Why Is a Baseball Field in the Shape of a Diamond

Have you ever wondered, why is a baseball field in the shape of a diamond? Baseball diamonds are really squares tipped on their sides with the tip of the diamond the home plate. The game of rounders set the stakes up in a similar pattern, but it was Alexander Cartwright who decided the baseball diamond should be set up exactly so, with equal distances between each base and the home plate. 

The baseball diamond is shaped in this fashion for a couple of reasons. One, it is logical that the runners should cover the same distance between each base, allowing for each hit to count for the same potential distance for the runners. The biggest reason for the diamond shape, however, is to benefit not the players, but the umpire. The unique diamond shape of the field allows the umpire to have a superior view of the entire playing field from behind the catcher, affording accurate calls throughout the game.

If you're not sure how to set up a proper baseball diamond, you'll want to invest in a measuring tape, white chalk powder, four base mats and some string. You can set up a baseball diamond in the proper major league formation by measuring out 90 feet between each of the four bases. Canvas bags are used as bases at three of the four points of the diamond, forming first, second and third bases. A pentagon-shaped home plate is placed at the fourth corner of the diamond. A rubber mat is positioned on the pitcher's mound, which is 60 feet back from home plate. The mat itself is actually positioned 18 inches back from the center point of the mound; the pitcher will need to have one foot in contact with the pitcher's rubber when he throws a pitch.

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