Do All MLB Stadiums Face The Same Direction?

Do All MLB Stadiums Face The Same Direction

With 30 teams scattered across the nation, Major League Baseball (MLB) has a lot of green and dirt to cover. In many other sports where the direction of a stadium is consistent, it is possible that the MLB follows this same template. There is actually a rule established in the MLB that suggests the direction of a playing field. Rule 1.04 of the MLB Rulebook states that in a playing field, “it is desirable that the line from home base through the pitcher's plate to second base shall run East Northeast.” Do the 30 stadiums across the league follow this rule? Read more to learn about whether or not MLB stadiums face the same direction.

MLB Stadium Direction Rules

It is well-known that Rule 1.04 has been established in the MLB rulebook. Even with the rule being established, it doesn’t mean that teams can’t break it. This is the case for a lot of teams because of certain obstacles. A great example of an obstacle stadiums encounter are strong winds blowing from multiple directions.

With other circumstances in the way of a stadium’s layout, the MLB has to resort to changing things. A conventionally aligned field would be positioned facing northeast. This is to avoid the sun getting into the eyes of a batter. Consequently, outfielders suffer as the sun is in their line of sight.

Because of this, it’s much harder to follow Rule 1.04 of the handbook. These conditions are out of control for a lot of teams. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that Rule 1.04 is considered when constructing a stadium but may ultimately be disregarded because of a team’s control.

Origins of Southpaw

Believe it or not, the term southpaw originated from the way in which MLB stadiums were structured. Southpaw is a codename for left-hand pitchers. With the way stadiums were constructed back then, it was inevitable that there would be a shift in the game because of the field layout.

Before lights were made for night games in the MLB, a lot of stadiums were structured for the batter to look out east to avoid getting the sun in their eyes. Subsequently, this meant that a pitcher would be facing west when looking towards the batter at home plate.

For a pitcher who is left-handed, this would mean that would be facing the south side of the diamond. Not all stadiums have the same layout, but it was because of an ideal layout in the developmental stages of MLB stadiums that led to the emergence of a renowned position in baseball.

Geography and Stadium Direction

Rule 1.04 of the MLB handbook is often disregarded, resulting in a lot of stadiums facing different directions. 30 teams across the country can only mean various layouts and methods into solidifying a stadium. It is possible that the city of a residing MLB team serves as an influence for the direction of the stadium.

For certain cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia, it’s assumed that they would have to abide by the rulebook. Just like many other MLB stadiums, their park direction varies. From a logistical standpoint, this is within the confines of the rulebook. There may also be an aesthetic component to the direction of stadiums as well. Pittsburgh and St. Louis have breathtaking views of skyscrapers to accompany their team’s stadium. The weather isn’t the only influence when discussing the direction of MLB stadiums.

There are a lot more components that go into the direction an MLB stadium faces. Even with Rule 1.04 existing within the league’s rules, it’s out of a team’s control especially when considering just how many teams are scattered throughout different parts of the country.