The Ball Went Where?

While the left field corner at Nationals Park has one of the more quirky ground rules in baseball, other stadiums have unique -- and in some cases, iconic -- features that necessitate unusual rules.

Little Yellow Line at Nationals Park

The intersection of the outfield wall, the left field wall and the facing wall of the left field bleachers forms the corner of a triangle, about six feet to the left of the foul pole, creating a puzzling ground-rules situation if a ball were to land in play, then bounce into the triangle. A team of MLB rules officials that visited the stadium during the late stages of construction solved the puzzle by placing a short yellow line at the corner where the walls come together. Nationals Park

RULE: Right = double, Left = in playNationals Park


A ball that lands in play, then hits to the right of the short yellow line (bouncing over the outfield wall and into the triangle) is a double. A ball that lands in play and bounces to the left of the line is still in play.
Metrodome Speakers in the Metrodome

The roof of the dome is dotted with speakers, which often are hit by balls.

RULE: Depends on the landing

If a ball strikes a speaker (or the roof) over fair territory, it is fair or foul based on whether it lands fair or foul. (If caught by a fielder, the batter is out). If a ball strikes a speaker in foul territory, it is foul (but can still be caught by a fielder for an out). If a ball becomes permanently lodged in a speaker (as has occurred twice), the batter is awarded a double.
Tropicana Field Catwalks at Tropicana Field

Four catwalks -- labeled A through D, with A being the highest and innermost, and D the lowest and outermost -- hang from the roof, part of the building's support structure. Yellow lines on each mark the relative positions of the foul lines.

RULE: Differs for each catwalk.

A is in play. B is in play between the foul lines, and balls that hit it can be caught or drop in for base hits. C and D are out of play, but if balls hit them between the foul lines, the batter is given a home run.
Fenway Park Ladder at Fenway Park

The ladder attached to the Green Monster in left field originally allowed team employees to retrieve balls from the netting atop the wall -- something that no longer is necessary, since the wall is now topped by seats.

RULE: In play

The ladder is in play, but if a ball hits the ladder and bounds out of play, the batter is awarded a double.
Wrigley Field Ivy at Wrigley Field

Wrigley's outfield walls were first covered in Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) in 1937, the brainchild of a young team employee named Bill Veeck, who would become one of baseball's most colorful owners.

RULE: In play, unless ball is stuck.

If a ball gets lodged in the ivy, the fielder must raise his arms to indicate a lost ball, and the batter is awarded a double.
flagpole at Minute Maid Park Flagpole at Minute Maid Park

Straightaway center features a hill with a 30-degree rise, in the middle of which stands a giant flagpole -- a nod to similar features in pre-renovated Yankee Stadium and old Tiger Stadium.

RULE: In play

A ball that hits the pole and ricochets over the wall is a home run; a ball that hits the pole, bounces onto the field and hops over the wall is a double.

By Dave Sheinin -- The Washington Post; Photos: Toni L. Sandys, The Washington Post; David Vincent, Washington Nationals; Jeff Gross, Getty Images; J. Meric, Getty Images

© The Washington Post Company
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