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How to Build a Baseball Diamond 0

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Scott Huntington

As America’s favorite pastime, baseball is an excellent way to stay in shape, make new friends and get outside on beautiful days. However, if you live far away from a park, you might want to build a diamond somewhere closer to home.

Whether you’re building a diamond for yourself, your kids or a professional or local team, here are three basic tips to help you create an epic baseball diamond.

 

1.     Hit a Home Run, Not Someone’s Car

A practical place to start in your diamond-building endeavor is to find an ideal spot for the field. Things you should take into consideration may be location, proximity to traffic and measurements of the field. This may vary depending on who will use the field — including whether it’s for professional or recreational use.

Depending on how you plan to use the field, the size will differ from one age group to the next. Also, remember that after you determine your field measurements, you may want to calculate room for visitors and spectators to park and sit.

When foul balls inevitably happen, be sure to have a net or the standard 60 feet of bushes to help block the ball from hitting fans, cars or other potential victims. You should also ensure the field will not be at a low elevation or a floodplain. Verify there is sufficient water drainage to avoid water damage, as well.

2.     Know Your Numbers

Before you break ground, it’s good to know what your numbers look like so you know what to expect. Take a close look at your budget, including a plan for maintaining the field after you build it. You can create a beautiful state-of-the-art field, but if you don’t take care of the turf, dirt or soil afterward, you’ll waste money down the road on repairs.

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Once you have a complete understanding of your budget, you will know what kind of materials and layouts you can afford. This will give you a better vision of your field and help in the decision-making process. For example, if you want to build a field for a college or high school, you may want to use different materials than what Wrigley Field has.

The pitcher’s mound and batter’s box will need higher amounts of clay to maintain quality throughout use — around 40 percent is a good number. The infield, overall, however, doesn’t need quite as much. You want to have the amount of sand under 75 percent to keep the infield from becoming dry. An ideal infield mix is 25 to 50 percent clay and silt with 50 to 75 percent sand.

To save money in the long-run, it’s crucial that you care for your field after you build it. You can easily maintain the integrity of your field by hiring a field manager or turf consultant.

Once you have a solid idea of what you want the field to look like, where you want it to be and what kind of professionals you may want to hire, you’re ready to start building.

3.     Start From the Ground Up

Players, coaches and empires alike will all appreciate a level playing field — both literally and figuratively. Make sure that when you break ground, you do it right.

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You may need machinery such as rollers, loaders and excavators to help move dirt and flatten the land. These can be expensive to purchase but renting them is a cost-efficient way to go.

After you have flattened the land, you can measure the field and mark your bases. A standard baseball diamond is a 90-foot square with sliding room around the bases, but there’s room to move for the outfield and fences.

If You Build It, They Will Come

By following these tips, you can build the baseball diamond of any player’s dreams. Enjoy your new home turf — play ball!

How to Buy the Perfect Baseball Cleats for You 1

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Adrian

baseball-cleatsBaseball season is on the way and this is often the time when players start shopping for new equipment. While some cleat models might look awesome, they don’t always offer the same level of performance and might actually hurt your game. Here are some of the things you should consider when buying a new pair of cleats.

Be Careful when Buying Online

While buying online can allow you to make significant savings, there’s one thing brick and mortar sporting goods store have going for them, and that’s the ability to try the cleats yourself. If you’re going to buy online, it would be wise to try the cleats in a regular store first to see how they fit. You can also check a few reviews online and look for recommendations. Sites like Theplanetofbaseball.Com often review baseball equipment and offer buying tips as well, so that would be a good place to start.

Make Sure to take Your League’s Rules into Consideration

Before you even start thinking about buying cleats, you have to make sure that they conform to your league’s rules as well. Various leagues will have different rules as to which cleats are allowed and which ones are prohibited. For instance, some leagues will have restrictions on metal cleats and will require that all their players use rubber cleats, so be on the lookout for that. Read the rest of this entry →

Bill Freehan: Michigan Man 1

Posted on May 12, 2018 by Dean Hybl

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Keep Your Kids Safe During Little League 1

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Kids all over the country are participating in spring little league baseball and softball leagues. It’s a pleasant way to get some exercise, enjoy the weather and emulate their favorite baseball players.

Although baseball is a relatively safe sport compared to football or even soccer, injuries can and do happen. A stray bat or ball can cause injury and pain, as can a dramatic slide into a base.

Let your kids enjoy little league with their friends. Just make sure you and your child take adequate safety precautions, so a preventable injury doesn’t ruin all the fun.

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Wear Proper Protective Gear

Baseball doesn’t require too much protective gear, but it’s important to use the few items you need. Specific requirements will vary through the leagues and age groups, but certain things, like batting helmets, are a must throughout any baseball career.

Read the rest of this entry →

What to Do if You Chip a Tooth Playing Baseball 0

Posted on April 10, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Spring is here, and it’s time to play ball! Baseball is a great sport that’s suitable for a wide range of ages. However, the nature of a sport that features a high-velocity ball can lead to injury, one of the most common being a tooth chipping. If your tooth chips during a baseball game, leave immediately and consult a dental professional, even if there is no pain or blood. Call your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible, since timeliness plays a role in whether the dentist can save your tooth.

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Baby or Adult Tooth?

It’s important to identify the chipped tooth. If a baby tooth is chipped, you probably don’t need to do anything, since the tooth will fall out on its own naturally. The chipped tooth may look funny, but poses no risk to dental health if it’s a baby tooth. The only exception is if there is an injury to the gums also, or the chipped tooth causes a sharp edge. Either scenario will be easy to see or detect. If the tooth is jagged, a dentist can remove the sharp edges and contour the tooth for safety and aesthetic appeal. Read the rest of this entry →

44 Years Ago: Number 44 Became Number 1 0

Posted on April 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Hank Aaron being celebrated after hitting career home run number 715 on April 8, 1974

Hank Aaron being celebrated after hitting career home run number 715 on April 8, 1974

It was 44 years ago today, April 8, 1974, that Hank Aaron, wearing number 44 for the Atlanta Braves, broke the seemingly unbreakable home run record of Babe Ruth with his 715th career home run.

In the decades since, the home run in baseball has lost some of its individual luster as juiced balls, juiced bats and juiced people (not to mention shrunken ballparks) have made the home run a much more common occurrence than in past generations.

However, that “cheapening” of the home run has in some ways elevated the realization of just how amazing it was for Aaron to amass more than 700 home runs despite playing much of his career during a time when baseball wasn’t geared to make it easier to hit home runs.

Few players have displayed the long-term consistency of greatness that Aaron compiled during his career. From 1955 through 1973 (19 years), he finished in the top 17 in the National League MVP voting every year, including 13 times in the top 10 and winning the award in 1957.

He led the National League in home runs four times and blasted 40 or more home runs in a season eight times. He hit a career-high 47 at the age of 37 in 1971 and two years later hit 40 home runs in just 120 games.

While his total of 755 career home runs has technically been passed, Aaron is still recognized by many as the Home Run King. His 2,297 career RBIs and 6,856 total bases are still the highest totals in Major League history. Not to mention, he finished his career with 3,771 career hits and a .305 career batting average.

In celebration of the 44th anniversary of his record-setting home run, check out videos of that blast as well as Aaron’s career.

 

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

      Read more »

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