We play on a city owned field. Over Christmas they decided to cover the whole field with dirt and ripped up all the bases and home plate. How do I need to go about finding where home plate was? The foul poles are still up. Any help will be appreciated.
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I'm sure there will be some guys who come on here with much better advice than this but it's worked for me before.

Take some string and attach it to the outside of each foul pole. Run it all the way to the backstop and where the two lines cross. That is where the point of homeplate will be. With these lines still down measure out 90' for first and third bases. Now you will have homeplate, corner bases and foul pole all in a line.

Then you can take another piece of string and run it from the tip 60' 6" and that is where the pitching rubber should be. Just be sure that it is square with home plate. We did it by running more string from the edges of homeplate to the mound. The plate is actually wider than the plate so don't let that throw you. Once you have the midpoint and equal distance on each side of the string you should be square.

Then with first and third in place take string and run it up against the edge of the inside of each base. Where the strings cross is where you put second.

Now you should be good to go. I played at a community park as well and had to do all kinds of repair / maintenance work myself. We didn't have access to all the equipment to actually do the work easily so this is what we came up with.

If we were off it wasn't by much because we measured again once we had everything laid and it came out to the distance it was supposed to be and our foul lines were always straight.

It's a lot of work but not that bad.
Just make sure where the strings cross it forms a perfect 90 degree angle.

Diagrams can be found here:

From turface.com
Also, I will reiterate a lesson I learned from this site a few years ago for those who (like me) didn't know it before.

The 90' marks from the rear point of home down each line mark where the rear corners of 1st and 3rd base bags should be. Take this into account when you place your base anchors.

But if you run string 90' from each of those rear corner points at a right angle to find 2nd base, you have to then place that point in the middle of the 2nd base bag.

I don't know why this is so, but if you read your rule book you can determine that it is the rule.
I didn't know that!!! I would have placed the bag with the CF corner at the intersection. Doing it this way means the infield diamond is not technically a square...
Yup. Like I said, I was shocked to learn this here a few years ago, but you can look it up and verify it in the rule book.

Though again, it still doesn't make any sense to me. It just is.
I don't have a reference, but I believe that at one time 1st and 3rd base were also located with respect to the geometrical center of the base. This meant that half of those bases were in foul territory, which complicated making accurate foul/fair calls. So they moved 1st and 3rd to be entirely in fair territory, but left 2nd still located on center.

coachbyrd,
Are the original metal base anchoring posts still in place? If so, you could rent a metal detector, find the posts, and then work backwards to find the original home plate location.
To get an accurate 90 degrees from your strings tied to the foul pole, and intersecting at home plate, You can use the 3, 4, 5 rule.

Measure 3' up one line, 4' up the other line.
Now measure across from the 3' mark to the 4' mark.
it should measure 5'.
If not adjust strings in or out till it does measure 5'.
That will be a Rt. angle (90 degrees) which is what you want.
You can stretch your numbers out.
3' (6'), 4' (8'), 5' (10').
Just double the number's.

After moving the string's in or out.
Remeasure your 3', 4' measurement. then do the 5' measurement again.
repeat until all number's match

EH
Last edited by theEH
coachbyrd,

I'm not really sure what you want to do, so perhaps this will be pretty wide of the mark....

By themselves, the two foulpoles don't have enough information to allow you to find the original location of homeplate. Actually, any point on the circumference of a particular circle could be the point of homeplate, and lines connecting that point to the two poles would make a right angle with each other. That particular circle has a diameter which is the line between the two poles.

Maybe that's fine and you don't mind if the new plate location is a few steps toward either dugout from the old position. If so, just find any point which yields foul lines which are at a right angle, and then layout the infield.

If you really want to find the location of the old home plate, you'll need additional information. Coach2709 implied one way--recall where the plate was in relation to the backstop. Lots of backstops are symmetrical, and the plate should go in the middle of the arc.

If the backstop is gone, you can probably use Google Earth to get an aerial picture of your field as it looked a couple of years ago. The program has a measuring tool that would allow you to measure pretty accurately the original distances from the foul poles to home.

Finally, if you can afford \$30 or so, I'd recommend renting a "builders level", with tripod. Builders levels will allow you to measure 90(or any other) degree angles very accurately--much more so than string, especially if the wind is blowing. You'll also be able to sight the line through the middle of the rubber and second base. The details of where the bases go, as mentioned by MidloDad, are illustrated in MLB rules.
quote:
Originally posted by 3FingeredGlove:
coachbyrd,

Finally, if you can afford \$30 or so, I'd recommend renting a "builders level", with tripod. Builders levels will allow you to measure 90(or any other) degree angles very accurately--much more so than string, especially if the wind is blowing. You'll also be able to sight the line through the middle of the rubber and second base. The details of where the bases go, as mentioned by MidloDad, are illustrated in MLB rules.

Virtually every baseball program in our area has a general contractor associated with it - either because he sponsors a sign on the outfield wall or because he has or had a kid in the program. They all have this equipment as a part of their business. I've never had a problem getting one of them to come "shoot" the field.
Last edited by 08Dad
Since you already have the foul poles, it should come out square enough by centering your backstop with the strings.
Is your outside fence a perfect circle. Meaning or the foul poles the same distence from home plate?
If so just measure from the foul pole to home and make it the same measurement to the intersection of the strings and go from there.

EH
Midlo, I recently had the question about 2nd base placement come up, and found this to be helpful. Apparently the placement just sort of evolved. Interesting to see all the different placements and orientations of bases over the years.
http://www.19cbaseball.com/field-9.html

Also, the Google Earth idea above is cool and it's interesting how many people think 2nd base is placed within the square.
Last edited by SoutherNo1