By: Jackson Tacka
Roughly 290 feet down the left field line is all it takes to hit a homerun at the Allen M. Barrett field. Here is a stat line for Maxwell Costes’s (’18) hits that met or exceeded the limits of the field this year: five home runs, two of which got to Northern Parkway, and three of which hit cars. The home run that struck two cars on one hit, was responded to by one of the drivers after the ball landed in her car and someone asking asked if she was ok with this quote, “I am, but my f***ing car isn’t f***ing okay.”
Since the 40 foot wall was put up in the beginning of last year’s season, Max is the only one to clear this mammoth fence in left field. He talked about this feat saying “It was sort of weird, I remember the at bat and I knew when I hit it, that it was a homerun, so I didn't really watch it around the bases, and I heard it from someone and you know I was surprised cause to get it over the net in left center is a heck of a feat.”
The cars in moving traffic are obviously the number one concern as potential victims of Costes's bombs. There are also causes for concern with what damage a homerun to right field would cause since it is only 15 feet farther than right field. This same concern could be made for foul balls hit on the practice field, since six have connected with cars from there this year.
The issue with the fence is not that it is not high enough—only one home run has gone cleanly over the fence since it was put up. The issue, rather, is how long horizontally it should be extended. Costes has hooked hits to the left of the fence and crushed balls to the right of the fence for a center field shot to the deepest part of the ballpark. To eliminate the biggest chance for cars to be hit, the fence should be extended to go just along the inside of the the path around Gilman’s fields and pick back up down the right field side fence of the practice field.
When asking Mr. Rob Heubeck what he thought about this idea he explained “I think it should go all the way around the outfield fence for the baseball field.” Hopefully these precautions would help make Northern Parkway as well as the Gilman parking lot much safer from sluggers such as Maxwell Costes.