Ballpark Idioms by The Free Dictionary

Queens’ Citi Field is modeled after Ebbets Field, and the Bronx’s Yankee Stadium is modeled after the pre-renovation “House that Ruth Built”. In 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in Baltimore in a similar style and colour to a jewel box park, but with more features and accommodations. The ballpark also has a modern, stepped-deck layout, columns removed, and fencing changed. The indoor parks were built for several different reasons, chief among those weather. However, as multi-purpose parks became unfashionable, so did indoor parks.

The infield is a rigidly structured diamond of dirt and grass containing the three bases, home plate, and the pitcher’s mound. The space between the bases and home is normally a grass surface, save for the dirt mound in the center. Some ballparks have grass or artificial turf between the bases, and dirt only around the bases and pitcher’s mound.

  1. The rectangular Polo Grounds had extremely short distance down the lines, 258 ft (79 m).
  2. The multi-purpose architecture reached a climax when Toronto’s SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) opened in 1989.
  3. In earlier ballparks, the columns used to support the upper decks obstructed the view from some seats in the lower deck.

The numbers indicate the distances from home plate to the wall of that part of the field. Left field (LF) and right field (RF) normally refer to the distances along the foul lines. Left center (LC) and right center (RC) are the approximate power alley figures.

Several of the modern parks built as such have remained in use, with no indication of being demolished. Converted ballparks were an alternative to building an entirely new stadium. These parks were pre-existing minor league or college facility that were expanded to fit a major league team. Converted ballparks are distinct from football stadia that were converted to multi-purpose parks in that converted ballparks were originally built for baseball only, albeit for a non-major league level.

While Cleveland Stadium is the ancestor to the multi-purpose ballpark, the ancestor of the modern ballpark is Milwaukee County Stadium. It also featured the rounded V-shaped grandstand and colorful seats that are common among modern parks. Coincidentally, it also would have been one of the earlier examples of a converted park as well.

Although known for being constructed out of wood, they featured iron columns for better support. Some included one tier of inclined seating, topped with either a flat roof or, in some instances, a small upper tier. The outfield was bordered by tall walls or fences covered in advertisements, much like today’s minor league parks. These advertisements were sometimes fronted with bleacher seats, or “bleaching boards”.

For example, in the old Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., part of center field had to be built around a cluster of apartment houses and the result was a rather large angular indentation in the left-center field fence. Now, these variations are mostly influenced by the specifications and whims of the designers. New “retro” parks, which try to recapture the feel of the jewel box parks, are often designed to have these quirks. Baseball leagues may specify a minimum distance from home plate to the outfield fences.

Can you solve 4 words at once?

These allowed shelter from the elements, but still could be open when the weather was pleasant. To be able to support the roof, most were closed in on all sides like multi-purpose and indoor parks. Farther from the infield on either side are the dugouts, where the teams and coaches sit when they’re not on the field. They are named such because, at the professional levels, this seating is below the level of the playing field to not block the view from prime spectator seating locations. In amateur parks, the dugouts may be above-ground wooden or CMU structures with seating inside, or simply benches behind a chain-link fence.

Meaning of ballpark in English

This oval center was supposed to be lifted by the cables, opening the park up if the weather was pleasant. Beyond the infield and between the foul lines is a large grass outfield, generally twice the depth of the infield. The infield fences are in foul territory, and a ball hit over them is not a home run; consequently, they are often lower than the outfield fences to provide a better view for spectators. Sometimes, the outfield fence is made higher in certain areas to compensate for close proximity to the batter.

As fans became more affluent, and especially as they moved to the suburbs and bought cars, the lack of parking became an important issue. Some ballparks remedied this problem through the construction of parking garages in the vicinity, or building new ballparks with ample parking. Others built ballparks in the suburbs, typically with large parking areas. The ballpark/stadium thus became an “island” in an “ocean” of parking space. Beyond the outfield fence in professional parks is an area called the batter’s eye. To ensure the batter can see the white ball, the batter’s eye contains no seating and is darker in color.

The rectangular Polo Grounds had extremely short distance down the lines, 258 ft (79 m). HOK Sport, now known as Populous, designed Sahlen Field in Buffalo to attract a major league franchise to the city. HOK Sport would take what they learned in Buffalo about styling a retro-classic ballpark, or retro/jewel box ballpark, to their major league project in Baltimore.


Next to the first and third base are two coaches’ boxes, where the first and third base coaches guide the baserunners, generally with gestures or shouts. As the baserunner faces away from the outfield when running from second base to third, they cannot see where the ball is and must look to the third base coach on whether to run, stop, or slide. These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word ‘ballpark.’ Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. I think it comes from the crowd in the ballpark, which is always a rough estimate for the commentators etc. There’s several phrases involving ballpark that have similar usage trajectories. It seems these are derived from the earlier phrase in the ballpark to mean within a particular range or area.

Additionally, in the same ballpark has come to mean within the same scope or range. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. On either side of home plate are the two batter’s boxes (left-handed and right-handed.) This is where the batter stands when at bat.

The retro era of the 1990s and early 2000s saw some venues return to using “park” in a stadium’s name, even in domed structures such as T-Mobile Park and American Family Field. New Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field) was the last modern ballpark to be built in North America. A series of renovations have been made to make it appear more like a retro-classic ballpark. Its grandstand extended just beyond the foul poles and did not completely enclose the field. Plans were made to enclose the grandstand and build a dome, but engineers discovered that the structure could not handle the load of the proposed dome.

Luxury boxes, which were a part of football culture, were now introduced to baseball, and were usually placed below the upper decks, pushing upper deck seating farther from the field. The furthest seats in these parks were 500 feet (150 m) or more from the plate. The capacities of these stadiums were larger than previous baseball stadiums. Due to the rectangular shape needed for football or soccer, outfield dimensions were generally symmetrical, and even seats at field level down the lines could be far from the action. The first professional baseball venues were large wooden ballparks with seats mounted on wood platforms.

It was supposed to replace a minor league facility, and serve as home of the minor league team until a major league franchise could be lured to the city. However, the Braves came to Milwaukee ballpark meaning earlier than expected, and the minor league team never played in the stadium. From the 1960s until the arrival of retro parks in 1992, baseball built many multi-purpose ballparks.

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