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  • Outfield size

    we've all heard baseball announcer's make mention of the "cavernous" outfield of one park as it compares to another. has anyone seen or heard of a genuine comparison ot the "area" of major league ballparks. How much "larger" in area is the biggest over the smallest? If you assume a 'basic standard' field: foul line=320 LC&RC=380 CF=410 the curve of the fence follows an arc with the radius starting at second base (about). Does it seem that all the coments about size are just fluff or are there some fields that are noticably bigger? Is it just the variation from left-center over to right-center that causes all the comments?

  • #2
    It's part fluff, part true. Some parks are just hitters parks, and while dimensions is the biggest factor, there are other things that can be considered variables in the flight of the ball. However, some parks are literally cavernous. Take the Astrodome for example. Now that is a triples park if I ever saw one. It would be more so a pitchers park, and runs would have to be manufactured.

    This is from my understanding of the hitters/pitchers park, and someone else can probably chime in better. For the most part yes, it's reasonable to refer to outfields as cavernous because some do have an insane surface area, but it really is kind of fluff cause it's just one of those words that Tv/Radio announcers have picked up that are all rubbish.
    Baseball writer

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    • #3
      Well to keep with the Houston theme, left field is a very short porch because of the Crawford Boxes (315ft down the line I believe). However, dead center field is 436 feet away. So it's possible that one guy could hit a HR that goes 320 ft. and another the next guy in the lineup can hit a ball 425 ft. and make an out. So basically it all depends on the distances of each respective field.

      Citizens Bank Park on the other hand has fairly standard distances down the lines and in center, but the power alleys are much shorter than most parks. Those measurements, combined with the wind patterns (which is more of a problem there than the dimensions), make that park play very small.

      Anyways, when announcers refer to "cavernous" outfields, I think most times they are talking about the amount of space from left-center to right-center (Petco Park is probably the best example, Comerica as well).

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      • #4
        Someone coined the phrase "Comerica National Park" shortly after it opened (when center field was still an homage to Tiger Stadium) in 2000 and when you consider the fact that the outfield wasn't curved so the areas to the immediate left and right of center would be even further from home plate then, yes some parks are indeed much more cavernous then others.

        440 dead center and deeper to the left or right at Comerica Park compared to PNC Park where dead center is 399 and the deepest part of the park is 410. Just my :twocents: though

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        • #5
          My dad and I often say did you see so-and-so hit out to left center... "you know, where they don't even bother to mow." This dates back to when we went to Tiger Stadium during the last year and both noticed that parts of the deep outfield turf were looking really rough. We still use it in reference to Comerica though (despite them moving the fences in a few years later).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by btown12 View Post
            Well to keep with the Houston theme, left field is a very short porch because of the Crawford Boxes (315ft down the line I believe). However, dead center field is 436 feet away. So it's possible that one guy could hit a HR that goes 320 ft. and another the next guy in the lineup can hit a ball 425 ft. and make an out. So basically it all depends on the distances of each respective field.

            Citizens Bank Park on the other hand has fairly standard distances down the lines and in center, but the power alleys are much shorter than most parks. Those measurements, combined with the wind patterns (which is more of a problem there than the dimensions), make that park play very small.

            Anyways, when announcers refer to "cavernous" outfields, I think most times they are talking about the amount of space from left-center to right-center (Petco Park is probably the best example, Comerica as well).
            The 315' LF mark in Houston measures the chalk line from homeplate. The front row of the Crawford Boxes sits 20 feet off the ground on top of the manually operated scoreboard. Thus, the 315' mark creates a bit of an illusion.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lions/[email protected]! View Post
              440 dead center and deeper to the left or right at Comerica Park compared to PNC Park where dead center is 399 and the deepest part of the park is 410. Just my :twocents: though
              Tiger Stadium was 440 ft. to dead center, Comerica is only a mere 420 ft. haha.

