How To Get A Ball At Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium

The How To Get A Ball At Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Snagging during BP is very easy
  • Look carefully for covered balls
Stand behind Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium's outfield fence for a good shot at snagging balls during batting practice.

If you've never been able to snag a ball at a pro baseball game, your luck has a very good chance of changing with a visit to Ripken Stadium. While your odds of catching a foul ball or getting a toss-up from a player are about equal to any other Minor League Baseball facility, the area beyond the outfield fence at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium is batting practice home run-snagging heaven.

Get to the ballpark as early as you're able. Because parking is free, there are no gates at any of the entrances to the facility that prevent you from arriving early. Both teams often take batting practice between three hours and one hour before first pitch; for a 7 p.m. game, this means they'll hit somewhere between 4 and 6 p.m.

When you arrive, take a backpack and your glove and walk to the rear of Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. It's accessible by going in either direction, so it doesn't make a difference which way you walk. Upon arriving behind the outfield fence, take a peek through a gap in the fence to see if the players are hitting. It's likely that some players will be out playing catch. If the batting cages are set up, batting practice is on. If it's yet to begin, kill time by searching for balls in the grass. If no one's been back in this area, you might find BP or game balls from the previous day's game. The area is full of machinery, grounds-keeping equipment and other obstacles, so take your time to look for balls in hidden areas, such as beneath the machinery. You might be surprised at what you find.

Once the players begin hitting, stand back from the fence for safety reasons. (There's very little warning when a ball sails over the fence and the last thing you want is for IronBirds staff to find your unconscious body with a welt on your forehead.) There's a grassy hill beside the visitors' bullpen and by standing atop it, you can catch a glimpse of the action on the field, which allows you to track balls as they head your way.

If you don't have any competition on this particular day, you'll be able to grab virtually every ball that leaves the ballpark. If other people are around, you still have a shot at getting something. Hang out in this area, if desired, until batting practice wraps up, then return to your vehicle to deposit your stash of new balls.