Unusual Ballpark Features That Affect Balls in Play
Nationals Park, Washington - The left field pole is 12-18 inches behind the wall. It has a screen that projects forward to the wall that makes the pole flush with the barrier (see photo 1). Any fly ball that strikes that screen is a fair ball.
The triangular area in which the pole sits is primarily foul territory. However, a ball that bounces in fair territory can carom into that area. This is similar to the ball bouncing over the wall in fair territory - the ball is considered dead once it leaves the field (see photo 2). At the spot where the outfield barrier meets the side wall in foul territory, there is a vertical yellow stripe (see photos 2 and 3). A fair bounding ball that strikes above the padded wall on or to the left of that yellow stripe is in play. A fair bounding ball that strikes above the padded wall to the right of the yellow stripe is out of play. Each runner is awarded two bases.
Photos courtesy of David Vincent
Photo 1 - Nationals Park left field pole
Photo 2 - Nationals Park LF pole showing the out-of-play area
Photo 3 - Nationals Park LF corner showing the out of play vertical stripe
Page Updated: 1/29/2012
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