              Originally posted by Astros View Post
              The 315' LF mark in Houston measures the chalk line from homeplate. The front row of the Crawford Boxes sits 20 feet off the ground on top of the manually operated scoreboard. Thus, the 315' mark creates a bit of an illusion.
              Correct, I understand the 20 ft. wall does not accurately represent the distance needed to hit one out. Either way, you can get jammed and hit one to the track in left and absolutely clobber the ball to center and make an out...seems unfair to me, unless you're Carlos Lee!
              Last edited by btown12; 03-25-2008, 02:45 PM.

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              • #8
                But that's pretty much any field. Texas A&M's Olsen Field is like 330 to the corners but around 405 in dead center. That's just apart of being a ball park. You're not going to have a perfect arc of 350 all the way around. Here's a symetric field drawn up in SketchUp. It's 350 from every point and there is a projected home run mark (around 420 ft). Its just incredibly uninspiring. It may not seem fair, but ballparks have always rewarded hitters who can pull. Bat speed is clearly being favored over shear power in this particular case. In fact, I like it this way. This is not to mention the insane ground the out fielders would have to cover laterally.



                For comparison sake, here's Texas A&M's Olsen Field. Notice how the lateral movement of the out fielders would be less. The same home run marking is used in this particular model as the previous park shown.

                Last edited by BradC34; 03-25-2008, 04:14 PM.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BradC34 View Post
                  But that's pretty much any field. Texas A&M's Olsen Field is like 330 to the corners but around 405 in dead center. That's just apart of being a ball park. You're not going to have a perfect arc of 350 all the way around. Here's a symetric field drawn up in SketchUp. It's 350 from every point and there is a projected home run mark (around 420 ft). Its just incredibly uninspiring. It may not seem fair, but ballparks have always rewarded hitters who can pull. Bat speed is clearly being favored over shear power in this particular case. In fact, I like it this way. This is not to mention the insane ground the out fielders would have to cover laterally.
                  I understand this and I'm not saying that ballparks should be built like this at all, I was trying to explain to the original poster that the square footage of an outfield is less important than fence distances (or power alley distances in particular). Houston is obviously an extreme example.

                  However, I don't see how the outfielders would have to cover more ground laterally, the foul lines don't move farther apart and the area of the outfield would be greatly reduced with a uniform distance around the outfield.

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                  • #10
                    The distances of the walls and their height is definitely the biggest influence on how an outfielder will play his position at a certain stadium. It is not the square footage of the playing field.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by btown12 View Post
                      Tiger Stadium was 440 ft. to dead center, Comerica is only a mere 420 ft. haha.
                      When Comerica was built they had put center field at 440 with the flag pole in play as an homage to Tiger Stadium after (and this is only my guess here) two years they moved it in to that measly 420.

                      I remember hearing something about the Tigers unable to sign big hitters because of the size of the outfield and so they moved the fence in in order to become competitive on the field. I don't know if I believe this but the product is definately there now.

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                      • #12
                        PNC Park requires a CF to play LF.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lions/[email protected]! View Post
                          When Comerica was built they had put center field at 440 with the flag pole in play as an homage to Tiger Stadium after (and this is only my guess here) two years they moved it in to that measly 420.
                          Center field at Comerica Park was never 440 feet it has always been 420. Originally the flag pole was in play, when the team moved the bullpens in 2002 and brought the left field fence in 25 feet the flag pole was no longer in play

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noadrive View Post
                            we've all heard baseball announcer's make mention of the "cavernous" outfield of one park as it compares to another. has anyone seen or heard of a genuine comparison ot the "area" of major league ballparks. How much "larger" in area is the biggest over the smallest? If you assume a 'basic standard' field: foul line=320 LC&RC=380 CF=410 the curve of the fence follows an arc with the radius starting at second base (about). Does it seem that all the coments about size are just fluff or are there some fields that are noticably bigger? Is it just the variation from left-center over to right-center that causes all the comments?
                            95% of what sports announcers say will inevitably be fluff. Sad but true.

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                            • #15
                              I stand corrected
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comerica_Park
                              thanks guinnypint
                              With the bullpen the Tigers have this year, I'm kind of wishing the fences were back to where they were in 2000 We just have to hope our bats are consistently better then the other teams.

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