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#1
Old 04-16-2001, 10:10 AM
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Why does the MLB accept those baskets in the outfield at Wrigley? They line the walls in the bleachers, and yesterday a "home run" bounced off the top of the wall and back, but because it landed in the basket, it was called a home run. If the baskets weren't there it would have bounced back into play and would be a double.

Shouldn't the wall be the deciding factor on these things? Or do batters just have to accept that the probably two foot wide basket is the indicator of where the park ends and the home run begins?

p.s. kerry looked good, eh?

jarbaby
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#2
Old 04-16-2001, 10:20 AM
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As long as I can remember, the baskets at Wrigley have always clearly been designated home run territory. As I understand it, the home team can determine what boundary constitutes a home run as long as the rules are clearly spelled out before the game when the team captains go over the ground rules.

Similarly, when the ball gets lost in the ivy, the heads-up outfielder will immediately throw up his hands, indicating a ground rule double, rather than trying to fish it out in desperation while the runner circles the bases.
#3
Old 04-16-2001, 01:01 PM
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Wrigley isn't just a park, it's a tradition; it's been there and in use for 87 years, 85 of those by the Cubs. Every ballpark has its own ground rules. Before the Reds moved to their current stadium, they had played in Crosley Field. Crosley had a horizontal line on the outfiled wall, anything above the line was a homer. Before Yankee Stadium was remodeled and the fence brought in, the three monuments were in play in CF. A few parks had a flagpole in play. If anyone's interested, I can look up more of these odd rules when I get home.

BTW: Roy Hobbs' clock-shattering line drive in "The Natural" was inspired by a real life incident at Ebbets Field.
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#4
Old 04-16-2001, 01:13 PM
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What constitutes a home run is based on how the stadium is constructed, so if they want baskets on the walls at Wrigley, why not? (Those baskets serve an obvious purpose.) The baskets ARE the wall - they are an extension of it, and going over them constitutes a home run even if they aren't made of brick. Other stadia have funny ground rules, too.

I don't get the title of the post, though. If the ball bounces off the wall into play it's not a "ground rule" double. For that matter, it isn't a ground rule double if it bounces over the wall. That's an automatic double.
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#5
Old 04-16-2001, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickJay


I don't get the title of the post, though. If the ball bounces off the wall into play it's not a "ground rule" double. For that matter, it isn't a ground rule double if it bounces over the wall. That's an automatic double.
I know...I'm just a stupid girl I guess...that's what I mean, Rick. I guess I should have just said that the baskets steal doubles and left out the adjectives.

I understand that the rules are determined by the construction of the park, but I doubt if we'll see too many parks built in the future where they say, "OK, here's the wall, but I'm going to also put a two foot wide shelf AROUND said wall....

Why not just make the wall two feet closer? It seems they're just trying to preseve souveniers for the bleacher bums.

I love the baskets! I love Wrigley! I love the Cubs...I was just curious as to whether anyone has said "those are weird"

jarbaby
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:11 PM
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If umpires had their way, there would be Wrigley-style baskets on every fence. With the baskets, you make it impossible for a Jeffrey Maier-type incident to reoccur. Maier (aka the Rotten Little Cheater) wouldn't have been leaning into the field of play at Wrigley. He just would have been leaning over a basket.
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jarbabyj:
I understand that the rules are determined by the construction of the park, but I doubt if we'll see too many parks built in the future where they say, "OK, here's the wall, but I'm going to also put a two foot wide shelf AROUND said wall....
That's been the problem with the new ballparks, starting with Ewing Kauffman Stadium. IIRC, all new stadiums had pretty much the same dimensions until Camden Yards was built. Fortunately, this is changing. Even Fenway's replacement will have the same nooks & crannies. While the shelf probably will never happen, we could see a second-deck overhang again, like what the old Polo Grounds had. If a ball was hit exactly right, it would land in the overhang; if not, it should be caught for an out.
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#8
Old 04-17-2001, 12:39 AM
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bizarre ground rules

Enron Field, the Astros' practically brand-new park, has a flagpole in deep center field. As in, the pole is on the field, in fair territory, about three feet from the wall. Making matters stranger is the fact that that section of the outfield is at a 20o slope.

The hill is called "Tal's Hill", and the team website explains it on this page (under "Special Features");
Quote:
Tal's Hill: Reminiscent of ballfields of the past, the playing field of Enron Field was created with its own unique characteristics. One of the most challenging of these is Tal's Hill, located in straight-away center field. Named for Astros' President Tal Smith, one of Houston's most influential baseball figures, the hill has a 20 degree slope, as well as a flagpole three feet from the outfield wall, in the field of play. Centerfielders definitely have their speed and agility tested when they come to play at Enron Field.
Keeping this on topic, the ground rules are spelled out here:
Quote:
  • Ball hits flagpole and leaves field - HOME RUN. Ball remains on field - IN PLAY.
  • Ball hits flag pole, bounces on ground and then over fence - TWO BASES.
  • Ball hits fence above yellow line, or top of railing in left center field - HOME RUN.
You could ding a 450-footer, but if it smacked into the flagpole and bounced back towards home plate, that's tough. What's next? Sand traps & water hazards?
#9
Old 04-17-2001, 12:57 AM
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If you can hit a pitched ball 450 feet and have hit a flag pole that same distance away and then have that ball bounce over a fence, you deserve something other than a double or a home run.

Perhaps a free suit.
#10
Old 04-17-2001, 05:35 PM
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The Ballpark in Arlington used to (maybe still does) have a sign that says hit this sign, win a free suit. I think it's over 500 feet from home plate.

The worst ground rules I've ever heard of are at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. That place just is NOT a baseball stadium. They frickin' used to play *hockey* there. I once saw Jose Canseco hit a towering blast there that bounced off one of those catwalks in the upper deck. It either ended up a single or a foul ball, I can't remember. But at a normal park it would have been like a 500-foot homer. I'm sure he's not the only player to get robbed of a monster home run in that place. Dave Valle and Mike Schmidt also got robbed of monster jacks by hanging speakers in the Kingdome and Astrodome respectively.
#11
Old 04-19-2001, 11:27 AM
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On 4 May 1984, Dave Kingman hit a ball through a hole in the roof of the Metrodome. This was ruled a double.
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#12
Old 04-19-2001, 05:03 PM
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It was Frank Thomas who at first lost a home run to Tropicana Field's screwy ground rules. He hit a tremendous shot that hit one of the catwalks and it bounded back into the field. Under the ground rules at the time, Thomas was held to either a single or double.

However, the umpires got together and awarded Thomas a home run, figuring that the catwalk he hit was so far away that it would have been a home run even in Yellowstone.

Can any Devil Ray fans shed more light on this matter? Or do such creatures really exist?
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