- Remember the excitement you felt when you first walked onto a baseball diamond field for your first game?
- The importance of baseball home base is not just to score a run
Just walking on to a baseball diamond field evokes childhood memories for many individuals. The smell of fresh cut grass, the freshly raked dirt of the infield, and the white foul lines running from baseball home base deep into the outfield is sight to behold. It tells you that a hotly contested baseball game is about to occur. Is it going to be a low scoring pitcher’s duel or a high scoring “sluggers” game? No one really knows until the game begins. Play ball!
There’s truly nothing like seeing your favorite player light up the electronic scoreboards. This article talks about the baseball diamond… the fateful field that must be run to rack up those points!
The Structure of the Baseball Diamond Field
It all begins at baseball home base or home plate. The home plate umpire directs the game from this vantage point. Home plate is shaped like a pentagon in much the same way as the baseball diamond field is structured. The shape is important as it allows the umpire to be able to call balls and strikes much easier. The object of the game is to circle the bases and touch diamond base to score a run.
Adjacent to the plate, marked out with white lines, is the batter’s box. A box on either side of home plate is where a left or right handed hitter stands when he is ready to face the pitch. If the hitter has any part of his body outside the batter’s box then the pitcher cannot deliver the pitch. A box is also marked out for the catcher and umpire to stand in. Off to either side towards the team benches or dugouts are the on-deck circles. While the next batter in the line-up readies himself for his at-bat he warms up in these designated spots.
Foul lines run from home plate, through first base for the right field line, through third base for the left field line, and out into the outfield. These lines dictate whether a hit ball lands in fair or foul territory. In most stadiums, the foul lines extend into foul poles due to the outfield seats. This gives the umpire a vantage point to determine a fair or foul ball.
We’ve already discussed baseball home base and how a player needs to touch diamond base to score a run. So let’s discuss the three bases for baseball of which the runner must circle before scoring a run. The distance between bases on a major league baseball diamond field is 90 feet. Little League fields have bases significantly closer together for obvious reasons. Three 15 inch canvas bags are positioned at the corners of the diamond. First and third bases are located along the foul lines while second base is located in the middle of the infield directly behind the pitcher’s mound.
The pitcher’s mound is located approximately halfway between home plate and second base. The MLB rulebook stipulates that the center of the pitcher’s mound be located 59 ft from home plate. A “pitcher’s rubber” is a rectangular plate that is positioned 18 inches backwards from the center of the mound. The pitcher’s foot must be in contact with the rubber when he delivers the pitch.