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No Place Like Dome
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT
177 years after the Battle of the Alamo, the Alamodome is embarking on its own Texas revolution.
"There's a first time for everything," said Alamodome general manager Nick Langella. "This facility has a lot of adaptability."
For the first time ever, the 20-year old venue is being transformed into a baseball diamond. And while these odds were not stacked as steep as they were against Travis, Crockett, Bowie and the boys, this project is quite an undertaking. Those saddled with the task of converting the dome to a diamond have plenty on their plate.
"They've had to pull a lot together," said Ryan-Sanders Baseball President and CEO Reid Ryan. "We've had basically eight trades in here working since the arena football games ended last weekend."
To make sure they had their bases covered, Ryan-Sanders baseball brought in Murray Cook, Major League Baseball's venue consultant.
"For an exhibition series, it's fine," said Cook. "It's all about safety for the players and ensuring we do the right thing for them and protect them on the field."
Probably the most unique part of the configuration is the distance (or lack there of) from home plate to the right field wall. It's only 285 feet. Just how short of a porch is that?
We found a high school baseball field a couple miles from the Alamodome. It's distance from home plate to right field is 330 feet. That means major league baseball's configuration is 45 feet shorter than a high school diamond.
"Regardless of where the pitch is, I'm going to swing straight up and try to hit it as hard as I can," joked Rangers outfielder David Murphy. "And if i miss it, I don't care."
David Murphy wasn't serious, but San Antonio is about baseball in the Alamodome. And now that the blueprint has been established, this group is looking forward to extra innings in the future.
"An all-star game, something like that - yes, definitely you can host it," said Ryan. "Maybe a Big 12 tournament? There's a lot of possibilities that you can do."
The fence might be short, but their goals are long term.
By: Adam Winkler