May 13, 2004
Let's go over the ground rules
Via Jack, I too enjoyed this article by Rob Neyer on the quirky ground rules at some of Major League Baseball's stadia. One thing I'd point out is that the well-known "ground rule double" has some history to it that belies the simplicity of a ball bouncing over the fence. Originally, any fair batted ball that exited the field of play was a home run (in 1926, a minimum distance of 250 feet for a home run was established). In 1931, when the rule was changed so that a ball had to leave the field on the fly to be a homer, it encompassed balls the went under or even through an outfield fence. (See Rule 6.09, sections d and e.) Since this was only possible at certain venues, this came to be thought of as a ground rule. Alas, with stadium construction being what it is now, it's pretty much only bouncing over the fence, plus the oddball examples Neyer lists.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 13, 2004 to Baseball
I knew about the ground rules at Wrigley Field and the Metrodome, but I wasn't sure about the ones involving the ladder or the right side of the Green Monster at Fenway Park (and I was just there last weekend. Interestingly, nothing was mentioned about what the rule is if the ball hits the roof at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
If a baseball hits the roof at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and no one is there to see it, does anybody care?
My local AA team used to play at the classic Engel Stadium before moving into their new cookie-cutter stadium a few years ago. Way out on the centerfield wall (471' to dead center!) there were two concrete coke bottles, about 8 feet tall, sitting atop the wall. Hitting the bottles was a home-run even if it bounced back into play... plus the hitter got $1,000!
They took the bottles to the new stadium but I don't have the foggiest idea what the ground rules are for them (or where they are, I won't go to "Bellsouth" stadium).
Here's a picture of the center field corner, one bottle is behind the lighting scaffolding: