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dabvu2498
05-26-2006, 11:51 AM
I found this interesting/frightening all at the same time. There is a pic on BA's website. Anyone seen this???

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/features/261257.html

Independent Leagues Notebook: May 10
By J.J. Cooper
May 10, 2006


The Chillicothe Paints (Frontier League) will never again have to drag an infield or chalk the baselines.


The Chillicothe Paints have gone to a completely turf field
In a move that may either signal the wave of the future or a blow to tradition, the Paints are the first professional team in the U.S. to have an all-Field Turf diamond. The infield, the base paths, the batters boxes and even the pitchers mound are all covered in field turf.

Looking for dirt? You won't find it anywhere on the field.

"All we have to do now is roll the ball out and play," Chillicothe (Ohio) general manager Bryan Wickline said.

The new turf cost just under $1 million, but Wickline said that it should pay for itself in three years because of reduced costs for drying compounds, chalk and the manpower associated with keeping a field up. But probably most importantly, rainouts will be thing of the past.

"You can play 10 minutes after it rains," Wickline said. "It is a no-brainer. I can't even imagine the people that are living around Seattle where it rains all the time. This is just great. Now 95 percent of my worries about the weather are gone. You don't have to have a tarp . . . Unless it's raining so hard we can't start a game, that's the only reason we won't play."

The field can drain 12 inches of water in an hour, meaning that even in a steady rain, the field will stay relatively dry.

The Paints have yet to play a game on the new field, but high school teams have, and they have given it a thumbs up. And some of the Paints pitchers have tried out the new turf mound.

"You can still get in there in front of the (rubber)," Wickline said. "It's been fine. I've had some Paints players in and they love pitching on it. Eventually it will likely be a home field advantage psychologically."

While the Paints have a new field, the Rockford (Ill.) RiverHawks and the new Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums will open new parks this season. It marks a pretty impressive transition for the Frontier League, which used to be willing to play just about anywhere.

"Without a doubt, getting the stadiums up to snuff has been a priority," Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee said. "My first year with the league, back in 1994, we were kicking and clawing to play anywhere, whether it was a high school field or Legion field. Now the league has evolved to such a degree that nice facilities are being built for our clubs."

Danny Serafini
05-26-2006, 12:25 PM
Sounds great really. I don't know why a team wouldn't give this a shot.

wheels
05-29-2006, 11:33 AM
Ummm...Yuck.

RANDY IN INDY
05-29-2006, 11:36 AM
Wonder how many knees are going to have to get torn up when the spikes catch in the turf on slides into the bases, before the dirt re-appears?. Sounds like a wonderful idea.:rolleyes:

Yachtzee
05-29-2006, 01:09 PM
Wonder how many knees are going to have to get torn up when the spikes catch in the turf on slides into the bases, before the dirt re-appears?. Sounds like a wonderful idea.:rolleyes:

Or how many pitchers get hurt pitching on a turf mound when it starts to rain.

Danny Serafini
05-29-2006, 03:12 PM
Field Turf isn't anything like old Astroturf. It looks, feels and plays like regular grass. It's been put down in some football fields and the players love it.

reds44
05-29-2006, 07:06 PM
How to slide into 2nd/3rd/and home???

Red Heeler
05-30-2006, 09:15 AM
From Field Turf"s website:


Design engineering allows cleats to penetrate the fiber surface, twist and release. Superior traction allows athletes to dig and cut, yet provides minimal motion-related injury exposure. Torsional release co-efficiency similar to grass.


Very stable, uniform, predictable system preferred by elite athletes. Does not contribute to leg fatigue, ankle injuries, ACL and other problems associated with unstable, rubber-filled turf systems.

The intramural soccer fields at UT were recently redone in Field Turf (had been Astroturf in the past). You cannot tell that it is not a natural grass surface without close inspection. Astroturf is carpet layed on top of concrete. With Field Turf, the turf is layed down, then a filler material (sand, ground rubber) is put in over the top. The result is that the blades are emerging from the filler material just like blades of grass from the ground.

dabvu2498
05-30-2006, 09:54 AM
Field Turf isn't anything like old Astroturf. It looks, feels and plays like regular grass. It's been put down in some football fields and the players love it.
But it is quiet a bit different from dirt.

