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  1. #1
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    The field in Detroit

    I'm watching the game from Detroit. I've noticed a straight path of dirt leading from home plate to the mound. This is sometimes seen on fields in old baseball photos. What was it for, and where has it been up until now? It probably served a purpose at one time, and now it's just used to get an "old-fashioned" look for a field. I think it looks nice.
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  2. #2

    Re: The field in Detroit

    Originally posted by Barb51850
    I'm watching the game from Detroit. I've noticed a straight path of dirt leading from home plate to the mound. This is sometimes seen on fields in old baseball photos. What was it for, and where has it been up until now? It probably served a purpose at one time, and now it's just used to get an "old-fashioned" look for a field. I think it looks nice.
    I think Arizona has it too. In the Showalter era it seems that he was the one that said he wanted it there to make the park instantly recognizeable as the Bob or something. They might have been the first to do the retro look. They have a name for the strip there, but I forgot what it is.
    "He knew, as he went after that ball, that he had a decision to make," said Tony Clark, who watched the play unfold from first base. "Either you let the ball drop and try to minimize the damage, or you make the catch and pay the consequences. He knew that, no doubt about it, and he chose B."

  3. #3
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    I'm only speculating. Since that area is a semi-travelled one by the pitcher, catcher and ump, I think it naturally occurred at old fields at first, then became a design element. Just take a peek at your local fields that are not kept in top condition. That path starts getting worn.

    Same subject: I'm surprised the on-deck circles and coaches boxes aren't moved or reshaped. People rarely stay in those boundaries. Why not mark off the areas that the players and coaches REALLY use?

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by stevethesoxfan
    I'm only speculating. Since that area is a semi-travelled one by the pitcher, catcher and ump, I think it naturally occurred at old fields at first, then became a design element. Just take a peek at your local fields that are not kept in top condition. That path starts getting worn.
    You are correct. Detroit wanted a retro look when they opened the park in 2000 and wanted to maintain as much tradition as possible. They even used the same home plate that was used at Tiger Stadium. They wanted to use the same flagpole, but someone - either the city or a moving company (I don't know which) - refused to move it for them, probably for safety reasons. The pole was even in play (as it was at Tiger Stadium) up until last year when enough people cried about the fences being too deep. The new fence is now in front of the flagpole.

  5. #5
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    Back in the 50's this was a common look for most baseball fields in the majors. I don't know when and why it was eventually fazed out.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by anyoneseenthebridge


    You are correct. Detroit wanted a retro look when they opened the park in 2000 and wanted to maintain as much tradition as possible. They even used the same home plate that was used at Tiger Stadium. They wanted to use the same flagpole, but someone - either the city or a moving company (I don't know which) - refused to move it for them, probably for safety reasons. The pole was even in play (as it was at Tiger Stadium) up until last year when enough people cried about the fences being too deep. The new fence is now in front of the flagpole.
    I just realized how far the fences were.. no wonder Juan was going crazy about it... wow.

  7. #7
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    Actually it's a direction for really stupid pitchers...

    'Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho's.'

  8. #8
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    Do fields still have fungo circles? I remember asking someone what they were (this was almost 35 years ago), and he told me it was where the coaches stood to hit practice ground balls. If I recall correctly, they were on either side of the home plate area in foul territory. They were about the same size as an on-desk circle. Anyone else remember?
    Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer. ~Ted Williams

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by chanman7483


    I just realized how far the fences were.. no wonder Juan was going crazy about it... wow.
    Why aren't all baseball fields required by MLB to be the same "regulation" size like football fields, etc.? (sorry to get off-topic for a minute)

  10. #10
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    I was in Detroit for the weekend, and at the game on Saturday (... a lucky pick of games for me!)

    I really like Comerica. It was great to see it packed this weekend. Detroit baseball fans are terrific, and deserve better than the teams they've had the last decade or so.

    I'm going to try and attach a picture of the Al Kaline statue that I took on Saturday.
    Hope it works.
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    .Of all the things in life I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Sixty one
    Back in the 50's this was a common look for most baseball fields in the majors. I don't know when and why it was eventually fazed out.
    Actually, we can thank Philip K. Wrigley and the Chicago Cubs for that.

    It turns out that Wrigley thought the dirt strip was ugly and detracted from the appearance of the playing field. He had his groundskeepers figure out how to re-sod that portion of the infield in a way so that the grass would not be repeatedly worn down by the catcher. His notion caught on, and all teams eventually did away with the dirt strip.

    Of course, the fact that the Cubs had an owner who was more obsessed with a dirt strip and its appearance than he was the play of his ballclub on the field goes a long way to explaining why the Cubs haven't been in a World Series since the year the bomb was dropped on Japan.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by NYYFAN
    Actually it's a direction for really stupid pitchers...
    Yeah, the blond ones have the hardest time!

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by smr15
    I was in Detroit for the weekend, and at the game on Saturday (... a lucky pick of games for me!)

    I really like Comerica. It was great to see it packed this weekend. Detroit baseball fans are terrific, and deserve better than the teams they've had the last decade or so.

    I'm going to try and attach a picture of the Al Kaline statue that I took on Saturday.
    Hope it works.
    Good picture Sue. Nice statue.
    Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer. ~Ted Williams

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Barb51850
    Do fields still have fungo circles? I remember asking someone what they were (this was almost 35 years ago), and he told me it was where the coaches stood to hit practice ground balls. If I recall correctly, they were on either side of the home plate area in foul territory. They were about the same size as an on-desk circle. Anyone else remember?
    I think most parks do, don't they? I never notice.

    Fenway does. Here is a good pic of them.

    http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/dow...ldflag1024.jpg

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