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In youth baseball lingo, coaches use terms like “small field” or “big field” to describe the level of play a youth player is at. The “small field” typically refers to the youth baseball field with 60 foot base paths, 46 foot mound to plate distance, shorter distance from home plate to the fences. The “big field” is more commonly known as the field the pros, high school, collegiate, Babe Ruth, and upper levels of Little League® play on – 60 feet 6 inches from mound to plate, 90 feet base paths, longer distances from home plate to the outfield fences. And then there are the Tee Ball designated fields, which I absolutely love to photograph and write about.
To a Tee Ball baseball player, every field is the “big field.” Players step out on the field from the dugout or stands or after a brief pep talk with Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa onto this giant area of land with dirt and grass and bases. Most Tee Ballers will setup shop next to a classmate or new friend they made on the team. Some will park themselves out in an open area where there are dandelions, butterflies, and worms to check out. The ball will be place on a Tee and a batter will hit it. The stands erupt as if David Ortiz were hitting. The coaches call out instructions like “use your glove” or “great job, now throw it to first,” with the fielder not quite sure what “first” is. Everyone gets a hit, everyone runs the bases, everyone scores, everyone wins.
Here are some of the cool Tee Ball Baseball fields I have found here in Rhode Island:
According to EWG Little League on Facebook “We’re having a blast growing their love of the game and couldn’t do it without our outstanding tee-ball sponsors: D. Lewis & Son, Signature Pool & Spa, Wickford Appliance and West Greenwich Animal Hospital.“
This from Norman Clark on Facebook – “The T ball field is named after John ” Jack” Carney who was former coach in the league and a city councilman for the area. It’s believed ( but Little League won’t confirm it) to have been the first or one of the first Little League T ball programs and was started by Mr Carney and his friends. Mr Carney’s son is Keith Carney former Mount St Charles and NHL star.“
If you have a Tee Ball Baseball field that you would like me to highlight, some me a message and I’ll post photos of your field. I’m happy to promote any league that supports the development of youth baseball here in Rhode Island.