Newman Outdoor Field's grounds crew remains hard at work in hopes of a baseball season

Tom Drietz

FARGO-- Monday night was set as the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks home opener. Newman Outdoor Field is without a doubt much quieter instead now.

“It’s strange that the weather is nice, it’s sunny out, the field is being worked on, and yet we’re not doing a home opener,” said Redhawks Communications Director Chad Ekren.

The dugouts are empty, the bleachers remain unattended with no fans, but if you look closely behind home plate, there’s Tom Drietz hard at work.

“Other than the birds, very quiet, often I am the only one here,” said Drietz.

Only two months into serving as the Director of Stadium Operations, Drietz has faced plenty of curve balls. It started with NDSU cancelling it’s baseball season before even having the chance to play at home.


“It’s still a learning process. I’m still learning about the field being here just about everyday anyway, but without games here it's a lot different. Get used to the field, get used to the stadium, and we didn’t have that, we still don’t have that,” said Tom.

So instead of using those games as his practice for the American Association, Tom is at the empty ball field almost everyday preparing for when the Redhawks will return. Drietz once served as an intern at Newman Outdoor Field, but nothing compares when his responsibilities have turned into being the person in charge of the field.

“He’s probably the one sense of normalcy we have right now, just because his job has really stayed similar to if we did have a season or we did play today. He’s out there everyday taking care of the grass, mowing, fertilizing, filling in little spots, basically doing all the maintenance he would normally do in preparation for a normal season. It’s important just because we don’t know when we’re going to start. We need to know that we have everything ready to go for when the gates do open,” said Ekren.

“It’s definitely good to keep any sort of routine and what we’re doing with the field specifically, we're still mowing, irrigating, fertilizing, that sort of thing, but it’s on a much reduced scale,” said Drietz.

What keeps Tom moving though is the hope that his favorite pastime will return soon.

“It’s going to be a lot like Christmas Day. I think It’s kind of motivation in some ways, usually because we work towards a game, we have a goal in mind, but really it’s just knowing that there eventually will be a season, whether it’s this year, but even if it’s next year we’re just trying to work towards accomplishing the field maintenance projects that I know we need to do,” said Drietz.


The American Association hopes to resume their season sometime later this summer. The Redhawks will host a fireworks show at the stadium Friday, May 29th as an appreciation celebration towards their fans during this time.

Newman Outdoor Field

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