Basic Baseball Field Maintenance Tips
Whether you are maintaining a professional baseball field or a softball diamond, good field maintenance can make the difference between a successful season and a disastrous one. The key is to keep your field looking its best, while also making sure it is safe for players to use.
Developing a basic maintenance plan is a great way to help your field maintain its look, safety and endurance all year long. This will allow you to schedule mowing, watering and infield grooming in a consistent fashion throughout the year.
Edging – Periodic edging helps prevent lips from forming and will keep your fields looking sharp. Using small mechanical edgers, hand loop edgers, leaf rakes, string lines and scoop shovels will help you to edge the field properly.
Raking & Dragging – These two activities are crucial to keep your field level and in good shape during games and practices. They are also important for preventing low spots that will lead to puddles in the grass.
After every game, rake the base paths and home plate area to remove dirt that has built up from previous games. This will keep the base path level and prevent low spots from forming down the center of the path.
If your field has a tamper, use this to pack down the clay soil in the area around home base and the pitcher’s mound. This will help to make the ground completely flat and smooth for play.
Repack Dirt Wear Areas – Fall is a great time to repack and repair the dirt wear areas on your baseball field. This will give your baseball field the chance to reset its height and measurement before a full season of play begins in spring.
Walk Over the Field Daily – If possible, take a walk over the entire field each day and check out the areas where you are responsible for maintenance. This will give you a good idea of any problems that have developed since your last walk and help you to spot them before they become too big to fix.
During this walk, you should also spot any holes, lips, ruts and trash that may have formed. If any of these issues are seen, they should be addressed right away so that they don’t get worse and affect your players safety or performance on the field.
Laser Grade – If your budget allows, periodically laser grade the infield skin to improve drainage. This will help to move surface water off the infield and down the slope into the drainage system.
Calcine Clay – To help dry wet baseballs, calcine clay can be spread over the field and sprinkled down onto the infield. The calcine will soak up any remaining water and help to dry the baseballs quickly.
Equipment Logs – If you have a team of volunteers, it is essential to keep detailed records of all the work you have done on the field. This includes the dates of each task and any specialized equipment used. This will ensure that you remember what you did on the field and can follow up in the future if needed.