One of the biggest pleasures of watching or playing baseball is the field itself. Entire volumes of prose have been written about pristine, well-maintained fields and the magic they provide when the games start, and to some fans and players, a beautiful, well-groomed field is as essential as the basic equipment needed to play the game.
But those fields don’t look elegant and pristine due to wishful thinking. Baseball field maintenance is both a skill and an art, and knowing what equipment to use and how to use it is an essential skill.
That’s especially true of baseball field equipment Midwest. This league experiences all kinds of weather, so let’s explore what groundskeepers need to know all the ins and outs of field gear and seasonal pitching equipment, regardless of the Midwest baseball league where they’re plying their trade. They also need to have a comprehensive knowledge of baseball field maintenance and the equipment necessary to do it right.
What’s Involved in Baseball Field Maintenance
Let’s start with an overview. For any nature grass field in a Midwest baseball league, groundskeepers take advantage of an established set of best practices to keep athletic fields playable and looking great. Here’s what’s typically involved:
- Regular mowing
- Seasonal fertilizing
- Irrigation designed to support playability
- Aeration to provide optimal grass growing conditions
- Over-seeding when necessary to keep fields looking pristine
The process sounds simple enough, but there are plenty of details involved. Suffice to know that this is a year-round process, and skipping steps will result in a substandard field that won’t play well.
Field Equipment and Procedures Necessary for Baseball Field Maintenance
All of the above procedures can be applied to any athletic field, so let’s get baseball-specific. Here are some procedures that can be applied specifically to baseball fields:
There are different watering procedures for the infield, outfield and base paths.
Balls have to play true when they hit the infield dirt, and it has to be kept smooth for effective base running.
Repairing the Mound and Plate Area
There are different procedures for both, and groundskeepers have to be on top of those differences.
Leveling and Edging
This applies to multiple areas of the infield and outfield, and it’s essential to make sure a field plays true.
Basic Sports Field Grooming
One of the pivotal events at any baseball game occurs during the seventh inning stretch, when the field is dragged with a specially designed mat designed to make the dirt look smooth.
It’s a show version of a process called grooming, which is an essential part of field maintenance. Grooming starts well before the game when all the bases are removed, and the holes that are created are filled, usually with some kind of fitted rubber product.
After that, the field gets what’s called a nail drag. This is designed to break up compacted or hard dirt so the field will play true when batted balls make the transition from grass to dirt.
When that’s finished, the drag mat is dragged out again to finish the dirt, and in some instances this can even be done with a broom.
Essential Field Equipment for Athletic Fields and Baseball Fields
The list of field equipment to maintain athletic and baseball fields is long and detailed, but it is possible to boil it down to some essentials. Here’s a rundown of what every good groundskeeper will have:
- Soil testing equipment. This might seem like overkill to lay people, but professional groundskeepers know that they’re just guessing if they try and maintain a field precisely without an accurate soil test.
- Rakes and dragging mats. Many of the rakes used by groundskeepers for field maintenance are specially made, and so are the dragging mats.
- Mowers. Some of the mowers used for field maintenance are basic, but others are designed to provide a special cut to enhance the appearance.
- Tools for leveling and grading. Every part of a baseball field needs to play true, and that means the grass, the infield dirt, the dirt along the foul lines and the dirt used as a warning track on many fields.
Basic Equipment for Field Maintenance
- Infield rakes and leaf rakes. Leaf rakes are used for the grassy parts of the field and the area around it, while infield rakes are designed to specifically handle dirt.
- Push brooms. These are designed especially for infield dirt used around the plate, the mound and on the base paths.
- Rigid steel mats. Designed to smooth out the dirt both before and during games.
- Nail drag equipment. Used to cut down small uneven patches in the infield, which can then be smoothed out with a screen drag.
- Scoop shovels. Used to fill in holes on the mound and in the batter’s box, and they can also be used to dig up a pitching rubber when necessary.
- Tamp. Used to press dirt back into playable conditions so ruts and gouges can’t accumulate.
- Digging tools for bases (known in the vernacular as dig-out tools)
- Guidelines and accountability tools
The Demands Placed on Sports Field Equipment and Athletic Fields in Midwest Athletic Leagues
Weather-wise, baseball fields in the Midwest take a pounding. Snow, sleet, ice and hail can take a toll during the winter, and summer heat can be formidable. Grounds keepers even have to cope with tornado threats, which means they need to get the best possible equipment that can handle it all.
Victory Mounds Can Supply You With the Softball and Baseball Field Equipment You Need
At Victory Mounds, we’ve been involved in all aspects of field maintenance and multiple levels in midwest baseball leagues. We can help you determine your needs and work within whatever your budget limitations are.
A lot of companies won’t have everything you need, and they won’t be able to help you with the maintenance procedures and how to maintain your fields.
We supply information and consulting as well as equipment, so when you contact us, we’ll answer your questions, ask a few of our own about your program and needs, then recommend the appropriate softball or baseball field products.
The process starts when you go to VictoryMounds.com to learn more about our products, then call us at 800 835 9460. If you’d prefer to email, you can contact us at email@example.com.