Sunday, May 13, 2018

Managing Traffic Around a Home Plate Area - Making a Plate Circle Larger

Baseball and softball seasons are in full swing.  Due to this, traffic around a home plate area can be an issue.  How to address this issue?  Consider making the home plate circle larger.  As a rule of thumb, I like to see the plate larger than the BP cage.  In other words, when the cage is on the field, all the players surrounding the cage are on the plate circle.  How is this accomplished?  Let's follow along below as the plate circle was expanded in Whiting a couple season ago.

The task, take a homeplate that had a 26 ft diameter and take it to a 32 ft diameter.  Also, raise the plate to ensure positive drainage while allowing the pitcher's rubber to be 10 inches above homeplate.    So, let's get to it......

First, the new diameter is measured and a line is painted in the turf.


Next, 4 inches of root zone sand was removed.


Then the plate was raised to allow for positive drainage.  Note the string lines set to make sure the plate is square with the pitchers rubber and the foul poles/bases.


4 inches of Dura Edge Collegiate infield mix was added to the perimeter of the plate.  Dura Pitch Mound Clay was installed in the batters boxes and catchers box.


The plate was then leveled with a board.  Positive drainage is ensured due to the laser leveling of home plate.


The plate was worked up and re-leveled with a bunker rake.


Finally, the plate was tire rolled and a finish drag was performed.



Not bad for a days work!

To learn more about Oil City Stadium in Whiting, click HERE.

Click HERE to learn more about DuraEdge products.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tricks of the Trade - Dugout Heaters


This year winter doesn't not want to loosen its grip. Due to this fact, many questions have been asked in regards to additional heaters in dugouts.  A trick of the trade used in many cold weather climates are heaters.  Many use propane “space heaters.”  While they do the trick, below is a nice example of a different type of heater in South Bend.  The South Bend Cubs have heaters mounted on the roofs of the dugouts.   A easy way to keep players and coaches warm during the cold spring months.



Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Growing Degree Day Tracker - A Great Tool for Application Timing

Spring has been slow to arrive across the Midwest.  A unpredictable spring with many ups and downs in the weather can make application timing challenging.  One way to determine application timing is by using growing degree days.

A grounds manager can track growing degree days (GDD), but the easiest way to follow the GDD progress is to use the Growing Degree Day Tracker  brought to you by the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and Purdue Turfgrass.   This tool is a great way to assist you decision making on crabgrass control applications and many other applications of time sensitive products.



Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, March 19, 2018

Grass Baselines for Baseball?

With spring arriving, also arriving is the wet midwest weather and the question of, "Should I Grass My Baselines?"  Here is a repost from an earlier blog posting in regards to grass baselines.

Does that really work?  I get that question all of the time.  So, I stopped by Dunker Field today to take a few photos.  J&D Turf applies fertilizer and chemicals to the field during the year.  We also laser grade the infield each fall.  Enough with the background info, lets get to the photos.  Keep in mind, this was after over 100 games and practices..........

First base and third base:



As you can see, the baselines are in great shape.  A couple things to remember with grass baselines:

1.  There will be maintenance to the lines.  Constant overseeding with ryegrass and allowing the runners to "cleat it in" is necessary weekly when there is play
2.  Don't be afraid to sod the area off of 3rd base.  As you can see from this photo, the area where the players lead off will be worn.  Just install a row or two of new sod each fall.  Sure beats trying to dry wet baselines!
3.  Finally, grass baselines work best when building a new field or when renovating and laser grading an existing field.  Click HERE to see a renovation that took place last summer at Martinsville High School.

So yes, grass baselines will perform well with the correct installation and maintenance plan.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, March 5, 2018

Baseball and Softball Dugout Designs and Extra Items

In this final installment of dugout design and layouts, I am going to look at a few "extras" that can be placed in dugouts.

Reds Urban Youth Academy - Cincinnati, OH - dugout storage 

Huntington Park - Columbus, OH - lighting along the back wall 

University of Notre Dame Baseball - South Bend, IN - heaters on roof and helmet racks running the length of the dugout 


University of Notre Dame Softball - Notre Dame, IN - heaters on roof and doors leading to clubhouse

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Travel Teams, Colleges and Professional Dugout Designs

The second of three installments on baseball dugout design and layout.  Today we are looking at travel teams, colleges and professional dugouts.

"Fenway Park" at the Ripken Complex in Aberdeen, MD - open concept 

Prasco Park in Mason, OH - below grade with padded rail 


 Legacy Field in Mason, OH - basic dugout with nice finishes


 Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN - block design with padded rail 


DePauw University in Greencastle, IN - on grade dugout with uncovered seating 


Werner Park in Omaha, NE - professional design with drainage in the middle of the dugout

In the final installment, we will look at "extra" features to dugouts.  

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Saturday, February 17, 2018

High School and Park and Recreation Dugout Design and Layout

Dugout designs and layouts come in all different shapes and sizes across the country.  With different designs and layouts, costs can vary greatly.  In this 1st of 3 posts on this subject, the focus in on high school and park and recreational settings.

Brown County High School, Indiana - facade the matches the area 

Dublin, OH - open concept with roof at a miracle league field 


Noblesville High School, Indiana - covered and non covered areas

As you can see, dugout design and materials can vary greatly.  If you have questions in regards to dugout design and construction, please let me know.  Look for travel teams, colleges, and professional dugout designs in the next blog posts

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Great Winter Project/Tricks of the Trade - Sharpening a Rake for Clay Maintenance

A great quick winter project ahead of spring maintenance.  A quick tip to turn a standard steel garden rake into a clay shaving tool.

Take a standard tine rake to a bench grinder and sharpen the teeth.  Now, the rake is a clay shaving tool:



Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Great Winter Project - Grounds Crew Shoe Rack

Many times grounds areas are are full of different types of shoes.  Rain shoes, tarp shoes, running shoes, game shoes etc.  How do you keep them neat, clean and orderly?  Consider building a shoe rack.  Here is a photo of the grounds crew shoe rack at Victory Field.  Simply using 3/4 inch plywood and sealing it with black paint did the trick for this application.  Then, each area is labeled for each grounds crew member.


Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Quick Winter Project - Tricks of the Trade - Wrapping a Tamp

Do you have issues with mound clay and infield mix sticking to the bottom of your tamp?  If so, considering taping a plastic bag to the bottom of the tamp.  The following photos were taken while two separate tamps were wrapped at Indiana Tech University. 

Tamp #1




Tamp #2








Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.  

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, January 22, 2018

Tricks of the Trade - Using On-Deck Circles for Moisture Management

Moisture management is a key aspect for optimum mound and plate clay performance.  One way to maintain proper moisture is to keep the clay fully hydrated when not in use.  One trick to maintain moisture?  Use the on deck circles to cover the batters boxes when the field is not is use.  Below are photos of this method.




It is best to use a tarp along with the circles, but this is a great "budget" approach.


Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer




Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tricks of the Trade - Building a Base Rack - A Great Winter Project

How many of you are dealing with bases lining the floor of dugout storage rooms?


Is building a base rack a complicated design?  Expensive?  No, just a few 2x4's.  Let's look into the process.

First a 2x4 was cut and installed on the cement block wall using Tapcon Anchors.  Next, shorter 2x4's were screwed into the wall installed next to the concrete block.  Note the 2x4's are spaced at the width of the anchor.  Finally, a final 2x4 was installed across the smaller 2x4 running parallel to the 2x4's installed into the cement block.  Here is the process in photos:





As you can see, this was a quick and simple project.  Material costs were less than $50

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer