Major League Baseball Fields Dimensions, Outfield Sq. Ft., and Homerun Distance

We had a very big week updating last week’s lesson on the probability of choosing the right teams in the NCAA tournaments:


1. I provided the Mathletes with the results the first 52 games of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament so the children could score their brackets (one point for the First Four, 2  points for Round 1, and 5 points for Round 2). 


2 I challenged the Mathletes to choose the winners of the Sweet 16 for another scoring opportunity. I also provided them with the updated odds of the first 16 teams from Duke to Oregon.


3. I provided the Mathletes with the 16 teams in the bracket of the NCAA Men’s Division I Hockey Tournament also called the Frozen Four. If they choose the 15 winners, they have another chance to earn more points.


4. We discussed the newly famous neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio, Greg Nigel, who chose all 48 games correctly after the First Four. This has never been accomplished. We discussed the probability of that happening if Nigel had a 1 in 2 chance of choosing each winner = 1/281,474,976,710,656 but the Mathletes thought that a very knowledgeable fan could pick with an accuracy of 7/8 winners. The odds change to 1/603. The big takeaway from this discussion is that mathematicians make better decisions because they know the high impact of intelligence.


A recent Boston Globe article How the Red Sox outfielders play their positions at Fenway, March 22, 2019, inspired me to study the geometry of Major League Baseball fields. The infields are all identical (90 foot square) but the rest of the 30 fields are vastly different. I gave the Mathletes the square footage of the outfield, and individually, the left field, center field, and right field for each team. I taught the 3-5th graders to add these decimal numbers by lining up the decimal and using carries. They should feel free to add as many outfields as possible.


Then the fun really started: I gave them a picture of each of the 30 fields with dimensions to the home run fence for left, center, and right field and the homerun wall heights. THE BIG CHALLENGE: TO MATCH EACH FIELD WITH ITS SILHOUETTE. This is just like finding distinctive puzzle pieces. Page 5 of the attached pdf has the answers for this challenge.

The final challenge for 4-5th graders was to find the average of the home run fence in each field. For example, Fenway Park has 310’ left field, 390’ center field, and 302’ right field. To find the average, first vertically add these values and divide the sum by three (310+390+302=1,002; then 1,002/3=334 is the average home run distance).




Major_League_Baseball_Parks_Shapes_Outfields_Homeruns.pdf3.13 MB