Baseball and Softball pitching rubbers.
posted on March 30th 2008 by Troy Frazier
4 way pitching rubbers, step down, tack down, and hollywood style
Pitching rubbers come in many different styles this article will discuss the different styles and how to install them. Our favorite style of pitching rubber is a four way pitching rubber. They are very durable, easy to install, and stable. The design is intended to allow it to be removed, and turned after one side wears out. In theory you could use each side as a new rubber for several years. Like a home plate a pitching rubber must in installed level. If the rubber moves when it is stepped on it will wiggle loose. The rubber needs to also be level with the ground around it. I highly recommend the 4 way pitching rubber for baseball, and softball at all levels of play.
Spike down, or tack down pitching rubbers are also available. These products can be very useful if you need to install a pitching rubber at different distances from home plate for different levels of play, and want to remove them or move them. If youíre going to move the pitching rubber often you should get pitching rubbers with the spikes on the side. This allows you to install the rubber with a hammer very quickly. If you get pitching rubbers with the spikes on the bottom you must be very careful not to push the spikes through the top of the pitching rubber. It prevent this drill the holes for the spikes out first, and gently push the rubber into the ground. Youíll need to remove about an inch of dirt around the rubber to make it flush with the ground.
Another solution for fields that use multiple pitching rubbers is a Hollywood style removable pitching rubber. These pitching rubbers work like a base. The pitching rubber slides into an anchor, or peg that is buried in the ground. The rubber can then be removed and the anchor can be covered. This solution is best for fields that need to move the pitching rubber often.
The step down rubber is our least favorite. The step down rubber is designed to prevent the wear hole in front of the rubber. It doesnít work. The clay from the mound wonít stick to the rubber so the clay that should be covering the step comes out after a few pitches. I find the step down rubbers to be very hard to level, and most installations Iíve see rock back and forth, or side to side. This compounds the problem of the clay coming out because the movement of the rubber forces the clay out of position. Frazierís Field Repair does not recommend step down pitching rubbers.
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