In professional baseball, creating the perfect striped look on the field is an art. But for some fields, it’s also a necessity.

That’s the case at Dozer Park in Peoria, Illinois — home to the Class A Minor League Peoria Chiefs as well as the Bradley University baseball team, the Bradley Braves. The eye-catching mow patterns on this field aren’t only for aesthetics. In fact, head groundskeeper Mike Reno actually started using them as a way to hide imperfections.


A few years ago, Reno had a few less-seasoned turf care workers on the field. When they made mistakes, he turned to Google to find inspiration for unique mow patterns that would cover those mistakes up. He also found it was a great way to hide less-than-ideal areas on the field, and he’s been using the practice ever since.

To plan out the patterns, Reno says he often counts out passes so they end the way he wants, for example, on the warning track. “If I mowed it all in one direction, my field would look terrible,” he says. “I try to make a lot of lines going away from home plate so it tricks your eye and you miss the imperfections.”


Reno has created a variety of patterns on the field, including a star for the All-Star game. His current go-to design is a plaid pattern: three rows in the same direction with a single pass in both directions on opposite sides of that. The entire design is created with a Toro Reelmaster® 5500 reel mower, which he says helps save time.


According to Reno, he can mow the field two directions in an hour and a half with the Reelmaster 5500 — a job that could take up to three hours with the triplex mower he used to use. “I can do a lot more with the 5500,” he says. “The pattern may be simpler because it cuts a wider swath, but it still looks pretty cool.”

For more about the Peoria Chiefs and Dozer Park, visit their official website at or keep tabs on Reno and his crew by following @pcgroundscrew on Twitter. You can also contact your local Toro distributor or visit for more information about Toro Reelmaster Series mowers.