Maintain homeplate and batter'sbox

Maintaining Your Baseball Field
HomePlate & Batter Box

During a baseball game, the batter's box and catcher's box
take a beating. It is also critical to maintain these
properly to reduce the potential for injury.

What you're going to do

The home plate area used by the catcher and the batters takes a beating in games and practice.

I think a lot of coaches in little league and PONY league never batted or they wouldn't possibly expect their players to use such bad batter boxes.

It is critical to maintain the batting stance area properly to reduce the potential for injury. So, fix it. Maintain it.

How you do this
  1. Rake the loose material from the batter box and catcher box. This allows the hard ground to be exposed.

  2. Lightly moisten the exposed hard ground and the loose material to ensure the dirt will bind when packed back in the holes. Let it set and absorb for few minutes if you can.

  3. Rake the loose, but moistened, material back in the holes.

  4. Tamp this loose dirt into the ground. Use a tamp or the smooth back of a field rake.

  5. Rake down the newly repaired areas as well as the rest of the homeplate area.

  6. Water the entire area.

  7. Once the homeplate area is completely prepared for the game, you can cover it with a tarp to maintain a proper moisture level.

Tips & Hints
  1. In some cases, clay bricks are used to establish a firm
    homeplate area. These moist clay bricks are a very acceptable
    material because they have not been hardened by heat,
    like bricks used in construction.

  2. Bags of powdered mortar clay work also. Remove about 3 inches of dirt in the catcher box and the batter boxes. Moisten the ground. Dump some powdered clay in. Let it set a minute to absorb the water. Rake it around. Repeat moistening, adding powdered clay, raking it in, until the level is almost back to normal. Cover with the baseball dirt that was removed. Tamp it in.

  3. Turface, a calcined clay product, makes a great top dressing for the homeplate area. A high school size mound requires 4 bags for adequate coverage. The turface helps prevent slipping in damp weather and gives the area a nice, professional, finishing touch.

Mistakes to avoid

  1. Ignore homeplate care. The biggest mistake. It seems to be common when a field is shared by many teams and leagues.

  2. Not providing access to the tools and hose to take care of this area.

  3. Just 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.

both batter and catcher
need good footing

a well maintained
homeplate area

covered to maintain
proper moisture level

adding 4 inches of clay
to the homeplate area

topdressing helps
maintain moisture and
a professional finish

good footing is no

Baseball Dirt Maintenance
   Analysis  |  Correction  | Basepath  |  Lip Buildup  |  Homeplate  |  Infield Maintenance   Pitcher's Mound  |  Warning Track

Home  |  Free Newsletter  |  Contact Us  |  FAQs  |  Baseball Blog

Share this page: