Basics of Baseball Field Maintenance
Baseball field maintenance is one of the most important tasks that any field manager can accomplish to ensure safe, quality playing conditions. It can take a significant amount of time and money to properly maintain a baseball field, so making sure your team is playing on a field that’s in good condition is crucial to player safety and enjoyment.
The best way to keep your baseball field in good condition is to educate yourself on the basic principles of proper field maintenance and make a commitment to ensuring your players’ safety on the field. Using these tips can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes made by amateur and professional fields managers alike.
Grass Cutting and Mowing
The key to keeping your field in good condition is to regularly cut the grass on your field. This is especially true in the summer months, as grass grows faster and can create ruts that may be difficult for players to navigate around. During the warmer months, you should be mowing your field twice a week or more to prevent ruts from developing.
Use a mower that is set up for the type of grass on your field, as well as a blade that can be sharpened to ensure the mower cuts the grass evenly. Also, be sure to keep your mower blades clean and oiled to help the grass stay hydrated and healthy.
Edge Edging and Grass Lip Removal
The edges of the infield and outfield are the most important areas to be maintained. They are often overlooked but can be the most problematic parts of a baseball field. If they are not kept up regularly, they can develop raised bumps called lips that can be very dangerous for the players in the infield or outfield. Daily raking and sweeping of these areas can help prevent lips from developing and can make the playing surface safer for everyone involved.
Batter’s Box & Home Plate Raking
The batter’s box is another area that can be neglected if you don’t have an adequate maintenance program in place. A batter’s box raked improperly can cause lumps, divots and outright holes that can negatively impact player performance. It’s best to rake this area with a flat edge rather than the toothed side of a rake.
Base Path Grass Raking and Leveling
The base paths of your baseball field are very important to the game. These should be dragged and raked each week to ensure that there are no dips in the turf or uneven playing surfaces for base runners. Typically, this is accomplished by a machine, but you can achieve better results by hand-raking the base paths.
Once the base paths are dragged, walk the field and look for low spots in the aglime. If a spot is low, you will want to bring in a pail of aglime and dump it into the low spot and smooth it out until it is level.