Friday, August 18, 2017

MLB Little League Classic Game Notes - Renovated Historic Bowman Field Ready For The Big Game

A Photo
Time-lapse video of renovation:

Major League Baseball invested in a multi-million dollar renovation of Historic Bowman Field.  The work began on March 1st as eight members of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), led by MLB’s Field Consultant, STMA member & Brightview’s Murray Cook, got to work laying 8,000 tons of sand warning track and root-zone material to prepare the natural grass surface. Eventually, 1.5 feet of physical mass was removed so that the playing surface could be constructed.  During the week of May 30th, the infield and outfield sod was finally set using John Deere equipment and products from Scotts, the official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball.  BrightView also oversaw the installation of new foul poles, bullpens, and a batter’s eye to meet MLB requirements. The new ballfield was inaugurated for the Williamsport Crosscutters’ (Class-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) home opener on June 20th and has hosted Crosscutters’ games ever since.

The entire field is constructed from home plate with the pitching rubber set exactly 10 inches higher, which was  installed to a tolerance of 1/100th of an inch. The previous dimensions of Bowman Field were 351 in right field, 408 to center field and 341 to left field. New dimensions are 331 to right, 411 to center and 323 to left.  Additional features includes an x-ray room in case of injury, video room for in-game film study, weather room and an additional trainer’s room.

Additional information:
·         Bowman Field is the second-oldest minor league ballpark in the United States.
·         New seating capacity is approximately 2,500.
·         Fans in attendance at the MLB Little League Classic will primarily consist of players and families of the 16 teams competing in the Little League Baseball World Series.  Additional attendees will include residents of Lycoming County (via a special MLB ticket sweepstakes) and local youth leagues (e.g., Williamsport Area Little League and Original Little League).
·         In terms of capacity, the MLB Little League Classic is projected to be the lowest capacity Major League game in history.
o    South End Grounds (Boston Braves, 1871-1914) – 5,000
o    Oriole Park (Baltimore Orioles, 1901-1902) – 8,000
o    Columbia Park (Philadelphia A’s, 1901-1908) – 9,500
o    American League Park (Washington Senators, 1901-1910) – 10,000
o   Palace of the Fans (Cincinnati Reds, 1902-1911) – 10,000

Notable Players Who Have Played at Historic Bowman Field:
·         More than 560 Major Leaguers have played at Historic Bowman Field, including the following:
o    Hall of Famers Nolan RyanBill MazeroskiJim Rice and Jim Bunning.
o    Bowman Field was also the site of numerous barnstorming tours featuring the MLB stars of the day, including Babe Ruth.
§  Ruth’s Bowman Field home run ball is on display at the World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store, sharing an exhibit with the only complete Babe Ruth uniform on display in the world.

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