A few general items before the base anchor installation begins:
- Click HERE for a list of field dimensions provided by Diamond Pro.
- To see how to build a set of base anchors go to Building a Set of Base Anchors.
- Base and anchor prior to installation - NOTE: the anchor is square, not round. Round anchors can spin in the ground.
Let's get started. First thing is to run a tight string line from behind the apex of homeplate to the LF foul pole. If you are unsure if your field is square, consider hiring a surveyor, or visit two past blog posts - Replacing a Plate Without a Surveyor and Replacing a Pitching Rubber Without a Surveyor.
Next, run a tape measure from the apex of homeplate to the back corner of 3rd base - this should be 60ft for fastpitch softball.
Next, flip the base over and trace out the outline of the base with a shovel. This will provide a general location of the base. Then, begin to remove the infield mix to prep the sub base for the anchor. NOTE: keep the string extremely tight. During removal of the infield mix the string may have to be moved or may be kicked etc. The string will snap back into place if maintained in an extremely tight manner.
When the sub base is close to completion, place the anchor for a "dry fit." Use a 2x4 or a grade stake to bridge the hole to ensure the anchor will be slightly below grade. Also, double check that the string is square and the back corner of the base is still at 60 ft.
After determining the anchor is at the correct grade, begin to backfill around the anchor with infield mix at 2 inch lifts. NOTE: a batting glove is used to keep the anchor clean. A whisker plug will break apart if/when a tamp hits the whiskers.
Following another grade check, place the base into the anchor and check the dimension and ensure the base is square and in line with the plate one last time. NOTE: after installation and when chalking the baseline, the baseline should run under the base, not next to the base.
Third base is now installed. You can now continue on to 1st and second. Here is the finished product.
Look for a future blog post on Installing a Second Base Anchor.
Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.