Historically speaking, MLB teams relied on “local suppliers lacking baseball expertise” to provide their infield dirt; resulting in a dry, chunky mix prone to bad hops. That’s no longer the case, as highly specialized groundskeepers studying “soil science” are sourcing dirt from around the country in search of “just the right mixture of sand, clay and silt to provide a smooth, predictable surface.” It’s not just “engineered soil mixes” that MLB teams are bringing in though, “black gumbo” clay (helps with footing) and crushed brick or lava rock (durable material) are also being nationally sourced for use on pitchers’ mounds and warning tracks.
Howie Long-Short: MLB quality dirt mixes range between $80-$100/ton (+ freight), roughly 4x the cost of “ordinary” dirt. Teams replacing the entire non-grass portion of a MLB infield could be looking at a bill upwards of $50,000.
Fan Marino: The biggest difference between the dirt on a MLB baseball field and on your local little league baseball or softball field is the amount of clay contained within the blend; “a binder that helps with consistency and resilience.” The dirt your little tyke plays on is going to be “sandier”, as it’s cheaper and easier to maintain.
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