Groundskeeper follows Altuve's path to Minute Maid Park

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- This time of year Minute Maid Park is a very busy place!

"There's a lot of sleepless nights," says Izzy Hinojosa, director of field operations.

When Hinojosa took over last year, he knew how much work it would be to keep the three acres of grass in perfect condition without the help of natural sunlight or rain.

He and his crews use artificial sun lights and an irrigation system with more than 10,000 feet of pipe.

"I'm a fan of natural surface, especially for these athletes," Hinojosa said. "Player safety goes a lot into it and I think if it's just concrete under this, it's not as safe as natural sand."

Hinojosa started his career with the Astros-then rookie league team the Greenville Astros.

From there, he moved on to the Astros' AA team in Corpus Christi until he got called to the major leagues.

It's the exact same career path as his favorite player, Jose Altuve.

"We just say a simple hello," Hinojosa said. "I don't know how many of the other major league groundskeepers can say that they are working for their favorite sports teams."

And this Altuve fan is already planning ahead to the World Series.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the two guys who paint our logo paint a bigger logo. Hopefully that's being done Sunday night."

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.