No pepper

You go to a professional game and even some college games, and you’ll see stenciled on the walls inside the park facing the playing field “NO PEPPER.”

Ever wonder what it means and why?

It doesn’t mean that only salt is at the concession stands.

What it means is that those confounded groundskeepers have worked their butts off getting the infield grass nice and neat and looking good and they don’t want it messed up! I think we’ve all seen a picture-perfect-looking infield all but torn apart from all that fielding practice prior to games, and in the middle of the game the guys (and sometimes gals) have to come out with their equipment and repair the holes and stuff from the games themselves. There is no other earthly—or unearthly—reason for this prohibition. :shock:

“Goddess of the Slider”

Zita is correct.

Prior to a game, a grounds crew will spend hours grooming and conditioning the field of play. Unfortunately, prior to a game a team will take the field and exercise their fielding and other skills, doing no justice to the hard work of the grounds crews

Pepper is a game where a player will bat a ball softly on the ground or in the air to a group of fielders, oh, about thirty feet a way or more - but not much more. The fielders will in turn field the ball, then quickly flip it back to the player with the bat and this player will hit the ball again, in flight, and the routine starts all over again. Although this can be a lot of fun and a good exercise prior to a game for hand-eye coordination, it can mess up the playing surface.

Soft toss is a batting practice where a player tosses a ball to a batter, usually from a squatting posture at that batter’s side - but out of the way of the swinging bat. The batter hits the ball into a net or other stopping device. The real problem is when the balls are batted right back into a fence, even worse, when the batters are making holes with their spikes near the fence right behind the plate.

Here are some examples of the NO PEPPER SIGNS and the NO SOFT TOSS SIGNS.

Nothing wrecks a chain link fence faster than soft toss or BP at the back stop. The damage gets worse over time. It gets under my skin when a visiting team rolls off the bus and starts vandalizing the fences. If you want to do these things, hang a large, thick square of rubber from the fences before you start which will absorb and disperse the energy of the ball. Also, maintenance after the game to batter’s boxes and the mound is time well-spent.

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