If you are a hardcore baseball fan, you must have noticed that no Major League ballparks are precisely alike. However, certain aspects of the baseball fields must be similar.
The baseball field must be constructed in a way so that the bases will be at the same level as the home plate. But when you go for a live baseball match, do you know where you should sit to enjoy the game at its best?
However, many people prefer to sit as close to the field as possible. But to enjoy the game most, you must know which way the baseball fields face.
According to the Major League Baseball Rule 1.04, the line from the home base through the pitcher’s plate to the second base must run East Northeast. However, it is not mandatory for all the baseball fields. But this rule is suggested for sun purposes. From this concept, the term southpaw came from the left-handed pitchers.
Do All MLB Stadiums Face the Same Direction?
No, all MLB stadiums do not face the same direction. Usually, baseball fields are laid out in various directions.
However, according to the previous baseball rules, the field had to be laid out with the line between home plate and the second base running north to south. And the line between the third base to the first base has to run east to west.
However, there was no specific reason behind this rule. But the basic reason was that the baseball matches were played in the daytime before 1930.
Previously it was preferred to have the sun setting behind the first base. This rule was applied so that the first baseman didn’t face problems due to the sunrays.
This particular setting helped the first baseman to throw the first pitch perfectly. But later, this rule was changed. According to the 2012 Major League Baseball rule, it is recommended for the baseball fields to face east northeast.
Why Do Most Baseball Stadiums Face Northeast?
First of all, we must say that all the baseball stadiums are not situated in the same way. Some of the stadiums are built with southeast orientation, and some are built with a slight northwest orientation.
The reason for the northeast orientation is quite simple. Baseball is a match that is played in the afternoon or early evening. And during this particular time, the sun moves to the western part of the sky.
If the baseball field is oriented towards the west, the batters will find it difficult to pick out the ball for extreme sunlight. Therefore the baseball fields were oriented to face northeast.
Which Way Does a Baseball Home Plate Face?
Preparing a baseball field starts with the home plate. The entire baseball field is determined by where the back tip of the home plate is located.
Therefore, field orientation is always considered an issue. MLB suggests a direction of North- Northeast that is suitable for the ballparks. Fields that are closer to the equator usually select the south-southeast orientation.
Usually, home plates vary in size. Usually, the home plates are 26 feet in diameter. However, some groundskeepers make the diameter larger than 30 feet to reduce the wear and tear of the grass.
But 26 feet is the recommendation according to the MLB rule. Also, you should know that the actual home plate is made of rubber, and it includes five points.
The home plate is set into the ground at the intersection of the lines. The home plate must be placed into the ground on the same level as the batters’ box. To line up the home plate correctly, the groundskeeper uses string lines.
It helps to set the foul lines and the center of the field through the pitcher’s mound to the second base. The home plate must be a smooth slab of white rubber.
What Direction Does Dodger Stadium Face?
Dodger stadium faces almost 28 degrees offset from the north, and it gives an advantage to the left-field side of the stadium when it comes to the shade.
Therefore we recommend choosing the odd-numbered seats so that you can enjoy the game at its best. This stadium is designed with the home plate that faces the north-northeast.
The sun rises over the right-field wall in the morning and ultimately sets beyond the right-field corner. So, during the daytime, the field and stands get plenty of California sunshine.
Baseball Stadium Layouts
Usually, the baseball fields are different from each other. A bandbox park is beneficial for the groundball pitchers where a cavernous outfield cut down on home runs.
But presently, the baseball grounds possess several characteristics that make them unique. Here, we will discuss the stadium layouts of the best baseball stadiums.
1. Rogers Center Stadium
Rogers center will open for the 2021 season, playing at their spring training facility in Dunedin. Before the 2020 season, the stadium underwent a significant renovation.
In this renovation, the height of the Littlefield fence gets lowered. The current layout of this baseball stadium is like a mirror image of the Target Field in Minneapolis.
This stadium features a deep power alley in the left-center and a tall fence on the right side.
2. Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium was constructed in less than three years within the budget of US$23. It was built in 1962.
The Dodger stadium looks like the Kauffman stadium, and it is the home stadium of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers Stadium is facing northeast. The home plate is located in the south section of the stadium and the first and third bases are found to the east and north, respectively.
During the evening hours, the home plate and the baselines are in the shades.
3. White Sox
The dimensions of this stadium were similar to its predecessor. Then in 2001, this baseball stadium went through a renovation.
With the new structure of the baseball field, the batters got the maximum advantage.
4. Oakland Coliseum
It was built-in 1966. However, the outfield has some charm, and this multipurpose stadium includes retractable seating.
Due to this unorthodox layout, the right and left centerfield power alleys are 388 feet from the plate.
Therefore, the Oakland Coliseum is one of the best stadiums for hitting triples.
How to Layout a Baseball Field?
Laying out a baseball field involves a few steps that include;
Triangulate the Backstop
If there won’t be any backstop, you have to position the apex of the home plate in the correct spot. For setting the home plate’s apex, start from the outside corner of the backstop and run a string.
It will let you measure a couple of feet past where you think the pitching rubber will be.
You have to repeat this process starting from the second post also. Then you have to measure and locate the center of the backstop.
Locate Second Base
In the next step, the groundskeeper has to run a line from the center point of the backstop through the apex and over the pitcher’s mound. It lets you place the second base in the center.
Locate First Base and Third Base
In this step, you have to measure the accurate baseline distance from the apex to the third base and scribe an arc.
Also, measure the same distance from the second base’s center to the third base and scribe another arc.
Then you have to place the outside back corner of the base and repeat to locate the first base.
Set Home Plate
You have to draw a line from the outside back corner of the third base to the apex. Also, draw another line from the outside back corner of the first base to the apex.
Next, you have to align the back angles of the home plate to match up the lines.
Set Pitching Rubber
It is the last step where you have to follow the straight line from the apex to the center of the second base.
Then measure a line from the apex to the particular spot where you prefer the pitching rubber’s front.
Now square up the pitching rubber by measuring an equal distance from the corners of the home plate to the corresponding corners of the pitching rubber.
In this final step, you have to measure and mark the accurate distance of the pitching plate from the home plate.
According to the Major League baseball rule, the baseball fields should face east northeast. It is desirable that the line from the home base to the second base should run east northeast. However, this rule is not mandatory. But this orientation is recommended for the players’ convenience.
The Yankee stadium has a less northern orientation, and the batter faces almost the east side at this stadium with a slight tilt to the north. If the match is organized in the morning, the batters will face difficulty playing in the sunlight.
A baseball stadium is constructed of several things that are;
First base, second base, third base, batter’s box, batting cage, black seats, bleacher seats, batcher’s box, coach’s box, home plate, dugout, etc.
So, it is clear that there is no mandatory orientation rule for the baseball fields.
But already, we have mentioned that according to the Major League baseball rule, it is desirable that the line from the home base to the second base should run east northeast.
It is recommended that the players give their best performance on the field without any inconvenience.