Recently, I visited a ballfield that I used to play on quite a bit. When I attended college at Washington & Jefferson, I would often drive to Washington Park to hit some baseballs. I hadn’t been back to this field since 2003, so since Amy, Olivia and I were in the area – we decided to pay a visit.
Washington Park is a pretty big park, and the baseball field is near the main entrance, behind the tennis courts.
This is the view from behind the left field fence. Not much had changed here in 8 years except for a newer fence.
Here is a view from behind the pitchers mound:
You can see that there are trees behind the plate and also in foul territory, thereby making it possible to lose your foul balls. The park is surrounded by a small cliff though, which should help in narrowing down the areas that you’ll have to search.
Rather than doing a panorama, I took a picture of each field from home plate.
Looking out towards left field:
To center field:
And to right field:
The field has some decent dimensions. However, they aren’t marked, so I brought a tape measure to make sure that I could get an accurate reading.
Left Field is 305 feet. Center field is about 340. Right field is 305.
It was time to hit and see if I could still take one out of here. The goal for the day was to smash one off of the scoreboard beyond the left field fence:
I used to do that on occasion back in the day and scare the heck out of tennis players who were standing several feet away. It makes a loud bang similar to a gunshot.
Amy and Olivia stood nearby and took some great action photos.
I’m not sure if it’s because I have been visiting these parks and hitting more frequently, or because I’ve been hitting the gym on a regular basis – but I was launching balls today.
Ball after ball sailed over the left center field fence.
Here is a video that Amy took of a home run that clears the scoreboard in left field. If you watch it on full screen, you’ll see it land and basically stay put since the grass was so soft. I also say, “Scoreboard! Scoreboard!” Anticipating the loud boom – but the ball cleared it. Olivia offers some color commentary at the end. If you have 11 seconds, here you go:
The only balls that didn’t go out today, were line drives that I slightly got on top of.
I ended up taking twenty swings. Eleven of those swings resulted in home runs being hit over the left field fence. What a round!
And, by the way, I did hit one of the eleven off of the scoreboard. On my third to last swing. Mission accomplished. Here’s the ball:
Location/Surrounding Area: C+
The field isn’t exactly in a picturesque location, but parking is easy. You just have to walk a little ways around the tennis courts to the field. The only way into the field is to walk the whole way down to the dugouts and enter by the on deck circle, as the entire field is encircled by a fence. I like the dimensions of the field, but it appears that the field isn’t extremely well taken care of. Granted, its the fall – but even if the grass was well manicured and the infield had been dragged, the field just wouldn’t look that great to me.
By the way, prior to going to Washington Park, Amy took me to the Washington Animal Shelter to volunteer. We were going to take a dog on a walk.
We went back into the cages and looked at all of the poor homeless dogs. There was a lot of barking and noise, but Olivia didn’t seem to mind.
Finally, we selected Shadow, a 10 year old German Shepherd whose family had to give her up because they lost their jobs and home.
With the Pirates on one of their longest road trips of the year, and the second closest MLB team, the Indians being out of town, I decided to head to Washington.
No, not Washington DC, Washington PA. Its a small town about 40 minutes south of Pittsburgh. I actually spent four years of my life in this town while I attended Washington and Jefferson College. Its a great town and a really nice area. The minor league team there is the Washington Wild Things.
I attended this game with my wife, and we arrived in the parking lot around 4:40ish, and batting practice was already under way. The plan was to snag my first career minor league baseball. I had attended only a couple minor league games in my life (once in New Britain CT, and twice in Altoona PA).
When we arrived, we were surprised to see one of PNC Park’s regulars sitting beyond the outfield wall. His name is Dan, and he is also a season ticket holder for the Washington Wild Things. He was able to give us some helpful pointers about the ballpark, food, etc.
Anyway, there wasn’t much competition, like at Major League games. I stood beyond the outfield fence and just waited. I could’ve even just sat down and waited.
The view to my left.
The view straight ahead.
Check out the amazing cross aisle that I had behind me. (We asked for the best seats and were given handicapped seats).
In the first inning, I came really close to a foul ball that landed in that aisle. It bounced and was in the open on the ground, when a little kid darted out of no where and got it a split second before me. That was the only foul ball in the area all night.
I was rather annoyed around the 6th inning, when a milk and cookies table was set up right behind my chair, and seemingly half of the crowd lined up behind me. Were these people serious?
A few pictures from the game:
The balls that I snagged: (do not count in my season totals.)
I marked them ML 1 and ML 2, for minor-league 1, 2. I do something similar with my spring training balls, marking them ST 1, etc. For real game balls, I just put the number.