Results tagged ‘ Mlblogs ’

2014 MLB Japan All-Star Tour ballparks


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The 2014 MLB all star series will be held the first couple weeks of November.  The best of five series will be played in the Osaka, Sapporo and Tokyo domes with two exhibitions planned at  Okinawa and Koshien.  The history of the Japan All star tour event dates back quite a ways.  This will be the 36th time a group of MLB players will travel to Japan to compete in a friendly series and the 11th All Star tour.

IMAG1283 during the site checks our first stop was Okinawa. A small island located way south of the mainland.  It’s about a 2 hour flight from Osaka.  There is a lot of history in Okinawa as it was considered the turning point of WWII.  This is a really cool ballpark which sports a Japanese traditional baseball field which is composed of an all dirt infield.   Japanese players have been competing on these type of fields for over 75 years.     It’s a 25000 seat park and it was very loud and clear that the Okinawans are excited about hosting an exhibition game.    There is a large  military base located near by and  I’m sure there will be some serious fans supporting their favorite MLB and Japan All stars.

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There are two parks proposed for competition in Osaka.   Koshien stadium is the older venue with the most history of baseball in the country.   Connie Mac brought a tour here in 1934  featuring the likes of Babe Ruth and others.  In the early 90’s  MLB international  and the players union had another tour which stopped by koshien.    The park is truly unique hosting the national high school tournament every year.  The park is packed for these games.  The venue has a  all dirt infield, big foul territory and a natural grass outfield. Koshien stadium is about a 30 minutes drive from the Osaka dome.

IMAG1331The other venue planned for games is  the Osaka dome.  I remember last time it was for the 2004 MLB all-star series.   It was good seeing old friends and more importantly seeing the mound and homeplate improvements they had made.    They did an amazing job at matching the infield clay around the base pits with the synthetic turf color.

DSC06259The 4th planned venue is in Sapporo  and it is also a domed ballpark.  Again this is another impressive dome with huge foul territory and a synthetic turf surface.   The outfield wall is about 20ft tall and the distance to the fence is respectable at 330 down the lines and 400 to center.  This venue has the ability to open the center field wall and “float”  in a regulation size natural grass soccer pitch.    The size of the building is massive.  I was told by the local management that the entire Tokyo dome can fit inside this dome!

MLB Opener in Japan 2008
The Main venue for the games will be in Tokyo at the ever so popular and well-known “big-egg” .     The big news for this venue is it has a new synthetic turf surface which was really needed.  The amount of events this facility sees is truly impressive. Always great to see and work with our friends at Yomuri and the grounds staff in the Tokyo dome.

Looking forward to the tour and  working with our Japanese friends.

Celebrating MLBlogs With “TOP 10″ Salute!


???????????????????????????????It’s hard to believe its been 8 years since the commissioners office started the  MLBlogs web site  . When Mark Newman called and asked if I would be interested in providing some tips on groundskeeping.   I agreed and thought I could  probably post something once in a while.    Well 300 + blogs later Im still posting and truly enjoying the opportunity to share information I continue to  learn from others around the baseball softball world.
I’m not the most computer savvy guy in the house by far, but the administrators  at MLBlogs can sure make you look good via assisting with posts, page layouts etc..    The rollover to our friends at WordPress a couple years ago  was seamless and the posting is even easier.    A big shoutout to the folks behind the Curtain in NYC !
One of the highlights is receiving questions from readers.    I recall one question from a 2nd grader in Boston .  He was working on a science project for school and he chose to write about how they make those lines in the grass.  After sending him some photos and suggestions he thanked me for the info an i figured that was it.  His mother actually emailed a couple weeks later with a thank you and wrote how the kids really liked his presentation.
With that I looked back over some emails and blog posts and summarized a few questions below.   To much fun!
Top ten MLBlogs questions over the last 8 years.
10.  Why is the  pitchers mound taller than the rest of the field?
9.   Why was baseball taken out of the olympics?
8.  Who chose the polygon shape of the home plate?
7.   Where can I learn to be a professional groundskeeper?
6.  Do you really need all those people to cover the field when it rains?
5.   How do they make those lines in the grass?
4.  Where can I find the different colors of green paint to make those different lines in the grass.
3.   How do you bend the grass to make it change colors and does that hurt the grass?
2.   My grass has turned white. Is it dead?
1.     Where can I find the batters box key?
….I still think the guy looking for the batters box key is still looking.  The thought of telling someone to email and ask me where it was is priceless.
Great work fellowMLB bloggers  and friends.
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