777-D Elmira Road
Vacaville, CA 95687
The Baseball Barn (BB) has two fixed batting cages that each feature JUGS™ pitching machines. These machines can be configured for either baseball or softball and can be adjusted to speeds of 15-60 mph. These machines will give you a consistent delivery to allow you to focus on your swing.
• 2 cages equipped with Juggs Pitching Machines*
• Adjustable Speeds
*Please note that you will need to have someone with you over the age of 15 to feed the Juggs machine.
Need help with your hitting? Just check out our online scheduling system and schedule a personal instruction session with our Certified Epstein Hitting Instructor.
While most teams turned to multi-purpose parks, some built baseball-only parks. While these modern ballparks shirked some of the conventions of multi-purpose parks, they did include some of the new features. The most notable influences were the cantilevered upper decks, the use of seating colors other than green, fairly plain concrete exteriors, and symmetrical outfields. While the multi-purpose parks have become all but extinct, some modern parks, such as Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, have been hailed for aging beautifully. Rather than build new parks, the teams have decided instead to renovate the current structures, adding a few newer conveniences. Several of the modern parks built as such have remained in use, with no indication of being demolished.
While Cleveland Stadium is the ancestor to the multi-purpose ballpark, the ancestor of the modern ballpark is Milwaukee County Stadium. It was the first to feature a symmetrical, round outfield fence. It also featured the rounded V-shaped grandstand and colorful seats that are common among modern parks. Coincidentally, it also would have been one of the earlier examples of a converted park as well. It was supposed to replace a minor league facility, and serve as home of the minor league team until a major league franchise could be lured to the city. However, the Braves came to Milwaukee earlier than expected, and the minor league team never played in the stadium.
The first two truly modern ballparks were built by the two New York teams who moved to California, the Giants and the Dodgers. Candlestick Park was created first, but was converted to a multi-purpose park to accommodate the 49ers. Dodger Stadium has been upgraded a number of times, but remains baseball-only and its original design is still largely intact.
Anaheim Stadium, which was initially modeled closely on Dodger Stadium, was expanded for football, but once the Rams departed, most of the extra outfield seating was peeled back, returning the structure to something closer to its original design.
The original Yankee Stadium is an exceptional case. Yankee Stadium was a jewel box park, albeit a very large one. It was showing its age in the 1970s, and the stadium was extensively renovated during 1973–75, converting it into more of a modern style ballpark. Many of the characteristics that defined it as a classical jewel box were also retained, so the remodeled Stadium straddled both categories.
New Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field) was the last modern ballpark to be built in North America. A series of renovations have been made to make it appear more like a retro-classic ballpark.
Although they were purposefully built for baseball, some of these stadiums also hosted professional soccer and football teams at times. The Minnesota Vikings played at Metropolitan Stadium during the Twins' entire tenure there, and the Green Bay Packers played a few home games at Milwaukee County Stadium every year from 1953 through 1994. A few of them, including Metropolitan Stadium, also hosted NASL teams during the 1970s.
The only modern parks still used by Major League Baseball are Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, and Guaranteed Rate Field, although the latter has been renovated into a Retro-classic ballpark while Angel Stadium and Kauffman Stadium have been renovated into Retro-modern ballparks.
From the 1960s until the arrival of retro parks in 1992, baseball built many multi-purpose ballparks. Also derisively known as "concrete donuts", "cookie-cutters", or "giant ashtrays", they were usually tall and circular or square structures made entirely of, usually bare, reinforced concrete. The parks were built to hold baseball as well as football, soccer, and other sports. One of the earliest baseball stadiums that incorporated this type of design was Cleveland Stadium (built 1932), which featured an oval grandstand that was more friendly to goal-centered sports like football. A park built to suit all sports well, which was co-owned by the teams or the city, seemed advantageous to all, especially because it was less expensive to maintain one stadium rather than two. Some parks that were originally built for one sport were renovated to accommodate multiple sports.
The shape of the parks generally depended on the original use. Baseball parks that were renovated to accommodate football, like Candlestick Park and Anaheim Stadium, were usually asymmetrically shaped. Football stadiums that were renovated to accommodate baseball, like Sun Life Stadium and Mile High Stadium, were usually of a rectangular shape, though Mile High actually started its life in 1948 as a Minor League Baseball park known as Bears Stadium. Parks that were built to serve both were usually circular and completely enclosed on all sides. These were the parks that gained multi-purpose parks the reputation as bland cookie-cutter structures. The first of these parks was DC Stadium (renamed RFK Stadium in 1969) in the District of Columbia. RFK is unique in that it hosted two different baseball teams, and that it was the first to originally be intended for multiple sports.
