George P. Toma

About This Inductee

Personal: Born February 2, 1929; married, wife Donna, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Agent ; children Chip (12-17-56) Lee County/Retired; Rick (11-12-64) COO The Money Source, Inc; Ryan (6-12-83) First Officer, Delta Airlines

Baseball Affiliations 1942 – 2022
Started work at Artillery Park for Wilkes Barre Barons, Class A Eastern League; 1946 named head groundskeeper Wilkes Barre Barons by Bill Veeck; 1948-50 worked with Emil Bossard in Driver, Virginia; Marietta, Florida and Daytona, Florida; 1954 Head groundskeeper Wilkes Barre Barons, Class A Eastern League; 1955 Head groundskeeper Buffalo, New York Class AAA International League Detroit Tigers; 1956 Head groundskeeper Charleston, West Virginia Detroit Class AAA American Association; 1957 Kansas City Athletics Major League Baseball; 1969 Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball; 1999 Nashua Pride Atlantic League Baseball; 2001 Newark Bears Baseball Atlantic League; consulted in Ft. Myers, Florida for Lee County Stadium; 2002-2021 Minnesota Twins Spring Training facility in Ft. Myers, Florida, worked ACC Championship Games in Jacksonville

Football Affiliations 1963-2017
Head Groundskeeper Kansas City Chiefs, 1966 chosen to prepare 1st Super Bowl field at Los Angeles Coliseum, have continued through Super Bowl 56 ; 37 Pro Bowl games, 26 in Hawaii; Natural and Artificial Turf Consultant for National Football League – various locations, dates; 1985 began working on American Bowl games in overseas locations including London, Tokyo, Berlin, Barcelona, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico

Olympics – World Cup Soccer 1984 – 1994 and 1996
Los Angeles Olympic venues for track, soccer and field hockey events; all nine venues of American fields for World Cup Soccer, running Soldier’s Field, Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan; Turf field at Olympic Stadium in Atlanta – laid 13,500 yards of sod in 24 hours with 12 hours of sod bed preparation

Field Rehabilitations/Installations
1982 San Francisco Candlestick Park; 1986 Chicago’s Soldier’s Field; Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, 1996; Gezer, Israel baseball field at Kibbutz for use in Maccabee Games 1997; Nashua Pride baseball field 1999; Ladd Stadium Senior Bowl Game 2000; college championship at New Orleans Superdome; football and soccer fields at University of Hawaii Manoa 2000; War Memorial Stadium in Maui, Hawaii 2001; new Field Turf surface at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii 2003; 2004 Bartram Trail High School and North Florida University in Jacksonville, Florida for practice fields for Super Bowl XXXIX, Jacksonville Rehab for Jaguars; 2005 spent time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana preparing field for Saints games held there due to Hurricane Katrina; 2006 & 2007 Minnesota Vikings practice field repairs; rehabbed Notre Dame football field 2007; rehabbed Sacramento, CA Mountain Lions field 2010

Films, Magazines, Publications
Major studio production “Black Sunday” starring Robert Shaw, 1973; Sports Illustrated article “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Man” 1982; 1997 NFL representative for United Way Drive in Kansas City; National Sprite Commercial; 1999 Fox Sports “Going Deep” sports magazine show; 2001 ESPN promotional spot for Sports Center television program; 2002 “Hometown Heroes” Kansas City program; LLC Publications biography titled “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Man” released in 2004

1992 – Named to John Madden’s All-Madden Team; 1995 International Hall of Fame of Science “Advanced Sports Science Award” for advanced seed germination process; 1996 Kansas City’s “Walk of Stars” for sports figures; 1997 honorary chairman for Leukemia Society fund drive; 2001 Dan Reeves Pioneer Award at Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; 2002, Greater Kansas City Sports Commission Award; 2004 PGMS Man of the Year Award; 2005 Val Pinchbeck Service Award for work at 36 Pro Bowls; 2007 American Baseball Coaches Association Honor award; 2012 honored by Major League Groundskeepers with the inaugural Gary VandenBerg Award; a George Toma Golden Rake Award is presented annually to a member of the Sports Turf Manager’s Association at their conference for dedication, hard work, and the AND THEN SOME attitude; 2012 Inducted as the 25th member of the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.