The Field of Play in MLB
by Nick Browne
Watching a baseball game can be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. However, not everyone knows the basics of baseball. If you want to be able to follow the action on the field and truly understand the game, you’ll need to know its rules, especially the most basic ones. In subsequent posts, we’re going to look at many of the rules of the game.
In this post, we’ll go over the layout of the field of play. As you can see in the diagram, each team’s field must meet certain requirements.
The infield is laid out in a 90-foot square, with the outfield being the area between the two lines formed by extending two sides of the square. The distance from home plate to the nearest fence, stand, or other obstruction must be a minimum of 250 feet.
The distance from home plate to the outfield wall should be a minimum of 320 feet along the foul lines, and 400 feet or more through center field.
The infield should also be graded so that the baselines and home plate are level.
Home plate is marked by a five-sided slab of whitened rubber. It is set in the ground with its point at the intersection of the lines extending from home base to first and third base.
First and third base are each 90 feet from home plate. Second base is 127 feet, 3 ⅜ inches from home plate. Each base is marked by a white canvas- or rubber-covered bag that is securely attached to the ground.
The Pitcher’s Plate and Mound
The pitcher’s plate is a rectangular slab of whitened rubber that measures 24 inches by 6 inches. It is set in the ground on the pitcher’s mound. The distance from the rubber to the rear point of home plate is 60 feet, 6 inches. The mound has a diameter of 18 feet.