Pitching Mounds, a perspective.
How important is the pitcher’s mound in the whole scheme of baseball? Well, on this little stage, the pitcher can either win or lose the game.If you are in charge of building the pitcher’s mound for your baseball team this season! Here are a few things to keep in mind, and learn from baseball history.
Historical Baseball mound dimensions
A regulation pitcher’s mound is an 18 foot (5.5 m) circle, its center, 59 feet away from the back of the home plate. Commonly called the ‘pitching rubber’, the pitcher’s plate should be 18 inches (45.7 cm) behind dead center of the mound. The mound should start to slope downwards towards home plate 6 inches (15.2 cm) in front of the pitching rubber.
The top of the mound should not be more than 10 inches higher than the surface level of the home plate. However, during different times of baseball history, the mound had been much higher. In fact, the height
limit from 1903 to 1968 was set at 15 inches though some teams are reputed to have higher. Baseball teams whose strength point lies in pitching are believed to have tallest mounds in the major league baseball.
Now that we’ve covered the dimensions, the next step is construction. There are several approaches one can take towards the actual creation of a pitcher’s mound. One of the simplest ways is to start by building up the highest point of the mound or the plateau first. Then, establish the slope in front of the pitcher’s plate towards home plate until you reach ground level. Keep in mind the dimensions mentioned above when measuring towards home plate.
After the plateau has been set up, install the pitching rubber. A standard pitcher’s rubber is 24 inches by 6 inches. You can use a carpenter’s level to make sure the rubber is stays flat while it is being installed. Use moist clay and tamp the area around the pitching rubber using your hands or a tool. Keeping the mound soils moist but not sticky during construction is essential.
Build the mound inch by inch from the ground up. Use a heavy roller to tamp on the material so that the mound is firm. Keep the mound packed, layer by layer until you reach the correct dimensions for a regular pitchers mound. Maintenance is just as important as construction. When not in use, remember to cover the clay with plastic or tarp.