Lookouts Must Homer High at AT&T Field to Clear 16 Foot Fences
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Many baseball parks are famous for quirky dimensions, as well as big walls. Boston’s Green Monster is the most famous standing over 37-feet.
The fences at Chattanooga’s AT&T Field may not qualify as a monster, but they do stand 16-feet high.
So why are the Lookouts fences among the highest in the Southern League? General Manager Rich Mozingo says it’s simple really.
Said Mozingo:”Sixteen feet is two pieces of plywood stacked on top of each other. When we moved into the stadium here, signs were 8 feet by 16 feet. And you could send out pieces of plywood to the painter, and that was just the size that worked for everybody. Engel Stadium had a huge wall out there. Most of the wall at Engel Stadium is over 20 feet tall, and so we did the same thing over there. We had the signs stacked on top of each other, and we kind of wanted that same Engel Stadium feel when we came to the new ballpark, and that’s the reason it happened that way.”
Reporter:”What’s the biggest wall that you’ve seen?”
Said first baseman Andy Wilkins:”That I’ve actually played in was in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The center field wall was probably twice the size of this one.”
But what’s it like for outfielders trying to play the ball off a 16-foot wall?
Said outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan:”Yeah I’ve seen it happen to a couple of guys. They just go up and try to play it straight off the wall, and it ricochets this way, and next time it ricochets that way. I mean you’ve just got to do your best.”
Reporter:”Do you ever feel sorry for outfielders that have to play off this wall?”
Said Wilkins:”Never. Never. Sometimes you feel bad for the pitchers or whatever because they’ll get some unlucky breaks or something like that. No. If I get my hits, that’s all I care about.”
Now a portion of the Lookouts wall is low enough to rob a player of a home run, so would Kerrigan like to see a smaller fence all around the park?
Said Kerrigan:”It’s always cool to have a chance to rob someone of a homerun. Make a difference for your team and get on the highlight reel. Either way I mean it’s pretty fun to run into the walls here.”(chuckles)
Reporter:”Would you like to see more of a standard height for walls in baseball?”
Said Wilkins:”I don’t think there needs to be a standard. I think sometimes it makes the ballpark unique.”