BTS: Wind Surge adds ‘Avengers’ logo to field for Marvel-themed game

Behind the scenes of Riverfront stadium's marvel-themed night.
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Long before the Wichita Wind Surge takes the field at Riverfront Stadium, the grounds crew ensures the field looks good.

Some nights, like Saturday, the grounds crew likes to challenge themselves, stray away from the ‘classic’ field look, and incorporate designs into the playing surface. Saturday morning, Wind Surge head groundskeeper Ben Hartman was out in centerfield laying down a design fit for that evening’s ‘Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond’ themed game.

The Wind Surge’s centerfielder Deshawn Keirsey Jr. was dressed in the team’s special edition ‘Black Panther’ jersey, roaming the outfield on top of a 24-foot wide Avengers logo.

“It’s so much fun. It’s just something different,” Hartman said. “It’s cool to see people when they walk into the ballpark and are like ‘Woah! How’d they do that?’”

Hartman is no stranger to implementing designs into his field, previously adding a foul pole-to-foul pole long airplane and even the Wichita skyline. While he said he enjoys bringing the field to life with the designs, the process is lengthy and thought-provoking.

“When we put patterns together, we start to make points and figure out if we can do it,” Hartman said. “We talked about [the Avengers] logo and felt like we could, so we put a plan in place and then executed.”

The process includes measuring how long the lines in the design need to be to stay accurate to the picture, laying out the design with stakes and string, and painting the design by hand with green grass dye. All of this is on top of mowing the usual stripes into the rest of the field.

Hartman said that he only likes to do a few special projects such as this one each season to keep the excitement alive for the next one. After every single project he’s done, he said the best part is seeing his idea come to life in front of him.

“What’s cool is to look at it and see it come together,” he said. “You start stringing it out, and you’re like, ‘Okay, I can see it.’ Then you put the dye down, and it’s like, ‘Oh, dang. Alright, it turned out well.”

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