Premier Design Consultancy For Athletic Field Solutions
4Most Sport Group aims to reinvent the process by which athletic fields –- of all sizes and playing abilities –- are designed, built, and maintained. At its very core, the mission is to address the four most basic client expectations of any business: accuracy, availability, partnership, and advice. This is achieved by...
With a stable full of former college/pro/national team ballplayers, coaches, and MLB head groundskeepers, we can truly call upon the "foremost" experts on how a field should look and, more importantly, perform.
They design for their own, meaning those who will touch the new or renovated field always have the most important needs to meet. Sorry, Grandma.
Bachelor of Science (BS) - Kent State University, 2008
Master of Architecture (MArch) - Kent State University, 2010
Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Kent State University, 2010
Timing certainly is everything. I set out to be a licensed architect at one of the worst possible times for that industry. For architecture firms, the "Great Recession" was an avalanche of lay-offs that few could predict or prevent. People simply stopped building. Thankfully, when the downsizing finally hit my workplace (Braun & Steidl Architects of Akron, Ohio), I had a soft landing on a new career path -- coaching.
Playing baseball at Kent provided me an opportunity to apply for college positions across the country. In July of 2010, I found such a job in St. Louis, Missouri. For six seasons, I was the pitching coach at D-III Washington University in St. Louis. The experience opened my eyes to a sad state of current affairs -- in terms of field quality. It was a really competitive level of baseball (at ultra-wealthy institutions), but the infrastructure wasn't close to meeting the demand. Improvements that school presidents, trustees, and athletic directors lobbied for -- as "must haves" -- were predominantly tangential to the necessities of playing more games, on a more consistent basis.
Fields were being assembled and renovated by firms whose bailiwick was not in athletics. They'd win a bid for a new high school and flawlessly execute the layout of 50 classrooms, a new science lab, and even a Broadway-caliber black box theater. The varsity baseball and softball fields, however, would get orientated wrong, spec'd with underperforming native materials, and ultimately have no inputs from the true end users. Even the "good ones" I experienced were woefully generic. Baseball and softball are the coolest sports on the world, from an architectural aspect. Only golf courses beat them in the freedom/flexibility/customization their geometries provide.
The problem is that firms are not regularly drawing them up. A recent survey showed that less than 5% of revenue generated in architecture firms nationwide were from outdoor athletic facilities. Places commissioned to provide these rare projects typically crack the spine on the 1977 Architectural Graphic Standards. Fields look left over; the side car to the brand new high school that wins a local AIA medal.
I know this firsthand, because this exact scenario happened to the very firm I worked with while in grad school. We fell right into the trap: winners of the rights to do a campus with a scope so broad -- lumped together into a single bond issue by the crafty politicians -- that it exposed us as masters of the education sector and over our heads in athletics. My principals refused to listen to an intern, even though I did play the game three rungs on the ladder higher than them.
When I had a chance to do it my way, the niche that was every firm's once-in-a-career was going to be my sole focus. And I was going to go back to my roots; no chasing the few jobs that exist at the top of the baseball pyramid. I'd rather work with the underserved middle tier (small colleges, high-end high schools, and multi-field complexes) than build a full-blown stadium. Those pro gigs have become more about restroom quantities and placement than the essence of the game. That's not for me.
UNTIL THE QUANTITY OF FANS EXCEEDS 2,000, SPECTATORS ARE NOT THE GROUP OF PEOPLE YOU SHOULD CATER TO.
I had my dramatic "never again" epiphany in 2008; vowing to do it all differently if I someday opened up my own shop. That day finally arrived in April of 2018.
Operations were born in St. Louis and now reside outside of Pittsburgh, though projects have taken us to 11 different states in a very short period of time. We partner with the best in the business: DuraEdge Engineered Soils, Ewing Irrigation, Beacon Athletics, et alia. -- making the design process seamless from the start. Consider it preparation for a large meal, where all the finest ingredients have been curated for you.
Our forte is putting designs into the digital world; to get that sexy rendering into the hands of decision makers. Shiny Object Theory is real and statistics bear it out that fundraising increases when people have the ability to rally around something visual and not just in words. Our team would love to provide this level of expertise to your next big athletic project.
Pittsburgh Pirates (2000-2003)
San Diego Padres (2003-2015)
Baltimore Orioles (1985-2000)
Pittsburgh Pirates (2016-Present)