Fans Speak / Joe Mock
Web Tour: Ballparks - List of MLB Ballparks and Stadiums: Alphabetically by Team, League and Year of first season. Seating capacities and field dimensions represent a typical season. Complete for 1998, some data as far back as 1884, including disbanded teams.
Do you have any idea how the dimensions of ballparks were established and does major league baseball have any guidelines on the outfield wall dimensions?
Joe Mock's Response
Francis & Karen,
Thanks for writing. Im not sure what you mean by how the dimensions of ballparks were established.
Long ago, there were really no guidelines, and the distance to the fences was usually directly impacted by how far away the streets behind them were from home plate. You could have HUGE distances to centerfield, like in the Polo Grounds and Milwaukees old, old park.
Now when new ballparks are built, they are supposed to follow Major League Baseball Rule 1.04, Note (a), which states that any field built or remodeled after 1958 is supposed to have a minimum of 325 feet to the foul poles and 400 feet to center. When you see a new park open with shorter distances than that (like in SF, Houston and next year in Cincinnati) its because the team petitioned MLB to waive the rule (usually in exchange for the fence being higher than usual).
-- Joe Mock, Webmaster of BASEBALLPARKS.COM and the Grand Slam Mall
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