small holes in the turf to reduce compaction and to allow air and water
to reach the roots. The best aeration method is to use a machine
that leaves behind cores.
BASE GROUND STAKE: This is usually a metal peg anchored in
It is just below field level and the base fits on top of it.
BASEBALL MIX: This is also sometimes called baseball dirt or
It generally refers to the dirt mixture on the infield skin area.
Most baseball mixes include some combination of clay, sand, or crushed
brick. Different baseball mixes are used for the warning track,
the mound, and the infield skin.
BULLPEN: This is the area used by a pitcher to warm up for
It should include a mound and home plate - all with the proper height
and distance to match the infield mound.
CALCINED CLAY: These are clay products designed specifically
for sports fields to improve drainage, reduce compaction, and absorb
excess water. They are made from clay that is heated to about
2,500 degrees and then ground up.
CLAY BRICKS: About the size of a regular brick, these are unfired
clay (also known as 'green' bricks) that are used to reinforce the batter
box or the mound.
CUTOUT: This refers to the arc drawn from the center of a base
toward the infield. The grass is usually 'cut out' at the corners
of the infield.
DECOMPOSED GRANITE: Also known as 'DG', this is a popular material
for the infield skin on park and rec fields because it is cheap and
easy to maintain (read 'easy for the park guy to quickly drag it level
after a game, but not necessarily good footing for players or good material
for moisture management'). It is made from ground up granite and
comes in a variety of colors, but gold or gray are most common.
FIELD RAKE: Also known as a landscape rake, this is a 3 foot
wide rake with 3inch teeth on one side and a flat edge on the other
side. This is one of the best all around baseball field maintenance
tools there is.
FINES: Usually refers to material put on the infield skin.
Most of the time this is made of ground up rock and is either gray or
gold. Gray is usually much cheaper (but can you imagine a 'gray'
infield that looks like you are playing on cement?) These are also known
as track fines or path fines depending on how small the granite is ground
FLAGGING SPRINKLERS: This is the practice of using a small
flag to mark the location of a sprinkler. Pros are very particular
about marking sprinklers such that they know exactly where the sprinkler
is. For example, always flag on the side of the sprinkler closest
to the dirt.
FRENCH DRAIN: Used to help with field drainage after rains,
this is an underground trench filled with gravel and sand and covered
over with dirt and turf. Pro fields can have hundreds
of these underground.
HERBICIDES: Chemicals used to kill weeds in the turf.
Application is usually dry granules or wet spray. It usually includes
fertilizer for the grass.
HOMEPLATE: Along with being the base that scores a run, this
is also the starting place for laying out a baseball or softball field.
All other measurements and placements are based on homeplate location.
INFIELD SKIN: A common term for the dirt area between the infield
turf and the outfield turf. It includes the basepaths and the
LAVA ROCK: Red crushed lava rock or crushed red brick is a
common ingredient in a baseball mix. When used as warning track
material it is often 1/8 inch in size.
LIP BUILD UP: Every time you practice or play a game, dirt
buildups around the basepaths, around the bases, or at the outfield
grass line. It builds up even faster if you drag incorrectly by
going over the grass line. The problem with lip build up is bad
bounces and stumbling over the bump.
NAIL DRAG: A tool used to maintain a smooth and consistent
infield surface. Nails loosen the top 1 - 1.5 inches of the baseball
or softball playing surface.
OVERSEED: As part of good turf maintenance this is seeding
at the rate of 5 pounds per 1000 square feet to improve the overall
health and strength of the turf.
Chemicals used to kill bugs in the turf. Application is usually
dry granules or wet spray. It often is combined with fertilizer
for the grass.
PITCHING TABLE: 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. For example, a high school size mound
should have a top that is 3 feet by 5 feet and level.
RECLAIMED SAND: Sand caught as it is washed out of cement trucks.
It is full of assorted small pebbles. Ideal for filling outfield
ruts or holes under the fence. Bad idea for the infield though.
REEL MOWER: Reel mowers are more specialized than rotary mowers
and are used on higher maintenance facilitates like golf courses and
athletic fields. Reel mowers are used to provide better quality cutting
and allows very low cutting heights.
RENOVATE: Think about the show 'This Old House' and the way
they reconstruct a home. Sometimes 'this old field' needs the same thing
- more drastic reconstruction than the usual maintenance.
ROLLING: Using a lawn roller to settle new sod or when putting
in new seed. A lawn roller or steam roller can also be used over the
infield turf to level the lumps.
ROTARY MOWER: The most common type of mower is a rotary mower.
are used primarily on residential lawns.
SAND CHANNEL: Used to help with drainage in the turf.
A machine slices 4-6 inches into the turf and back fills with sand.
SANDING: This is a practice of adding sand in order to level
the turf subsurface. It is more
commonly done on the baseball infield turf to level out low spots.
SOIL CONDITIONER: Material mixed into the top 3-4 inches of
the infield skin to prevent compaction and improve moisture absorption.
SPORTS TURF: Refers to grass seed mixture that is designed
to be cut short and hold up under competitive play on a baseball field.
SPOT SEED: The
process of adding seed to small areas where there is thin growth caused
by inconsistent watering patterns or hard play.
STARTER FERTILIZER: Used when overseeding or spot seeding;
the best ratio is 6-20-20.
THATCH: Dead grass that accumulates after mowing. It is often
removed in the fall by using walk-behind, self-propelled machines that
spin a series of metal cutters at varying depths.
TOP DRESSING: This is generally some combination of topsoil,
sand, and compost that is put on the turf after aerating and overseeding.
TURF SUBSURFACE: This is the topsoil right under the turf.
to Add a Word to the Baseball Field Glossary? - Click here to send us