Baseball Dirt Maintenance Blunders and How to Avoid Them
16, 2007 -- Issue 17
Fields for Better Play
I'll admit it.
I wouldn't have been able to create this list unless I had
first-hand experience with dirt maintenance blunders and goofs myself.
I try to avoid
these now. So should you. Ready for the list of blunders?
across the basepath causes a low spot to develop in the middle of
or squeagying water out of the basepath going across onto the grass
will cause lip build up fast.
nothing but crushed red brick to the whole field including the basepaths
results in poor footing and bad hops.
the basepath. What do you expect it will end up looking like?
to edge the grass on the basepath. You'll end up with bad hops.
a sod cutter too deep when edging and you'll end up with a dip and
lip that needs to be filled in with baseball dirt.
You want to fix
lip buildup, not make it worse.
homeplate care. Big mistake. It seems to be common when a field
is shared by many teams and leagues. Poor dirt maintenance overall
providing access to the tools and hose to take care of the dirt
fill in the foot holes with dry dirt. That doesn't help. Unless...
your sprinklers totally soak the dirt area at night for at least
20 minutes and then you have hot, sunny weather the next day to
bake and harden the dirt. Otherwise, just filling the holes with
dry dirt is worthless. Nobody wants to use that. It disintegrates
after a couple batters and does not provide good footing.
entering and exiting the field at the same place with the drag.
It's not unusual for a field to have a lump or high place at 3B
or 1B where the drag always stops leaving a build up of dirt.
big mistake - not dragging before or after games and practices.
Just letting your infield dirt go to pot.
you pull a drag behind a tractor, don't drive too fast. It doesn't
smooth it out and causes build up on the turns.
of course dragging past the dirt onto the grass is a very bad idea
and will cause a lip buildup.
mound care. Another big mistake. It seems to be common when a field
is shared by many teams and leagues.
providing access to the tools and hose to take care of the mound.
No tools = no dirt maintenance.
fill in the pitcher's landing holes with dry dirt. That doesn't
help. No pitcher wants to have that. It provides no good footing
having a table top to your mound. A mound is not supposed to look
like a bump or a hill on the field. It needs a large flat area at
the top and then gradual sloping to the grass. Otherwise the thing
is actually dangerous for a pitcher. For example, a high school
size mound should have a top that is 3 feet by 5 feet and level.
height is wrong. Next to the wrong distance from homeplate to second
base, this is the most common mistake. Many mounds are not the right
your warning track and letting it become overgrown with weeds and
grass. Then it no longer serves its purpose - a warning track.
analyzing your current dirt mix and just ordering another truck
load of crushed brick is a bad idea. You might just be making an
existing problem worse.
infields are made totally of DG, fines, or crushed brick. Walk on
one of these after a game on a warm day. It will be like walking
on flour dust and you'll be swimming in it. Don't put this on the
field. The correct dirt mix is made of clay, silt, and sand.