BASEBALL PLAYERS: are you violating these three sacred cows of
FIELD MAINTENANCE: proof that a better field really does result
in better play
LAYOUTS AND DIAGRAMS: what's all the fuss?
IN THIS ISSUE:
what people most often search for on this site
Aerating... why the pros sometimes use solid tine vs core aerators
Preparing for next year - time to start planning...
The Three Sacred Cows of the Ball Field
sure you've seen a really, really nice ball field. There
are three things you never ever want to do on that field unless
you absolutely have to. The three sacred cows...
infield turf. Unless game or practice requires
it, never walk or run on the infield grass. Go around.
Ever hear a coach yell at players, "Stay off the infield
grass!" One time I saw a guy actually drive a bobcat
across the infield instead of going around. Not only did
he leave two ruts, but everyone within a mile heard the coach
yell at him for going on the infield grass!
pitcher's mound. When properly cared for, this
is a thing of beauty. Smooth... firm... in the middle
of nice infield grass... inviting. Well you better not just
walk out there and leave ruts and holes. If you aren't the
starting pitcher, then stay off. If you don't know what
it takes to rebuild it after a game, then find out how to do it
right or let someone else who knows what they are doing fix it.
dirt between homeplate and the infield turf. This
is just a little area right in front of homeplate. But it
needs to be smooth for proper bounces and bunts. Never walk
or run through here leaving shoe marks. Go around behind
Most of the time we treat the field with great care. But if
you want to see a major field upgrade where we tore the field to
shreds, check out this baseball
field maintenance project.]
Fields for Better Play - Just a Slogan or Really True?
I like to think
that a great field always results in better play for anyone.
Well two years I had a chance to really see the difference it makes.
A real before and after.
A college team played on a certain field. The first half of
the season they were 1-18. Then they played on their completely
renovated field. They went 13-3. Same players.
Same field. Just given a major face lift.
Reasons for better play: better footing, true and consistent bounces,
no infield lip, pitcher mound to spec, and infield turf that was
full and even.
[Note: If you are
caring for baseball or softball fields, then this archive
of baseball field maintenance articles has all kinds of tips
and ideas for you.]
and Diagrams - What's All the Fuss?
days there are more and more youth entering into little league
and PONY ball. I'm talking about 5-8 year olds. This
age group has been neglected for a while as parents explored talking
them to soccer and other activities.
are back! But these little fields have been neglected.
Where's first base really supposed to be? How far to second
base? So, to find out, more and more parents and coaches
are searching for baseball field layouts and diagrams. For
T-Ball and PONY.
And for those
of us who are interested in proper field maintenance, we need
to know the exact dimensions when we layout a field or buy materials.
Without the right diagram you really don't know how much you need.
you are just wondering or getting ready for a major baseball field
maintenance project, find
your baseball field layouts and diagrams here.
You are Searching For
The web site gets hundreds of visitors a day right now. Here's
where you most often go:
Are you finding
what you're looking for? If not,
let me know.
Good to Know:
the Pros Use Different Aerating Methods.
Core Aerating: The Oakland A's AAA team, the Rivercats,
are out of town for the week. So the groundskeepers are aerating
the grass with a core aerator today. Then they mow over the
cores to chop them up and rake out any chunks left near the edges
of the grass. Core aerating is done only when the team is on the
road to allow time for chopping up the cores, then applying top
dressing, and letting it settle in.
Solid Tine Aerating: Professional groundskeepers
also use solid tine aerators. These can be used anytime and have
less constraints than the core aerator - no cores to chop or let
This was just
a small part of my exciting conversation with the Sports Turf Manager
of the Year. Read
the complete interview and get more pro field management tips and
for Next Year - It's Time!
Maybe it still feels like the dog days of summer, but around here
we are getting ready for 'winterball.' Play resumes for
age 6-18 in September and goes till mid November weather permitting.
A little time now will put you way ahead in the spring.
Depending on your climate and fall field use, there are many things
you can do now that really do make it easier in the spring.
For one, grass seed and turf maintenance is easier in the late
fall than in the cold, wet spring.
What else can you be doing? Here's how to get on top of this.
Use a ballpark audit checklist.
When you are done, you'll know exactly what your ballfield condition
is and exactly what you need to do to fix problem areas or prevent
something from becoming a problem.
found that a checklist is the way to go. It also shows me
where the priority areas area: safety. I'm sure you could
make up your own checklist, or just go out and walk your entire
field and take notes.