Baseball fields from above

You know what I love about flying?
Looking out the window at all the baseball fields.
Like this…
baseball_fields_from_above1.jpg
Obviously it’s impossible to spot baseball fields from an altitude of 35,000 feet, but when the plane is only a few hundred or a few thousand feet high, I notice them everywhere. Check out the fields in the photo below, way off in the distance:
baseball_fields_from_above2.jpg
I took all these shots earlier this year while flying back home to New York City from Chicago.
Here are the baseball fields in Central Park; the red arrow is pointing to my bedroom window, more or less:
baseball_fields_from_above3.jpg
In case you can’t tell, the plane was heading north.
Do you know what sits several miles north of Central Park?
Yankee Stadiums: 
baseball_fields_from_above4.jpg
(Is it too late to restore the old one?)
Major league stadiums aside, I like to look at each field and analyze the surrounding area to see where a foul ball or home run might end up landing. In a parking lot? On a tennis court? A highway? An apartment complex? A body of water? Trees? (Am I the only one who does this?) Then I try to estimate the distance that a ball would have to travel in order to be a home run. I do this by figuring out where home plate is, figuring out where the base is, and then visualizing how many of those lengths (at 90 feet apiece) would be able to fit between home plate and the foul pole. (Did that make any sense?) Or I’ll look at the distance from home to second base and see how many of THOSE lengths (127 feet and change) would fit between home and the center field wall.
But what if there is no wall? Take a look at the cluster of four fields below:
baseball_fields_from_above5.jpg
You see the two bigger fields that are facing each other? I would estimate that if batters on each field hit a 275-foot fly ball to center, those balls would land in approximately the same spot. If there were good teams playing on those fields, you could have a situation where the two center fielders would actually be facing each other. (Once again, am I making any sense?)
Here are a few more fields:
It looks like the one next to the track would require a mammoth 200-foot blast for a home run. Do seven-year-olds play there? Or do grown-ups use that field and only give each other doubles when the ball clears the fence? And how about that baseball diamond embedded into the football field? Playing shortstop on the 20-yard line would either be really cool or really distracting. And then there’s the field on the upper right. Looks like you’d have to hit one about 350 feet to get it on top of that building down the left field line.
Here are some more fields:
baseball_fields_from_above7.jpg
Look at this one:
baseball_fields_from_above8.jpg
I always loved AstroTurf. It was the only time that I played to my full potential because I was never scared of taking a bad hop to the retina; I could get in front of the ball and play with perfect fundamentals.
Here’s one more photo. I probably took it in the Bronx. Or maybe Queens? I don’t remember which airport I was flying into.
baseball_fields_from_above9.jpg
That’s it. Just wanted to share this random baseballness.

10 Comments

Great post, this is also something I love about flying! One time flying into Chicago, I counted every baseball diamond I could spot. It was literally over 70. Something about seeing all those fields, knowing so many exist, makes one feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Awesome post, Zack. I do this too. And I use your home-to-first measuring system too. I also love to look for fields using Google Maps’ satellite feature. I love looking at major league fields that I’ve never visited in person, or pull up the satellite view of one field (say Safeco Field for example) and then “pulling” the map with the mouse and seeing if I can take a roadtrip to another major league field (like AT&T Park). And, I love looking for baseball fields in satellite views of foreign countries. Its very cool to peak in on a place you’ve only seen on the news and you can see for yourself that they too have fields scattered throughout their cities. Thanks for sharing some of your fields picts.
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

I saw your boy Heath Bell at the Padres Season Ticket Holder Meeting last Tuesday. He looked like he’s in great shape and great spirits. Hope he doesn’t get traded….

Leigh

I left new york city for israel two days ago, and flew over the exact fields you did. I saw the yankee stadium(s) as well and also citi field slightly. Its cool how many fields there are.
Also, if you look on google earth and skim over any random town, many fields will come up.

Thats pretty cool, you have a good”baseball eye for a field…guy” lol or not

What a great post! I do the same thing when I am flying. You found some pretty unique fields!
Speaking of baseball fields, have you seen the pictures of Fenway Park now for the NHL game on January 1? It looks pretty darn cool. If you go to nhl.com they have a live webcam.

SKIKOLA-
Nice…and 70…wow. I’d probably lose focus before counting that many.

TODD-
I like the “road trip” idea. I might have to try that.

LEIGH-
Glad to hear that, and I hope he doesn’t get traded either.

KRIMSTEINMILO-
Cool. Israel still has a few fields of its own, right?

2SWINGANDAMISS-
Thanks.

GMEYER0208-
Glad you like it, and no, I haven’t seen the pics of Fenway. I’m gonna go check ‘em out right now…

Hey Zack,
Cool pics.
I don’t think you’ll post again before the 25th so I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope you have a happy day with family and friends!
I am planning a pencil drawing for you but it won’t be done until after Christmas. Keep your eyes open! I’ll leave a comment when it’s done.

God bless,

-Tori

Hey Zack,
Cool pics.
I don’t think you’ll post again before the 25th, but even so, I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you have a happy day with friends and family surrounding you.
I am planning a colored pencil drawing for you. Keep your eyes open! I’ll leave a comment once I’ve finished it!

God bless,
-Tori

I look for baseball fields in the sky as well, flew over Shea once, was exciting.

As for home runs, occasionally. One i do like to think about is Jackie Robinson field (it’s just SE of Citi Field, on the Grand Central). It’s right up against the highway, so you can actually see the balls in the parkway sometimes. I always wonder if cars get hit frequently. I almost always spot at least one ball whenever i’m driving by. (usually headed towards Long Island after a Mets game, in traffic with plenty of time to look at the median/curb for baseballs)

-Ceetar
http://www.ceetar.com/optimisticmetsfan

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