Going, Going, Gone! The History of Moving Outfield Fences in Baseball

Throughout the history of the great game of baseball, fences have been moved in or back to aid or hurt hitters. The Miami Marlins are doing so this year, moving their fence in. The LA Coliseum left the Dodgers with only a 250 foot outfield distance, something I would bet dollars to donuts any owner would move back if they had the chance. It’s one thing to give a hitter an inch, but 100 feet is a little much. However, the team did do something. It built a 40-foot fence. In response to this ridiculous solution to a ridiculous problem, Warren Spahn demanded a rule that would make a ball travel at least 300 feet before being declared a home run. This failed. However, one innovative owner installed a moving fence. Bill Veeck, the man who installed an exploding scoreboard and put a midget up to bat. This fence would move in for his team and back for opponents. This is disputed however, as the only evidence of this is in Veeck’s autobiography. If it did exist at one time, it would have been a marvel to see.

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