With the spring season months past and summer baseball and softball coming to a close, it’s easy to want to take a break from all the action, leave the field behind, and enjoy a break from the grind. However, the 2022 season will eventually arrive. Now more than ever is the perfect opportunity to invest some time and resources to ensure a successful spring season. Here are a couple of areas to focus on this fall. 

Clay Repairs

Mounds, batter’s boxes, and catcher’s areas take a beating throughout the season. Take a few moments to evaluate these wear areas. How do the tabletop, rubber, and landing area look? Are there holes around home plate? If so, now would be a great time to use either bagged clay or clay bricks to repair these areas. Take a look at this recent post for some practical tips. Does the pitching rubber need to be turned or replaced? Is the plate itself low or collapsed? We’ve got replacements in stock if needed.

Slide Pits and Leadoff Areas

All good intentions aside, field dragging is too often done in haste to get the next game in or to get the next field prepped. The end result is sliding holes in front of and extra material behind each base. If necessary, remove the base from the anchor, rake excess material from behind the bag into the low spot in front of the bag, lightly moisten the area, and then compact with a utility vehicle or compactor. Returning these areas to level grade will reduce emergency conditioner use and rainouts.

Install New Topdressing/Conditioner

Game play, weather conditions, and routine maintenance all take a toll on the field skin. Infield skin moisture management is key to spring game play. Ideally, you will have ⅛” to ¼” of topdressing/conditioner evenly spread across the entire skin surface. This ensures consistent moisture levels through the skin surface, improves ball bounce, and increases slide-ability. Unsure which conditioner or topdressing is right for you? Check out this great article to help in that decision. Also, consider using a wetting agent before the onset of winter to increase water infiltration during spring thaw.

Weed Management

Broadleaf and grassy weeds quickly take over the infield skin and warning track when routine dragging ceases. Avoid the pain-staking, back-breaking removal process by applying a pre-emergent over these areas. As seeds germinate and come in contact with the herbicide, they die and create a blanket of protection until the following spring. They are easy to use and budget-friendly.

Whether you’re doing repair work in-house or looking to have someone from the outside execute a game plan, feel free to contact your local ATS representative. We’re here to support and guide you every step along the way. 

Here’s to a great finish to 2021 and an even better start to 2022!