Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Borchert Field Dimensions

Wedged into a single city block, Borchert Field had a very unusual layout. Looking somewhat like the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the corners were cut off by Seventh and Eighth Streets, creating short porches to both right and left and long power alleys. Unlike the Polo Grounds, the outfield corners were devoid of seating - the bleachers were limited to one small section in center field, and anything hit with a little power down either baseline would land in the middle of a street.

In my collection, I have this 1940s press photo, given out as part of a pack of all American Association ballparks to radio announcers, which gives us the basic field layout:

(Click to enlarge - huge)

It lists the dimensions as 267 feet down the left field line, 268 down the right field line and 392 feet to straight away center.

On this thread on Baseball Fever, user "Pelt" created worked out the rest of the layout in sketchup:

He calculated a distance of 435 feet to each of the corners, "with only a couple of inches difference between the two".

That's an awful lot of real estate for an outfielder to cover.


  1. The fellow known as Pelt, immediately after posting this diagram on BaseballFever, offered a disclaimer indicating that this diagram is actually Lloyd Street Park, not Borchert Field. It is possible that this rendering only looks like the Lloyd Street Park posting made by Pelt and that it is actually early Borchert Field (Athletic Park) but until the authors of this website indicate differently, we should assume that these are actually Lloyd Street Park's field dimensions.

  2. Actually, I think Pelt was correcting a statement he made earlier in that thread: "Crazy to think that this is the field where the Orioles began." The Orioles (as the Brewers of the the Western League) started at Lloyd Street Grounds, not Athletic Park/Borchert Field.

    The dimensions look good for the Orchard, at least until the Braves started moving home plate around in 1947.