Pitcher's Mound (my first)

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by foreplease, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Guzman Properties

    Guzman Properties LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Thanks for the great pics, never knew how those were built!!

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i never knew bricks were used for that. thats pretty cool
  3. socallawndude

    socallawndude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Looks good, I too didn't know mounds were constructed of bricks.
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thanks for all the comments.

    I should probably make clear that these are unfired bricks. With enough time, moisture, and pressure, the brick parts of the mound should become one big mass of clay. I could have used many bags of mound clay in place of the bricks but am glad now that I did it the way I did. Once things firm up, I will sweep or wash any loose dirt off the bricks and pack bagged mound clay into whatever crevices are left. Then cover lightly with out infield material.

    Since the pictures were taken, we have backfilled the area, got it damp, and covered it. Once I get the infield grass up, I will dress up the mound.
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Here is an updated photo of the mound taken near the end of the day today. The grass is not fully grown in but is strong enough to get base paths, infield radius, and the mound trimmed out. Those cuts have all been made and undercut. Waste will be removed next week and edges backed up with new infield mix.

    My original post showed a mound from another field I repaired last fall as an example of where I hoped this one was headed. We're almost there. Grade is within about 1/4" of finish now. Need to get some weather on this, and then top off with our infield mix cut with Turface (MVP).

    Next up: home pate area. Tarps are coming soon.

    mound SJHS near completion Oct 10 08_crop_low res.jpg
  6. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    I worked on the field at Comerica Park for 2 seasons. That looks as good as our mound there. Tarps are absolutely necessary for the reason you mentioned, moisture control. Tarps and Turface are your best tools to control moisture, Are your base paths turf or part of the skinned infield?

    And I'll say it again for clarity: those are not just bricks. They are bricks of mound clay!
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thank you very much! Base paths are part of the skinned infield.
  8. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    There is the next big step then; to actually control moisture on the infield skin. Not many high schools (I've never seen one) have the resources to pull an entire infield tarp at the drop of a hat. Lots of colleges struggle even with a team that practices every day. Then again your normal high school field probably has a lower clay content anyway, so that will help.

    Are many schools continuing the practice of having the first and third base paths a turf area? I know EMU did it about 5 years back. I always wondered how that would hold up and what type of maintenance it would require.
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    It seems to be kind of a trendy thing in Michigan. I have been asked to put in grass base paths on two fields and told them I was not interested. To do it right would be much more involved than most places realize. Maintaining them once they were in is not something most places below the college level could handle, IMO. Add in that very few baseball fields here are game-only fields and it is easy to imagine practices wrecking grass base paths. Once they are partially worn out and compacted, it seems to me they would be dangerous and difficult to repair in season. I do not see any upside at all, but that's only my opinion.

    Another place that has grass base paths (that I did not put in) recently asked me about caring for them. They seem to realize it is only a matter of time before they will be removing what is left of the grass and going back to skinned base paths.

    Correct installation over a high sand content soil, selecting an aggressive growing bluegrass (in our area), aerating 3-4 times a month, lots of overseeding and hand watering, wetting agents, and at least weekly topdressing is what I think it would take to keep grass base paths in good shape. Having an emergency repair nursery would be helpful. That and a This Field is for Scheduled Games Only sign.
  10. Jerry Lee

    Jerry Lee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    hey thats pretty cool i didnt know u built the mound and batters boxes with bricks, but it makes sense. well my high school is defantly out of the norm, for our baseball team has one of the best fields in state. and ive heard we use volcanic dirt for the base paths, im wondering if that is true or if u would know of anyting like that.?

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