MLB…My Peculiar Home Field
I was reading a book the other day which addressed the oddities found in nature and the like. It was somewhat entertaining, a little weird, and it gave me an idea. Major League ballparks have, probably more than in any other sport, their own unique personalities. Think about it. Football, hockey, and basketball all have their dimensions rigidly mandated. A regulation football field is 100 yards long (plus 10 yards for each end zone) by 53.33 yards wide, or 300’x160’. The NBA mandates that their baskets are 10’ high, and the dimensions of the court are 94’ x 50’. The NHL requires that the goal nets are 6’ x 4’, while the rink itself is 200’ x 85’. Even in baseball, there are certain measurements that are set in granite, such as there is exactly 90’ between the bases. The pitcher’s mound is exactly 10.5” inches above the level of home plate (MLB Rule 1.04), and the pitching rubber is exactly 60’6’ from home plate. But that is where the similarities end. The dimensions that I just gave for football, basketball, and hockey encompass the entire playing field, and they are not negotiable. Baseball however, is a very different story. Outside of the dimensions that I just used, plus a few others, everything is subject to the individual personality of a particular ballpark. The left field foul pole in Dodger Stadium is not the same distance from home plate as the same left field foul pole at PNC Ballpark in Pittsburgh. Is there another fence as high as the left field wall, the ‘Green Monster’ in Fenway Park in the entire Major Leagues? Is there a lower wall than the right-center wall in the same Fenway Park? Every ballpark has its’ own unique dimensions, its own peculiarities, and that got me thinking…
What if we could compile a list of the individual quirks of every single Major League park? This could be a lot of fun, and would give you, the readers, an opportunity to contribute to my blog. I figured that I would start with a few obvious ones. First, there is the aforementioned Green Monster of Fenway Park in Boston. How about the ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field in Chicago? Then there is Tal’s Hill in Minute Maid Park in Houston. Of course, we have to include the catwalk in Tropicana Field in Tampa, right? I could go on and on, but I won’t. I will leave the rest of this article to my readers. I am thinking that when I have compiled enough data, maybe I will publish them as a whole. I think that it would be a cool exercise in baseball trivia, don’t you? I will anxiously await everybody’s input. I am not sure how long I will leave this open for comment, but I will give it a reasonable length of time, perhaps until the start of Spring Training 2015.
The individuality of Major League ballparks is something to be acknowledged and celebrated. Let’s do that! Thank you, my fellow baseball fans!
MLB…My Peculiar Home Field