Friday, February 28, 2014

Transforming the Pitch at Sydney Cricket Ground into a Diamond

As you surely know, less than a month from now the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks will open up the 2014 Major League season in Australia.  They will play ball at historic Sydney Cricket Ground; which has been an active field since 1848.

As we speak, they are working on converting a field, best known for cricket, into a Baseball diamond suitable for a Major League game.  Fortunately, this transformation is nothing new, as the below photo suggest.  In 1914, the Chicago White Sox came to Australia to play ball on this very same field.
(pic via @SCG on twitter)

Thanks to the wonder of social media we can see photos of the work being done.  BTW, a live webcam of the stadium can be viewed here.  Below, they are marking the pitch with a diamond. 
(pic via JBMLBPR on twitter)

Then, they start cutting out the grass.
(pic via @joshchetwynd on twitter)

Slowly but surely a familiar sight takes hold.
(pic via JBMLBPR on twitter)

As you can see in the photo below, the outfield warning track has started to take shape.

(pic via JBMLBPR on twitter)

Below is another view of the Sydney Cricket Ground Baseball diamond.
(pic via @DaltsWorld on twitter)

Paul A. Upham, a Fox Sports analyst in Australia, shares a closer view from the field.
(pic via @pauljupham on twitter)

BTW, the game will be telecast in America on the MLB Network.  From a press release sent to me a couple of days ago:
The “MLB Network Special Presentation: Opening Series Sydney” will feature Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz from MLB Network in the broadcast booth and commentary from Ian Chappell of Nine Network, a former Australia cricket captain and a member of the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame. MLB Network’s telecasts will air in the U.S. on Saturday, March 22 with the first game live at 4:00 a.m. ET, immediately followed by a replay telecast at 7:00 a.m. ET, and the second game live at 10:00 p.m. ET. In Australia, ESPN will also exclusively broadcast the exhibition games that the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will play against Team Australia prior to the two regular season games.

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