A great game starts with the field you play on. If it is poorly maintained, there are all sorts of issues you could come across, including the safety of those on your field.
Our team of experts here at MVP Athletics not only will advise you of the best field maintenance tools and equipment, but we have sourced a list of products that will make your play time count.
During the off season you will see fields that are just being left alone, with no one in sight to maintain them. But in reality, this is the perfect time to go in and start the maintenance of your field. No deadline time constraints. Set up and make the effort to take the time to continue to maintain that field. The better you maintain it and give the field the care it needs, the less work it continues to be, not to mention the cost that will decrease from keeping an eye on it during off season. Let’s get to the important stuff, the equipment!
Master Your Raking Technique –
Each field should have a rake on hand, as it puts the finishing touches on your field. Raking the base path helps keep them smooth, level, and in good condition. However, it’s important that you know how to rake your baselines properly. These are a few things to keep in mind:
- Never rake across the base path, as this can cause lips to form at edges and low spots to form in the middle. Instead, make sure you rake down the base path.
- Also make sure you don’t over-rake any wet infield mix as this can cause it to become very mushy.
- Give it a single pass when wet.
The following areas however should always be hand raked (as shown below). Home plates, baselines, coach’s box, pitching mounds, first and third base areas if there is infield grass present, and dug out/warm up boxes if the sea in front of the dugout is cut out.
Of course, having a rake that is durable and reliable is the key to this step. A rake that is light in weight is usually key as it is easier to maneuver.
Using Your Drags –
When you’re at mid-season, you’re submersed in the intense maintenance of infield skins. One of the groundskeeper’s most important responsibilities in maintaining a ballfield is to ensure that the infield skin is firm, yet resilient, and that the surface grade is maintained properly so there are no low spots on the skin that will hold water from rain. The infield skin should have a consistent and smooth slope away from the infield in order to quickly surface drain rainwater off the infield.
Regularly dragging the skinned infield will keep it in safe playing conditions. A manual drag is good for finishing the baselines, skinned infield home plate areas. A mat drag is the most affordable and effective tool available. The most convenient aspect of this tool would be that it can be manually dragged or pulled by equipment, the choice is yours.
Steel mat drag can be used in any type of soil. It is the only finish drag that will break up small soil clumps. Because of the way this drag is constructed, it transports infield material around because the steel mat drag must load up before it will drop off material. This can be used to a groundskeeper’s advantage to help cut down high spots and fill low spots.
Pulling the String Line –
The string used to help mark out the fair line is pulled from the back (apex) of the home plate. Pull the string out to the established fair line in the outfield grass. If no fair line is set up in the outfield, use a string winder for accuracy. Ensure that the string is lined up on the outside of the base. Winder makes field lining a breeze & ensures a perfectly straight line!
Looking for something with more capacity? Perhaps a line marker that allows you to store twelve spray cans of paint on top? We’ve got you covered! This cool gadget also allows you to adjust the width of your spray, as well as handles that are foldable for easier storage!
At MVP Athletics we carry a variety of line marker machines, including the following:
- Line marker 35 lb (2-wheel design)
- Line marker 50 lb (heavy duty)
- Line marker 50 lb (heavy duty, deluxe never flat wheels)
- Line marker 100 lb (heavy duty, deluxe never flat wheels)
Your next step will be to begin painting your lines. The easier and least messiest way possible would be to use a spray line marker - no mixing required and minimum cleanup.
Now that you have all your equipment ready to go, pair your new line marker with some paint to get the job started! Take a look below at our spray line marker, that fits perfectly into your line marker machine.
Give your players the safest, most beautifully kept baseball/softball field possible in adhering these highly effective tips from our professionals here at MVP Athletics. Looking for other great tools to keep your field maintained throughout the year?