Author Topic: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?  (Read 15645 times)

Offline WIAClifer

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Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« on: April 20, 2010, 11:39:04 am »
UW-Whitewater recently went to field turf for their entire infield and perimeter of the stadium.  The only dirt is on the mound.  I'm curious to what everyone else thinks.  I personally like grass much better, but I can understand why a Wisconsin field is pretty hard to maintain in the spring.  I read this article: UWW Field Turf by Scott Nachreiner


Moderator:  Modified for formatting.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 11:06:06 pm by Ralph Turner »

Offline Just Bill

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 01:02:52 pm »
You READ that article?  I think you mean you WROTE that article.  I'll ignore the shameless self-promotion and try to answer.

I think calling them "one of the only college baseball teams in the country to play on a synthetic field" is REALLY a stretch.  If we are talking all divisions there's literally hundreds of teams with synthetic surfaces.  Even if you're not in a poor weather part of the country, it's worth it simply for the man hours of labor saved by the college.  There's likely fewer artificial surfaces in Division III, but they're out there. Linfield is the first one I can think of and I think their field is 100% artificial, mound and all.
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Offline youcantseemestill

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 03:57:46 pm »
HAHA nice work posting your own piece..........

There are several teams in D3 that have the synthetic turf on their infield.  Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa has their entire infield covered, even the mound.  Their mound is a joke though.  You have to make it flat in order for the rubber to stay on it, so the pitchers end up basically throwing an elevated flat ground.  I think all baseball fields need to have the dirt on the mound.  Other than that......TURF IT ALL! 

Offline Stump

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 04:09:38 pm »
HAHA nice work posting your own piece..........

There are several teams in D3 that have the synthetic turf on their infield.  Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa has their entire infield covered, even the mound.  Their mound is a joke though.  You have to make it flat in order for the rubber to stay on it, so the pitchers end up basically throwing an elevated flat ground.  I think all baseball fields need to have the dirt on the mound.  Other than that......TURF IT ALL! 
Husson in Bangor,Maine has turf everywhere except the mound. I understand they were considering doing the mound in turf. I wonder if they experimented and found the same problem as Buena Vista.  I can't imagine turf working for a mound area.  Home plates must have to be replaced more often from the waer and tear of spikes constantly digging in. Probably be the same problem on a mound, constant wear and tear in the landing zone would wear even the best turf faster than the rest of the field.

Offline HITandRUN463

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 08:37:11 pm »
I've heard about Franklin College having a nicely kept turf field, but it's really only used when bad weather conditions arise. 

On the other end of the spectrum, North Park University has a very worn down look to its turf.  I wonder how it feels to play on that surface  :-\
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Online Gregory Sager

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 10:43:00 pm »
Five different sports use the FieldTurf at North Park's Holmgren Athletic Complex: Football (games and practices), men's soccer (games only), women's soccer (games only), baseball (games and practices), and softball (games and practices). Various other groups rent the facility as well during the summer. No part of the complex is used for all sports; the various fields are distributed around the complex, with lots of overlap. Nevertheless, it's subject to more wear-and-tear than the usual FieldTurf facility. Yeah, it does look a little worn down, but as long as the ball bounces true, does it really matter how it looks? I've heard horror stories about the grass fields and the ungroomed infields that some of the other CCIW baseball teams use (especially the public parks), and I can honestly say that I've never seen a bad hop on the FieldTurf at NPU.

Now, if you want to see a worn-out FieldTurf surface that has degenerated in terms of playability, cross the footbridge over the Chicago River from Holmgren and take a look at River Park sometime. River Park, which is where the two North Park soccer teams practice (and the NPU track & field teams practice and have their home meet), is shared by the university with the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Public School system. The FieldTurf surface is so worn down from constant use that it's now as rock-hard as old-style artificial turf used to be. The FieldTurf at Holmgren is still spongy and has plenty of give to it. The River Park FieldTurf has no give in it left at all. I'd hate to fall down on it while running at full speed.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:35:02 pm by Gregory Sager »
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Offline CrashDavisD3

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 06:58:37 pm »
Linfield College Field is
http://www.linfield.edu/sports/sports-venues/helser-field.html

Dirt Mound, Grass Outfield but the rest is all turf. Nice venue nice field.

Game plays a little different than natural grass/dirt infield/dirt batters box.

Bunts roll faster, Ground balls slower with smaller hops but true hops, sliding is
different and real strange trying to dig in at the plate. Can be hot if outdoor temps are up. Easy to maintain, great in bad weather. Nice compared to badly maintained grass dirt fields BUT still take grass/dirt over turf when grass/turf is an excellent fields like Cal Lutheran or Westmont a NAIA school.
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 01:45:01 pm »
Posted on the ASC board about the new field at Concordia-Texas in Austin.

Austin has problems with water shortages. (More than 1M people live in an area with a water supply for 300,000.) This may be a good strategy.

Ralph,

I was down there for the McM CTX Basketball game and I went to check out the field....

The whole field with the exception of the mound is turf.
Nice what appeared to be padded walls on the outfield fence.
Chair back seats if I remember correctly behind home plate approx 150 or so (extreme rough guess).
Covered seating.

It will be a great place to watch a game and an interesting place to play as a player with that turf being everywhere

Offline theoneandonly

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 03:12:48 pm »
It seems like artificial turf is becoming bigger and bigger every year not only in colleges but even high schools. There is a high school in Edwardsville, IL (Edwardsville H.S.) and they have turf on the baseball field, Jr. Varsity baseball,  softball field, soccer field, and football field. The expenses in the artificial turf are so much lower than grass (that is properly taken care of) that its hard to see the point in grass... and dont get me wrong here, I am a HUGE fan of playing ball on the real thing, its just hard to pass up when you see the dollar signs.
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Offline warrior35

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Re: Outdoor Field Turf for baseball?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 10:29:28 am »
North Park's field LOOKS worn down, but it's not really.  Of course it's been 4 years since I played on it, but it didn't look the best back then either. Part of the deal with North Park's field is that it is not the lush looking field turf you're accustomed to seeing on football fields.  It is a bit shorter which is a bit nicer for baseball/softball.  The ball bounces true and predictable, but the turf also slows the ball down a touch.  So, you do have to be a bit conscious about getting rid of the ball a bit quicker after fielding ground balls, but you shouldn't have any problem fielding them. Year in and year out, you'll find that North Park has a very high fielding percentage... and if you could break that fielding percentage down to home and away, I think their home fielding percentage would probably be closer to .975-.980 and away would be around .940-.945.  .980 is crazy high, but I think it's in the ballpark (pun intended).  I don't mind field turf, what I hate is the field turf mound... I think it's a terrible idea.