The pitcher’s mound at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is taking shape, providing another sign of the facility’s progress.
Work continues at the future spring training home of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, which is just weeks away from its opening. Crews are currently putting the finishing touches on the playing surface, and were seen working on one of the field’s most essential tasks on Tuesday, as the pitcher’s mound was being installed.
Getting the mound into place is one of many projects that crews are undertaking to ensure that the ballpark is good to go for camp next month. More from the Palm Beach Post:
“It’s kind of a specialty art,’’ said Matt Eggerman, the ballpark’s director of field operations. “So, we’ve got lot of different guys from around the country who come down for a few weeks to help build the mounds at the same time and make sure the specifications are perfect for play for the major league guys.’’
The stadium off Military Trail at 45th Street just about looks like it’s ready for baseball. Blue seats, 6,500 of them, are installed, some waiting to be tagged with a number. The grass on the field is green, the special “Platinum TE” sod — the same turf used at Minute Maid Park in Houston — having taken root after it was laid in November.
Home plate was installed Monday. And later this month, the dirt “warning track” around the field will be laid.
On Tuesday, it was all about the pitcher’s mound, where the game action starts with each pitch.
Pitchers and catchers for the Astros and Nationals are both scheduled to report on February 15. The Ballpark at the Palm Beaches will host its first game on February 28, when the teams face off (the Astros will be the away team, with the Nationals home). The opening of the ballpark will be one of the more highly anticipated aspects of a solid year for new/renovated facilities in the Grapefruit League.