Is Your High School Field Weird, Too?

By Bob Behre | December 29, 2023

We all have our love for specific major league baseball parks; for their uniqueness and quirks. But what about your high school baseball field? Or other high school fields you’ve visited around New Jersey?

Well, check this out. David Hrusovsky, a recent graduate and digital arts major at Bowling Green University in Ohio, has mapped out all 387 high school baseball fields in New Jersey. And he’s going through this painstaking process to identify the weirdest, most unique high school baseball fields in each state.

What began as a hobby and then became his senior year thesis at Bowling Green has morphed into an enormous project mapping out high school baseball fields state-by-grueling-state.

“I don’t look forward to mapping states like New York, Texas and California,” says Hrusovsky. “I’ll get to all of the other states before I get to the biggest ones and, I’m thinking, I’ll break them down piece-by-piece.”

The 22 year-old Hrusovsky began his quest with fields in his home state of Ohio, which was a big enough challenge in itself. “Ohio has 750 high school fields,” he said, “and I found about 50 weird fields.” The feel for the weird began right at Hrusovsky’s home field.

He played his high school ball at Lutheran West High School in Rocky River, a suburb of Cleveland. Lutheran West’s field boasts a greenhouse just beyond the center field fence 428 feet away, and the high school itself beyond the left field fence, a reachable 356 and 364 feet away. Add to that challenge a drainage gully in deep left-center field where shots into the gap go to die as doubles according to grounds rules.

This is the rabbit hole Hrusovsky dived into prior to and, especially, during the pandemic that would eventually lead him to the fascinating fields of New Jersey and the total of 14 states he has completed mapping thus far.

“New Jersey is at least top three in terms of variety and odd ball fields,” said Hrusovsky. “I love Weehawken’s field. It’s awesome. I haven’t been to New Jersey for like eight years, but, if I had a chance, that’s a field I’d like to visit. It overhangs the Lincoln Tunnel. You can hit a foul ball (off the first base side) that will fall on top of one of the busiest tunnels in the world.”

Mixed-used fields — typically placing baseball fields across football or soccer fields — invites the type of weirdness that Hrusovsky, and the rest of us, love. But other factors contribute to the uniqueness of field dimensions, including, for example, having your high school protrude into your outfield, like Toms River South’s odd but strangely endearing configuration.

Weehawken’s field is wedge into a metropolitan transportation hub.

During his high school days, former Yankees and Mets player Todd Frazier dropped more than a few bombs beyond the center field fence and onto the roof of Toms River South High School where, like at Lutheran West, it’s a home run. South’s fence in straightaway center field is, in fact, the most shallow part of the park, less than 300 feet away. Hrusovsky placed Toms River South’s field at No. 11 on his list of Top 12 Weird NJ Fields. The top “weird” New Jersey field designation belongs to the cozy and tight confines of Park Ridge High School, where major league righthander Kevin Herget had to find ways of keeping balls in the park due to the strikingly shallow dimensions.

Herget has pitched in the bigs for Tampa Bay and more recently for the Reds, but the close proximity of the fences at his high school field may have been more ominous than, for example, the inviting right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

Hrusovsky’s other top flyers on New Jersey’s Weird List also includes 2-Garfield, 3-Hasbrouck Heights, 4-Passaic, 5-Montclair, 6-Glen Ridge, 7-North Arlington, 8-Union City, 9-Weehawken, 10-Hoboken and 12-Gloucester Catholic, which boast a center field fence 462 feet away from home plate.

Kearny and Nutley also came up in our discussion about weird New Jersey fields. It’s no surprise that highly congested and densely populated Hudson County has gained such notoriety on Hrusovsky’s Weird List. Shoehorning a baseball field into a densely populated city neighborhood can be quite challenging and often demands creativity.

David Hrusovsky played on this unforgettable field in high school

Union City High, for example, simply placed its football and baseball field atop the roof of the school. Hrusovsky begins his field searches via Google Maps, which, he says, “can be like a scavenger hunt” for fields that are not on or near school property. Imagine Hrusovsky’s shock, though, when he discovered Union City’s field four stories up, atop the school’s roof. “That one is awesome,” he said.

