What are the dirt circles at Wrigley Field for?
July 18, 2008 6:44 PM   Subscribe

What are the dirt circles near home plate at Wrigley Field for?

Is that where the on deck circle used to be? That seems awfully close.

And actually, the last time I watched a Cubs home game on TV, I think those circles are gone this year. But I wouldn't swear to it.
posted by nightwood to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fungo circles n. Two circular patches of dirt located on either side of home plate in foul territory. They are used by fungo batters and average about seven feet in diameter.
posted by hangashore at 6:53 PM on July 18, 2008

Wow - that was fast - thanks!
posted by nightwood at 6:58 PM on July 18, 2008

Interesting tidbit...They're dirt because the amount of activity would wear away the grass. In some ballparks you can see "NO PEPPER" stenciled in certain places along the infield walls. It seems the groundskeepers got tired of re-sodding the fungo areas, and plastered the area with signs essentially saying No ball playing allowed.
posted by Gungho at 7:29 PM on July 18, 2008

More info. Fungoes are practice hits with a special bat (thinner) that some coaches do. They do it from the circles so the plate area doesn't get all messed up. Gotta keep a tidy home! They're a traditional feature and not all ballparks have them.
posted by rhizome at 10:59 PM on July 18, 2008

Gungho-- I had always wondered about that (I think Shea had these signs) but Wikipedia offers a different explanation -- namely, that Pepper and Fungo are different games and Pepper is just more 'dangerous':

"Some ballparks have banned pepper games because of the danger of balls landing in the stands and injuring spectators. Some of these stadiums may display a "NO PEPPER" warning on the edges of the field near the stands."
posted by neustile at 6:45 AM on July 19, 2008

Same difference, the groundskeepers hate that their precious field is being 'abused'.
posted by Gungho at 7:25 AM on July 19, 2008

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