Chicago White Sox head groundskeeper in a race against time

White Sox head groundskeeper in a race against time

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

As fans around Chicago are gearing up for Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field, there's one man who has his job cut out for him and he's not holding a bat.

The head groundskeeper at U.S Cellular Field is dealing with conditions that would make anyone cringe with terror -- and in the final, fleeting moments before Opening Day, he has his work cut out for him. But that's why they call him "The Sodfather."

A legacy within the White Sox organization since 1967, he's arguably had a bigger influence on the field than the guys swinging the bats.

In a sport that sees men rise and fall, only he has truly remained on that field.

His name is Roger Bossard and for White Sox fans, he is the field. And now he has a problem.

The man responsible for the integrity of U.S. Cellular Field's lush, green kingdom, Bossard joined the White Sox in 1967 as an assistant to his father, eventually taking over the job of head groundskeeper in 1983. But in more than four decades on the field, he's never had to deal with the icy enemy that lingers over these final, fleeting moments before Opening Day.

Permafrost - a thick layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year, occurring chiefly in polar region's – a problem when you're talking about a baseball field that players are meant to dive and slide around. And while it's a problem for the head groundskeeper now, it could be devastation for the players on Opening Day.

And while he thinks the two weeks until opening day should be plenty to keep that from happening, the severity of the situation doesn't escape him – nor does the memories of the other field nightmare of his career: the disco demolition of 1979.

So for now, The Sodfather waits.

A slave to the sun, he continues to fight against the elements against which he has no control.

But win or lose, he will remain to see another game. And that's an offer you just can't refuse.

The home opener for the Sox is on March 31 against the Minnesota Twins, but if anyone can make that field ready, it's The Sodfather.

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