Considerations and Preparation for Improving Baseball Fields
Object: Good ball bounces and good footing
In creating a baseball field or just “sprucing” it up, try to determine:
- What dirt is already there?
- Is it good?
- If not, what changes do you want to make?
If the dirt already there is good, then you just need to add more of the same. In determining if you need to make changes, consider if
- the field dirt area is firm enough,
- if players slip in it,
- if bounces bounce too high or not enough
- if there are “bad bounce” areas
- if there is a lip at the infield grass line that could cause difficulty fielding grounders
Other considerations include:
- How will your dirt be delivered?
- Do you have the equipment to till, spread and roll the dirt?
- Do you need to hire experienced drivers for the equipment?
- Is there access for delivery trucks to get to the fields?
Dirt mixes used:
- Warning track uses a mix of 1/8 inch crushed brick and decomposed granite
- Top dressing for high school size field uses 5-10 years and little league uses 3-5 yards of
- 1/3 top soil, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 sand, or
- Another mix of 30% compost and 70% topsoil, or
- Topdressing sand – G8 topdressing sand (golf course quality)
- Infield Skin for high school size field uses 10-20 or more yards and little league uses 5-10 yards of
- 30% soil, 20% clay, and 50% crushed red brick, or
- Professionals mix 40% tichert #2 sand and 60% clay.
- For holes and other fill needs, you can use reclaimed sand from a cement plant. Often given away free, this sand has small pebbles, but is great for filling in holes and puddles outside of the playing field.
- The mound for high school fields needs 5 tons of material topped with infield mix with top five inches clay (inside material can be cheaper material). Use unfired clay bricks or 100% topped with infield mix.
- Mound, Catcher’s Box, and Batter’s box – Use unfired clay bricks. Dig out area 3” deep, put in the bricks, tamp, and cover lightly with infield mix. (High school size will take 200 bricks).
- Red mixes in the dirt will stain white uniforms.
- Do not mix dirt types. Sand on the infield turf, clay/sand mixture on the infield dirt, and clay on the mound.
- Keep the clay, crushed brick and sand separated if you have dirt pits.
- Beware bogus mixes. Just because a supplier calls it baseball mix, it does not mean it really is. True baseball mix will not blow away or skin up players when sliding.
Disclaimer: This article is given in good faith but is not responsible in any way for the use of this advice in whole or part. It is always a good idea to get the professional opinion of a consultant experienced in the construction of baseball fields.