Roanoke men help transform Sydney cricket stadium for MLB season - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke men help transform Sydney cricket stadium for MLB season opener

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ROANOKE, VA - Major League Baseball will have an early season opener this weekend in the land down under and two Roanoke men are in Sydney, Australia after helping to make it happen.

This time lapse video shows you what they did.

Sydney Cricket Ground was transformed into a baseball stadium. Murray Cook, who graduated from Salem High School, has been a MLB field and ballpark consultant for years, he says. He and Chad Kropff, also a Salem High grad, owner of Bulldog Field Equipment and manager of turf and outdoor facilities for recreation sports at Virginia Tech and their teams had just 16 days to make the actual transformation.

"We had to construct the infield, mounds, bullpens, fencing, padding, batting tunnels, dugouts, backstop warning track, etc.," Cook said. They used more than 3000 tons of material and actually had to ship some products from the states, he explained.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers have had a few days to adjust to the time change before their season opening two-game series that starts Saturday. The players have been in awe of the stadium. "Oh, It's amazing. you know we, the first thing we do, we came in here everyone was just in awe. It's a great spot , just amazing stadium you guys got, so we're looking forward to it. We honored to play here," said Diamondbacks Center Fielder A.J. Pollock.

Cook says the teams had their first exhibition game Thursday and it was successful. He said the clubs loved the venue and the people and crews helping us have been "ausiesome."

The weekend series marks the first time in baseball history regular-season games have been played in Australia.

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