Last month we showed you how to make everything you need to have a successful batting practice. Today, we’re taking you through some projects to help you maintain the field in top shape throughout the season.
First up, let’s make sure you can properly drag the infield. There are two different types of drags a field will need, a nail drag and a mat drag.
The nail drag is inexpensive to make, quick to assemble and easy to do.
Estimated Cost: under 20€
Total Time: 20 minutes
3 5-feet 2x4s
3 3-feet 2x4s
350 nails spaced 1-inch apart
1 8-foot chain
2 eye bolts
Here’s your step-by-step for those looking for specifications.
These guys came up with a really unique mat drag assembled from brooms. Using three industrial broom heads across on top and bottom, and interlacing four in zig zag format through the middle they made the main box frame for their drag. They then connected them all to a metal framing then, using eye hooks, attached the framing to the rope that they use to pull the drag behind a golf cart.
For the steel mat drag we’ve seen those low on budget use pieces of old fencing. If you farm you may have already utilized this technique to remove rocks from the soil. We can’t recommend it for fields but certainly it’s an option when you have limited resources. If you consider it, try using chainmail as the holes are more likely to pick up the rocks you need to remove from a ball field.
Here’s a how-to on infield maintenance that reviews the proper technique and usage of each drag you’ve just made! Either drag can be hand pulled or attached to a cart for quicker clearance.
For specs sheets on both a nail drag and bolt drag, we recommend checking out this blog.
This post provides you with drawings, materials and alignment specifications.
Some of the drags mentioned in this video are specially made for the job. Here’s a quick explanation on what to use when and why.
How you use the equipment is as important as the tools themselves. Learn the proper form for steel mat dragging by hand.
Here’s an article on everything you’ll need to properly drag a field, from equipment to technique. We recommend bookmarking the piece for future reference.
Level the infield using a leveling board. This video shows you how to use all the elements of the board on a stick and, as a result, gives you some great close ups that should help you to create the board itself from scratch. The dimensions are included.
Every now and again, your home plate will need replacing. This how-to video is a demonstration by the manufacturers of a double–sided home plate, which great to know exists if you’re considering investing in a new plate anyway. Let the pros show you how to properly get that plate set up and installed for the safety of batters and catchers alike.
If you’ve been in the sports any length of time you’ve likely done these next three steps dozens of times but it never hurts to go back to the basics and review your work. This video takes you through the process, step-by-step. Great for first time crews and veterans alike.
Painting The Box
Lining The Field
Repairing The Batters Box
For general field maintenance and specification questions you can’t wait for our next DIY segment to cover, visit this ballfield resource blog.
There you have it all the steps you need to get your field in top shape for game time.