The Alamodome in San Antonio was not designed to accommodate baseball, which makes it all the more interesting — and outstanding — that the Texas Rangers have been scheduling annual exhibition games there since 2013.
Due to the configuration of the building, which was originally built to attract a professional football franchise to the city and later served as home to the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, the baseball dimensions are considerably shorter than a typical major league or minor league ballpark. From home plate to the right field foul pole, for example, it measures out to 275 feet, which is 27 feet closer than Pesky’s Pole at Fenway Park.
Here are the baseball dimensions for The Alamodome. Actual size on your screen pic.twitter.com/2aUxZEKIhV
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 21, 2015
The Alamodome also has a lower ceiling, a massive scoreboard and several hanging speakers and catwalks that aren’t condusive to baseball. It all adds up to a unique experience, and leaves open the potential for many quirky plays, such as this one involving Joc Pederson of the Dodgers.
Pederson had already homered during one of his two first-inning at-bats on Friday night. Here, he was making a bid for No. 2 when the ball struck one of the aforementioned catwalks and bounced all the way back to the infield.
Per the ground rules, which Pederson apparently didn’t read, the ball was still in play. We saw that in an earlier instance when Leonys Martin reached base on a speaker ball. On Pederson’s ball, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reacted immediately, alertly chased it down and threw Pederson out before he could reach second base.
If you’re scoring at home, that’s a clean single with a not-so-typical 4-6 putout. To everyone else, that might be the strangest play we see in baseball until, well, maybe Saturday when the Dodgers and Rangers complete their quick two-game series at the Alamodome.
By the way, the Dodgers held on to win Friday’s battle 11-6 on the strength of an eight-run first inning. The Dodgers hit three home runs in the frame, including a three-run homer from Yasiel Puig, and five overall.
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