SALEM, VA (WDBJ7) -- Before you hear the first crack of the bat, you'll hear sounds of spray-paint, a lawnmower, and the watering of the infield.
Joey Elmore, head groundskeeper of the Salem Red Sox, is all too familiar with these sounds.
If you've been to a Red Sox game this season, you've already seen Elmore's work. His office? The field and he has no problem with that.
"Coming out to watch baseball day in and day out, just being outside on the field, getting a great tan while I'm working, It's definitely not a job," said Elmore. "It's more of a dream come true."
Before every home game, Elmore and his grounds-crew put in hours of work prepping the field and the stadium.
Elmore is from Plainfield, Illinois. He's 25 and took over as head groundskeeper this year after Budgie Clark left for another job. Elmore lists Clark as one of his idols and gives him major credit.
"I can not say enough good things about him. He taught me everything I know."
Though Elmore has fun in his unconventional work environment, it comes with its challenges just like with any job.
An abnormally wet winter like we had last season and the occasional afternoon thunderstorm can make things more difficult for a groundskeeper.
"Weather, weather is a huge factor. I'm constantly looking at my weather apps," Elmore said. "I've got three or four different ones just to kind of get an average and get my understanding of what I can expect moving forward."
And you bet I asked him if the WDBJ7 Weather app was one of them.
Between meticulously mowing the field, maintaining the top dressing of the infield and pitchers mound, and properly watering, Elmore's work doesn't go unnoticed by players and fans.
The last hour before game-time is crucial to getting the field ready including watering the infield pretty much up to first pitch.
Ultimately, Elmore says none of this would be possible without his crew and the support of the front office.
In Salem, Ian Cassette, WDBJ7.