WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. - Mike Reno is a busy man these days.
It's his job to make sure the field where the Chiefs play baseball is suitable for the Chiefs to play baseball. Rain or shine.
"Last year was better. We had all the right conditions last year," said Reno while recalling a very wet spring. "It was hot in the middle of the summer but the springtime was way better."
The Chiefs head groundskeeper tends to watch baseball fields more than baseball games. Iin fact, he can check out a game on TV and determine whether and ballpark's infield has had enough water or too much.
"You can tell if the tarp's been on," explained Reno. "Sometimes you'll see a yellowing behind second (base) where the tarp would be."
Lately what's been keeping him busy on the field is what he paints on the field. The new Dozer Park artwork is the third logo he's had been home plate in the past three months.
"There's some aesthetics that go into it. But I'm not really an artist," said Reno, who painted Chiefs and Illinois High School Association logos on the field earlier this season. "The simpler the better. Little, tiny shading is bad for this. The simpler, the better. Bigger rather than small fonts."
Reno has to repaint the logos every homestand to keep them looking sharp. But he says it's just part of his goal to make the Dozer Park experience a winner, even if the Chiefs don't win the game.
"It's just like any job. If you do it well, then you feel great about it. That's everybody's goal here -- have a lot of people come here and enjoy baseball in central Illinois."