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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!

Best 10 and Worst 3 NFL Stadiums 0

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Going to an NFL game is an adventure. It’s exciting to see a professional sports team play live in front of you. The only downside is you pay lots of money for the tickets and parking — and then you get gouged on food prices. But it’s all worth it because you enjoy the atmosphere, the energy and the stadium where the game is played.

What about the stadiums themselves, though? Some stadiums are brand new, and others have been open for decades. You may love or hate a certain stadium for reasons that are hard to describe. Some just have that certain atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else. Others are architectural masterpieces and full of high-tech inventions.

Some stadiums are clearly better than others, however. Here’s a look at 10 of the best and three of the worst you’ll find.

The Best

These are 10 of the best stadiums you’ll find:

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 →

Should You Let Your Kid Start Boxing? 0

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Your child expresses an interest in boxing — maybe they saw it on television or heard about an upcoming boxing match.

If you are at least open to the idea, there are a few positive and negative things to consider about your child participating in boxing. Simply put, your child will get hurt in one way or another, as it is part of the sport. The upside is your child will also get to exercise, develop confidence and toughness and gain valuable experiences.

photo: NBC News

photo: NBC News

Expect Injuries

The American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors and parents oppose youth boxing because of the frequency of head injuries and concussions. Head injuries aren’t always inevitable — but being punched in the head is. It stands to reason that head injuries will follow after repeated blows to the head, whether your child wears headgear or not. Read the rest of this entry →

6 Water Sports You Need to Try This Year 1

Posted on April 12, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Summer is around the corner. If heading to the beach, think about getting off the sand and heading out into the water for more than just a swim. Many water sports are out there for us to try.

Water sports can be an exciting adventure as well as a fun way to stay in shape this summer. There are many things you can do alone as well as group activities where you can involve your friends and family. Check out a few of these water sports and see if you’d like to try some of them this year.

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Water Skiing

Water skiing is the ultimate water sport. Most of us have wanted to try it at one time or another. Those of us who have experienced it know it’s not nearly as easy as it looks.

The hardest part is maintaining your balance — and your dignity — as the boat pulls you along. You will use and develop muscles you never thought about, and you’ll certainly feel them the next day.

Water skiing offers an intense workout as well as a summer thrill. Don’t try this if you aren’t in good physical condition. Practice it often, and you’ll find your way to a summer bod before you know it.

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 →

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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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