The first professional baseball venues were large wooden ballparks with seats mounted on wood platforms. Although known for being constructed out of wood, they featured iron columns for better support. Some included one tier of inclined seating, topped with either a flat roof or, in some instances, a small upper tier. The outfield was bordered by tall walls or fences covered in advertisements, much like today's minor league parks. These advertisements were sometimes fronted with bleacher seats, or "bleaching boards". Wood, while prone to decomposition, was a relatively inexpensive material.
However, the use of wood as the primary material presented a major problem, especially as baseball continued to thrive. Over time, the wooden stands aged and dried. Many parks caught fire, and some were leveled completely. This problem, along with the popularization of baseball and expectations for long-term use of the parks were major factors that drove the transition to the new standard materials for ballparks: steel and concrete. Some famous wooden parks, such as the Polo Grounds III in New York and National League Park in Philadelphia, burned and were rebuilt with fire-resistant materials (Polo Grounds IV and Baker Bowl). Others were simply abandoned in favor of new structures built elsewhere. These new fire-resistant parks often lasted for many decades, and (retrospectively) came to be known as "jewel boxes". There are no more professional ballparks in existence left with this architectural trend, with the last one, Oriole Park V, burning down in 1944.
Baseball was originally played in open fields or public parks. The genesis of modern baseball is conventionally connected with Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, a large public park where the businessmen of New York City gathered from time to time to play organized baseball games and cricket matches, starting around the mid-1840s. The name "Field" or "Park" was typically attached to the names of the early ballparks.
With the beginnings of professional baseball, the ballfield became part of a complex including fixed spectator seating areas, and an enclosure to restrict access to paying customers, as with a fairgrounds. The name "Grounds" began to be attached to ballparks, starting with the Union Grounds in 1862. The suffixes "Field" and "Park" were still used, but many professional ballparks were "Grounds". The last major league "Grounds" was the Polo Grounds in New York City, which was razed in 1964.
Distinctive from "goal games" such as football and basketball, which have fixed-size playing areas, the infield is the only rigidly laid-out part of the field. Like its English relative, cricket, there is significant flexibility in the shape and size of the rest of the playing area.
Baseball leagues may specify a minimum distance from home plate to the outfield fences. Generally, the higher the skill level, the deeper the minimum dimensions must be, to prevent an excess of home runs. In the major leagues, a rule was passed in 1958 that compelled any new fields built after that point to have a minimum distance of 325 feet (99 m) from home plate to the fences in left and right field, and 400 feet (120 m) to center. (Rule 1.04, Note(a)). This rule was passed to avoid situations like the Los Angeles Coliseum, which was 251 ft (77 m). down the left field line.
However, with the opening of Baltimore's Camden Yards (1992), the "minimum distance" rule began to be ignored. One factor may be that the quaint, "retro" look of Camden Yards, with its irregular measurements, proved to be very popular, along with a traditionalist backlash against the symmetrical, multi-purpose, "cookie-cutter" stadiums. Since the opening of Camden Yards, many other "retro" stadiums have been built, each with asymmetrical fences. These distances vary from park to park, and can even change drastically in the same park. One of the most famous examples is the original Yankee Stadium, whose odd-shaped plot of land caused right field to be over 100 feet (30 m) shorter than left, although this difference lessened over time. The rectangular Polo Grounds had extremely short distance down the lines, 258 ft (79 m). to right and 280 ft (85 m). to left. In contrast, the deepest part of center field was nearly 500 ft (150 m). from home plate.
Older ballparks, such as Fenway Park, were grandfathered in and allowed to keep their original dimensions. Also, new parks have sometimes received special dispensation to deviate from these rules. For instance, the second Yankee Stadium, built 2009, used the same dimensions as the original Yankee Stadium.
The heights of the fences can also vary greatly, the most famous example being the 37-foot (11 m)-high Green Monster in Fenway Park's left field. Such tall fences are often used to stop easy home runs in a section of the ballpark where the distances from home are shorter, or where there is little space between the field and the street beyond. Some in-play scoreboards and high fences reached 50 to 60 feet (18 m), whereas a few outfields were even lined with hedges rather than normal fences or walls. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, when set up for baseball, had a 23-foot (7.0 m) right field "fence" that was actually a relatively thin blue plastic sheet covering folded up football seats. It was often called a "baggie" or "Hefty bag".
