'Sodfather' lays down grass at new Rosemont baseball stadium
Chicago Dogs will start play in Rosemont in May
Roger Bossard, the head White Sox groundskeeper who's become known as "The Sodfather," helped lay down the first pieces of sod Tuesday at the new independent league baseball stadium under construction in Rosemont.
Bossard and a crew of a dozen workers in construction hats and safety vests spent the morning rolling out new sod in the infield of Impact Field, the $62.9 million, 6,300-seat stadium being built at the intersection of Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street, west of the Tri-State Tollway.
Bossard then rode a machine roller back and forth over the pieces of sod, and the sprinklers were turned on to start the growing process. Sod will be installed on the rest of the field by Friday.
"It's a Major League surface," said Bossard, who's worked for the Sox for 50 years and is a consultant for 14 other Major League teams.
"They're going to be able to accept an inch of rain -- a microburst if you will, which is 64,000 gallons -- and it's literally going to be able to drain and they'll play 20 to 25 minutes later.
"All the drainage, irrigation, the plant, the grass that's being put down is the exact same stuff that we've got here in Chicago for both the Cubs and the White Sox."
The Chicago Dogs, part of the 12-team American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, a Durham, North Carolina-based league, will begin play at the Rosemont stadium next May.
• Daily Herald photographer Bob Chwedyk contributed to this report.