Saturday, January 30, 2021


From the satellite view, it looks like Brookings, South Dakota has something like twenty or twenty-two softball fields. It's tricky keeping track of them all and I kept losing count. Just at a rough guess, that's enough to let something like ten percent of the town's population play softball all at once.

Three baseball diamonds, too. (In general, you can tell them apart because baseball diamonds tend to have grass in the infield.) Bob Shelden Field, home field for Brookings High, is pretty grand. Nicer than the college diamond across town and nicer than some some smaller minor league fields I've seen.

They obviously take their ball games seriously there.

Baseball diamonds and softball fields, like golf courses, are immediately identifiable from the air. Football fields and soccer/rugby pitches less so, in that you have to zoom in to a resolution that shows goalposts and lines to tell a large rectangular field from one used for sport. They're most easily spotted if they're part of a school's athletic complex and surrounded by the distinctive oval of a track. I'm at a loss to tell a cricket field from a random lawn with a rectangular patch in it.