The logo harkens to the team's original look, with the classic-style blue jay head in front of a red maple leaf. The D-Jays' new logo will look similar, but won't carry the maple leaf.
As for the new turf, the existing sod at was badly in need of an upgrade following decades of use that left the soil underneath uneven and the "consistency of peanut butter," according to head groundskeeper Pat Skunda.
"When I first got here in 2004, I was under the impression the field had last been redone in 1993. I found out years later the date was actually 1983," Skunda said during a break in his project on Wednesday.
"The normal life cycle for a minor league field is about 10 to 15 years, although I have heard of some that are over 50 years old," Skunda expained. "Like anything else, grass is a living and breathing thing. As it gets older, it gets elderly."
The process for getting the approval to redo the field from the parent club was a long and arduous one. But once the Blue Jays gave Skunda the go-ahead, the actual work has progressed quickly.
"We started the work in late October, and we had 45 semi trucks each filled with 25 tons of sand in here a week ago. But the field will be ready to play on next month."
"It's been a two- to three-year process for about two to three weeks of actual work," Skunda said.
According to Skunda, the entire project, including all the watering, rolling out and overseeding, will be completed in plenty of time for the start of the 2012 spring training season in March.
The D-Jays will appear in the updated uniforms at their home opener against the Clearwater Threshers on April 5. To purchase D-Jays merchandise with the updated logo, visit the Jays Shop at the stadium when it opens on April 5.