no baseball today
missing player in right field
he played the game
According to Major League Baseball guidelines for field dimensions for professional baseball, “The rulebook states that parks constructed by professional teams after June 1, 1958, must have a minimum distance of 325 feet between home plate and the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right- and left-field foul lines, and 400 feet between home plate and the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction in center field.”
Notice that these guidelines only list a ‘minimum distance’ between home plate and the nearest fence.
The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences released in 2001, a guide baseball field layouts including field dimensions, construction tips, and materials necessary for building a baseball field.
This guide lists ‘recommended placement of outfield fences’ by level of play.
Again, these are just ‘recommendations’.
No where, in any rule book, is the maximum distance or depth of an outfield listed, defined or manadated.
For me, I accept that an outfield wall or fence is just an arbitrary barrier that limits but not defines the field of play.
If a batter playing in Detroit’s Comerica Park, hits a ball into the first row of the bleachers, it is a home run.
If the same batter hit a ball 2 miles away and it landed in the Detroit River, it would be a home run.
The ball would not be declared ‘out of bounds.’
The lines of a baseball field extend to infinity.
Defined only right and left foul lines extending out from homeplate.
These means, to me anyway, that anywhere you stand, anywhere in the world, you are standing in someones outfield.
(I admit this not an original thought for me but one I stole from WP Kinsella. What bugs me is that I can’t find the quote. I am pretty sure it is in Iowa Baseball Confederacy but I can’t find it)
If I am standing in someone’s outfield, there is a good chance I am in someone’s rightfield.
If I am rightfield, there is a good chance I standing near the man who played right field for the Detroit Tigers for 24 years.
If I was, I would be happy just to be there.
That would be enough.
To share right field for a play or two with Al Kaline.
I wouldn’t mind if he said hello.
I wouldn’t expect it though.
Not that Al wouldn’t say hello.
But if there was a game on, that is where his focus would be.
Man meets myth.
This time Man wins.
If you know what I mean, you know what I mean.
If you don’t know, that’s okay.
Suffice it to say, there is no joy in Mudville.