I noticed that Kent St. has gone to field turf everywhere except the mound and plate area. I believe U. of Louisville has also. I haven't heard any comments from them.

I personally can't imagine sliding on the stuff.

Caveat Emperor
05-30-2006, 10:53 AM
Field Turf isn't anything like old Astroturf. It looks, feels and plays like regular grass. It's been put down in some football fields and the players love it.

I just find it ironic that a team like the Bengals complained for years that it didn't have a grass playing surface and then, once they do get one, they turn around and install a new artificial surface.

Everyone says Field Turf is different than Astroturf -- but I'm sure 10-15 years down the road they'll have found something about Field Turf that's a major negative for having it. I've already read concerns about the rubber flecks that make up the playing surface getting lodged in eyes or getting under contact lenses and causing irritation.

Red Heeler
05-30-2006, 10:56 AM
But it is quiet a bit different from dirt.

I noticed that Kent St. has gone to field turf everywhere except the mound and plate area. I believe U. of Louisville has also. I haven't heard any comments from them.

I personally can't imagine sliding on the stuff.

It wouldn't be any different than sliding on grass. You might stop a little quicker than on dirt, though. Maybe that is a home field advantage - some Wily Mays Hayes "just a bit short" slides from the opposition.

dabvu2498
05-30-2006, 11:54 AM
It wouldn't be any different than sliding on grass. You might stop a little quicker than on dirt, though. Maybe that is a home field advantage - some Wily Mays Hayes "just a bit short" slides from the opposition.
I would guess you'd stop quite a bit quicker. I'd also guess their uniform replacement/repair bills will go up. No enough to compare to the cost of not having a grounds crew anymore.

It's a neat idea. But I doubt if any major league (or high minor league) teams will go for it.

RANDY IN INDY
05-30-2006, 01:23 PM
If you have ever slid on anything that is synthetic or plastic, you know what it feels like, and it is not usually good.

dougdirt
05-30-2006, 01:28 PM
Field turf is something I never want to step on again....mainly becuase I have only been on it once and I ended up tearing my ACL while on it. As a side note to that, sliding or diving on it is slightly worse than falling or sliding on grass, and you can barely tell a difference. It is actually real nice to play on, granted I was playing football but you have nice traction, just like if you were on real grass.

KySteveH
05-31-2006, 12:35 AM
I've already read concerns about the rubber flecks that make up the playing surface getting lodged in eyes or getting under contact lenses and causing irritation.

Doesn't seem like that would be any worse than small pieces of rock or hardened dirt.

dabvu2498
05-31-2006, 10:45 AM
Doesn't seem like that would be any worse than small pieces of rock or hardened dirt.
That's the thing... the Turface "dirt" that most fields (even high school and rec league) use now isn't rocky or hard. When they wet it down, it's nice...

reds44
05-31-2006, 08:53 PM
Field turf is something I never want to step on again....mainly becuase I have only been on it once and I ended up tearing my ACL while on it. As a side note to that, sliding or diving on it is slightly worse than falling or sliding on grass, and you can barely tell a difference. It is actually real nice to play on, granted I was playing football but you have nice traction, just like if you were on real grass.
Yes, but I am talking about around the bases. I wouldn't want to slide into 3rd on grass.

Red Heeler
06-01-2006, 10:51 AM
I would guess you'd stop quite a bit quicker. I'd also guess their uniform replacement/repair bills will go up. No enough to compare to the cost of not having a grounds crew anymore.

It's a neat idea. But I doubt if any major league (or high minor league) teams will go for it.

In my experience, infield dirt is a lot more abrasive than grass. A few hard slides into second, and you have a hole in your pants. A few slides after balls in the outfield, and you have grass stains.

gonelong
06-01-2006, 11:06 AM
Yes, but I am talking about around the bases. I wouldn't want to slide into 3rd on grass.

I'd much rather slide on grass and eliminate the perma-strawberry.

GL