Leveling dirt on your baseball field

FAQ - How do I use clay bricks to reinforce my softball or baseball mound?
 

 

Tired of pitching into a hole? 
Or out of a hole?

Fix it with unfired clay bricks!

 

Here is a worn out mound! 

Is yours this bad?  Probably not, but does your baseball mound end up with holes where the pitcher lands? 

Do you know that landing holes can injure your pitcher or cause him to alter his delivery?  Maybe the bad mound is the reason he has trouble throwing strikes.

Do you want your mound to look good and be solid for your pitchers?

 

 

Fix your mound
with this 30 minute project.

Reinforcing your mound with unfired clay bricks.  Source: brick factory or landscape product wholesaler

In this example, I completed the job with just a few baseball field tools I used the following:

  • wheelbarrow to haul the bricks
  • damp towel on the bricks to keep them soft
  • square shovel for cutting bricks and moving loosened dirt
  • hula how to loose dirt
  • field rake to finish the job
  • tamp to flatten and mash the seams together
  • 30 unfired clay bricks

First, I marked out the landing area and went about 10 inches wider and longer than the longest stride of the pitchers.  This is a high school field here.  But you could do the same with a little league field.

I used the hula how and the shovel to dig out a rectangle about 3 inches below the surface.  This area should be level and firm.  Tamp if needed.

 

 

Then lay the bricks using an alternating pattern as you see in the picture.  I filled in the shorter spots with bricks that I cut in half with a shovel.  It's easy to cut them.  Just place the flat edge and step on the shovel.  It cuts right through.


Next I tamped the bricks down and together.  I used a damp, thin towel over the bricks.  This kept the tamp from sticking and picking up clumps.  Most bricks wouldn't do that, but I did this just in case.

So, here's what it looked like after tamping the entire block back and forth about four times.  The bricks have melted together and are firmly in the ground.  I pushed some of the excavated baseball dirt back along the edges and tamped it down.

Then I used the rake to spread the rest of the excavated baseball dirt over the top of the bricks.  It was less than a half inch deep.

 

I then tamped this down using the same thin towel.  Again this prevents any lumps from sticking to the tamp and helps keep the tamped surface flat.

At this point, I was about 20 minutes into the job and the towel was starting to dry out a bit.  I used the field rake to smooth and slightly rough up the surface.



Here you see a pitcher using the mound right after I finished the job.  Note: the pitcher's landing foot is not in a hole or making a hole.  The footing is firm, with just a little give since the bricks are not hard as a rock, but still firm.

And of course, the best way to keep lock in this mound improvement is to water lightly and put a tarp over it when not in use.

You can do this.  Be a hero for our pitchers!

A superior pitching surface prevents injuries and helps keep pitchers from messing up their delivery.

 

Tips and Hints

  1. Keep the unfired clay bricks from drying out.  Haul them either with a damp towel on them or in a plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.  I use a giant plastic bag and sprinkle some water on the bricks.  Then I seal them up till I use them.  

  2. If the edges of the bricks start to turn a light color, then they are drying out and may not be usable anymore.

See the baseball field project gallery for more examples including a softball field mound upgrade.

adding clay in front of the softball pitcher rubber
Adding clay in front of the softball pitcher's rubber

Click here for more tips and hints about how to maintain your baseball field mound after you add clay bricks

Example:
adding
30 unfired clay bricks to a high school baseball field mound

run down baseball mound
typical run down mound

great looking baseball mound
this is what you want

unfired clay brick for the mound
Unfired clay brick - note
how it is moldable


tools to rebuild the mound
just a few tools to complete
this 30 minute job
using a hula hoe to dig out the mound landing area
mound landing area dug out
excavate and lay
unfired clay bricks

laying unfired clay bricks in the mound landing area

tamping unfired clay bricks for the mound
tamp bricks firm
unfired clay bricks after tamping them
Cover with baseball dirt
and tamp firm again
tamping the mound

mound with firm footing for a pitcher
Result!  Good footing!

use a tarp as part your mound care
Use a tarp
to keep the unfired
bricks from drying out


do no t let unfired clay bricks dry out
Carry damp in plastic
to keep the bricks moldable

unfired clay bricks turn light when they harden
Uh oh.  The light edges indicate the brick is drying out - may not be moldable anymore