Some ballparks have irregularly shaped fences. Ballparks may have round swooping fences or rigidly angled fences, or possibly a significant change in direction or irregular angle. For example, the center field stands and the left field stands at Fenway Park meet at an uneven angle, creating an indentation (called "the triangle") that angles sharply back into the stands. In Citi Field and Oracle Park, part of the right field fence juts unevenly into the outfield as if the builders were trying to create an unpredictable ricochet effect for balls hit against it. Some "retro" parks, such as Globe Life Park in Arlington, throw in a sudden and small inward turn (often referred to as a jog) just to give a little quirkiness to the design. Milwaukee's Miller Park was designed, with the help of former player Robin Yount, to promote extra base hits.
Originally (mostly in the old jewel box parks) these variations resulted from the shape of the property where the park was constructed. If there was a street beyond left field, the distance to the left field fence would be shorter, and if the distance was too short, the fence would be higher. For example, in the old Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., part of center field had to be built around a cluster of apartment houses and the result was a rather large angular indentation in the left-center field fence. Now, these variations are mostly influenced by the specifications and whims of the designers. New "retro" parks, which try to recapture the feel of the jewel box parks, are often designed to have these quirks.
Today, in Major League Baseball, a multi-tiered seating area, a grandstand, surrounds the infield. How far this seating extends down the baselines or around the foul poles varies from park to park. In minor league parks, the grandstands are notably smaller, proportional to expected sizes of crowds compared with the major leagues.
The seating beyond the outfield fence generally differs from the grandstand, though some multi-purpose or jewel box parks have the grandstand surround the entire field. This area could contain inexpensive bleacher seats, smaller grandstands, or simply inclined seating. In local ballparks, there are often simply a set or two of aluminum bleachers on the first-base and third-base sides.
The basic layout of the field has been little changed since the Knickerbocker Rules of the 1840s. Those rules specified the distance from home to second as 42 "paces." The dictionary definition of a "pace" at the time was 30 inches, yielding base paths of approximately 75 feet; however, if a "pace" of three feet was meant then the distance would have been 89 feet. It is not implausible that the early clubs simply stepped off the distance. 30 yards (90 feet) between the bases was first explicitly prescribed by the NABBP Convention of 1857. Through trial and error, 90 feet had been settled upon as the optimal distance. 100 feet would have given too much advantage to the defense, and 80 feet too much to the offense.
The original Knickerbocker Rules did not specify the pitching distance explicitly; the 1854 Unified Rules stated "from Home to pitcher not less than fifteen paces." By the time major league baseball began in the 1870s, the pitcher was compelled to pitch from within a "box" whose front edge was 45 feet (14 m) from the "point" of home plate. Although they had to release the ball before crossing the line, as with bowlers in cricket, they also had to start their delivery from within the box; they could not run in from the field as bowlers do. Furthermore, the pitcher had to throw underhand. By the 1880s, pitchers had mastered the underhand delivery—in fact, in 1880, there were two perfect games within a week of each other.
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777-D Elmira Road
Vacaville, CA 95687
Foul poles, if present, help umpires judge whether a fly ball hit above the fence line is foul (out of play) or fair (a home run). The poles are a vertical extension of the foul lines at the edge of the field of play. The outer edge of the foul lines and foul poles define foul territory. Both the lines and the poles are in fair territory, in contrast to American football and basketball, where the lines marking the playing boundaries are out of bounds. The minimum distance to hit a home run (along either foul line) is set by baseball rules, generally at 325 feet (99 m).
Before 1931 (with the exception of a couple months in 1920) the foul lines extended indefinitely; a batter was awarded a home run only if a fly ball out of the field was fair where it landed. Now, a batted ball that leaves the field in flight is judged fair or foul at the point it leaves the field. Thus, such a fly ball passing on the fair side of a foul pole, or hitting a foul pole, is a home run regardless of where the ball goes thereafter.
Foul poles are typically much higher than the top of the outfield fence or wall, and often have a narrow screen running along the fair side of the pole. This further aids the umpires' judgment, as a ball that bounces off this screen is a home run. It can still be a difficult call, especially in ballparks with no outfield stands behind the poles to provide perspective. Wrigley Field is notorious for arguments over long, curving flies down a foul line (most notably in left field) that sail higher than the foul pole.
