SEATTLE -- If the last 40 years are any indication, this yard could become the best looking front lawn in America.
“It’s just like anything else in life - if you’ve got a good lawn, it’s because you spend time on it,” Bob Christofferson said.
It’s time Christofferson now has after four decades with the Mariners organization, where the field always came first.
“In Seattle and Tacoma, it’s a year-round job. You just gotta stay on top of it,” Christofferson said.
And that’s what he did, often sleeping at his stadium office after night games if there was a game the next afternoon.
“You know, I never once thought I was going to work. It was just – this is what you do,” he said.
What he did was provide a memorable aesthetic for the fans – and comfort for the athletes themselves.
“The thing I always said with the players is, ‘I don’t want you to think about what’s underneath your feet. That’s my job. It’s my job to find out what you like. It’s my job to make sure – not just mine, my crew. And we all took pride and care in knowing what the guys needed – we wanted for it to be a home field advantage,” Christofferson said.
You always knew there was a chance Bob and his crew might stop their work to entertain the crowd with a choreographed dance.
“We got a lot of notoriety for it,” Christofferson said. “I got kidded a lot for it, but it was good. Brett Boone – I mean, he’d make faces at us when we were out there.”
Now, his lawn in Puyallup is reaping the benefits of a forced retirement that came a couple of years too soon. But it’s a departure that doesn’t mean that the man known as “The Sodfather” is hanging his rake up for good.
“I’ve given people advice – four or five people in the last three days – that are just working on their lawn and trying to improve it, and I just give them a little bit of advice. I hope to get to work on some Little League fields, and I’ve talked to some vendor friends that I have and they might help me out with materials or advice – we’ll see.”
What we do know is that wherever it may be, it will likely be a sight to see.
“Most people go to work their entire lifetime and nobody says, ‘Hey nice job or thank you,’ “ Christofferson said. “That happened to me every day.”