At Major League Baseball fields, foul poles are usually yellow. Those at Citi Field are orange. At Petco Park, there is no foul pole in left field; the pole's function is served by a yellow metal strip along the corner of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. Several parks featuring advertising along the length of the foul pole, with the most prominent example being the advertising from Chick-fil-A at both Citi Field and Minute Maid Park (serving as a pun, with "fowl" being another term for a chicken, the primary meat featured by that restaurant chain).
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777-D Elmira Road
Vacaville, CA 95687
The warning track is the strip of dirt at the edges of the baseball field (especially in front of the home run fence and along the left and right sides of a field). Because the warning track's color and feel differ from the grass field, a fielder can remain focused on a fly ball near the fence and measure their proximity to the fence while attempting to catch the ball safely.
A warning track's width is not specified in the rules. It is generally designed to give about three steps of warning to the highest-level players using the field. Typical widths run from about six feet for Little League fields to about 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 meters) for college- or professional-level play. A warning track this wide also lets groundskeepers avoid driving maintenance vehicles on the grass.
The track can be composed of finely ground rock particles such as cinders, which is why announcer Bob Wolff called it the "cinder path" rather than the "warning track."
The idea of a warning track originated in Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track was built for use in track and field events. When ballpark designers saw how the track helped fielders, it soon became a feature of every ballpark.
Single-minded fielders often crash into a wall trying to make a catch despite the warning track. For this reason, outfield walls are typically padded for extra safety. Wrigley Field's brick wall is covered only by ivy, which is not especially soft. However, there are pads on the walls of the tight left and right field corners in foul ground.
Warning-track power is a derogatory term for a batter who seems to have just enough power to hit the ball to the warning track for an out, but not enough to hit a home run. The term more generally refers to someone or something that is almost but not quite good enough for something.
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777-D Elmira Road
Vacaville, CA 95687
A baseball field, also called a ball field or baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The term can also be used as a metonym for a baseball park. The term sandlot is sometimes used, although this usually refers to less organized venues for activities like sandlot ball.
The starting point for much of the action on the field is home plate (officially "home base"), a five-sided slab of white rubber. One side is 17 inches (43 cm) long, the two adjacent sides are 8.5 inches (22 cm). The remaining two sides are approximately 11 inches (30 cm) and set at a right angle. The plate is set into the ground so that its surface is level with the field. The corner of home plate where the two 11-inch sides meet at a right angle is at one corner of a 90-foot (27.43 m) square. The other three corners of the square, in counterclockwise order from home plate, are called first, second, and third base. These bases are marked by canvas or rubber cushions, 15 inches (38 cm) square and 3–5 inches (7.6–12.7 cm) thick. Adjacent to each of the two parallel 8.5-inch sides is a batter's box.
All the bases, including home plate, lie entirely within fair territory. Thus, any batted ball that touches those bases must necessarily be ruled a fair ball. While the first and third base bags are placed so that they lie inside the 90-foot square formed by the bases, the second base bag is placed so that its center (unlike first, third and home) coincides exactly with the "point" of the ninety-foot square. Thus, although the "points" of the bases are 90 feet apart, the physical distance between each successive pair of base markers is closer to 88 feet (26.8 m).
Near the center of the square is an artificial hill known as the pitcher's mound, atop which is a white rubber slab known as the pitcher's plate, colloquially the "rubber." The specifications for the pitcher's mound are described below.
The lines from home plate to first and third bases extend to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction and are called the foul lines. The portion of the playing field between (and including) the foul lines is fair territory; the rest is "foul territory." The area within the square formed by the bases is officially called the infield, though colloquially this term also includes fair territory in the vicinity of the square; fair territory outside the infield is known as the outfield. Most baseball fields are enclosed with a fence that marks the outer edge of the outfield. The fence is usually set at a distance ranging from 300 to 420 feet (90 to 130 m) from home plate. Most professional and college baseball fields have a right and left foul pole which are about 440 to 500 feet (130 to 150 m) apart. These poles are at the intersection of the foul lines and the respective ends of the outfield fence and, unless otherwise specified within the ground rules, lie in fair territory. Thus, a batted ball that passes over the outfield wall in flight and touches the foul pole is a fair ball and the batter is awarded a home run.
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777-D Elmira Road
Vacaville, CA 95687