Nutley, a densely populated suburb of Newark has turfed its football and baseball fields, of course on the same site, creating a configuration that causes righty batters to drool and invites lefties to shoot the right-center field gap for a potential inside-the-park home run. The fence down the left field line is unlikely as deep as 250 feet away and many picturesque home runs sailed over the fence, beyond the football stands and into Franklin Avenue traffic. Meanwhile, the vast right-center field pasture remains mostly unoccupied until a laser reaches the gap and two outfielders can be seen racing toward the far end zone.

Hrusovsky was graduated from Bowling Green last April and, by then, was well into his “Fields” project that, he says, gained a lot of steam during the pandemic when there was a lot of time to occupy.

His graphic/digital arts training took his “Fields” research to another level as he added eye-appealing info. graphics and bios describing each field. A huge Cleveland sports fan, Hrusovsky created a Twitter account in 2021 in which he posted mostly Cleveland Browns and Guardians insight, as any fan would, but his “Field” posts with his clever info. graphics would grow his Twitter account (Dave Hrusovsky Sports @davehrus) past 9,000 followers.

“I didn’t quite know what to do, at first, with all the research I’d done,’ said Hrusovsky. “I debated creating a blog and YouTube videos. But my info. graphics have done very well.”

His Twitter posts drew the attention of the outstanding sports news app “The Athletic,” which ran a full-length story on Hrusovsky’s project in June.

David Hrusovsky created on overlay of every high school field in the state of Ohio.

“That was surreal,” said Hrusovsky. “When I got that call I thought someone was pranking me.”

He drew the attention of this website and a New Jersey audience with Twitter posts like this: “I measured the specs of every New Jersey high school varsity baseball field. Here’s my fifth installment of the weirdest fields you can play on in an official New Jersey high school baseball game.”

Hrusovsky utilizes the individual state athletic associations websites — in New Jersey’s case, — to acquire a list of high schools. Once he’s located a field via Google Maps, sometimes quite a chore, he maps out outfield distances, calculates acreage and looks for what makes each field unique. He also uses a software app that outlines the field.

In another lengthy article in Bowling Green’s student publication, Hrusovsky said, “Originally, it was a hobby, but when it came time for my senior thesis and we had to create an art piece that would go in the gallery, I thought, ‘Well, I have all of this data.” His thesis display in the school’s gallery, as one would expect, drew a big audience of dads.

Hrusovsky said, while the data collection for each field now can be accomplished in five-to-10 minutes, actually finding a school’s field can be all consuming.

“You usually have a field next to a school,” he said, “but sometimes it’s more challenging than that. You might find a field two miles away from the school. You don’t get to the end without brute force research.”

Camden County gave Hrusovsky fits. “Camden County had the toughest fields to find,” he said. “I got a vibe with the northeast counties. Those fields were easy to find. Finding fields in the southern part of New Jersey was harder.”

Hrusovsky says what he once found weird in fields has changed a bit as his research evolves. “As time has gone by in my research, I’m a little less susceptible to finding a field weird. A field without a fence creates weird things but I don’t really find that weird anymore. Now I look for the ones that are jarring.”

Camden County was a slam dunk compared to the problems Hrusovsky had finding fields in West Virginia. “It was such a nightmare trying to locate those fields,” he said. “I had to match press boxes in a five mile radius of Charleston and look at the colors of the press box to figure out what field belonged to what school.”

David Hrusovsky meets Oscar Gonzalez after his 15th inning walk-off HR in the 2022 playoffs.

Hrusovsky says his goal is to eventually map out high school fields in every state and publish books of the fields from each state. “I want to create a database website where people can go and find the fields in their state,” he says.

Meanwhile, with his ingenuity, creativity and hard work clearly on display for a future employer, Hrusovsky is looking to land a job in Digital Media, perhaps with a professional baseball franchise.

NOTES: Hrusovsky has created an online store, Ballpark Atlas (, where he sells posters of each state’s collection of weird fields, and other merchandise related to his project. At you can find info graphics on weird fields Hrusovsky has mapped out in New Jersey and around the country.

Unintentionally, Hrusovsky has also shown an ability to market himself. The rabid Guardian fan put on his brother’s old SpongeBob Halloween costume and wore it to Guardians games during the summer of 2022. He wore the costume in honor of outfielder Oscar Gonzalez’s walk-up song.

Hrusovsky was in the stands, dressed in costume, when Gonzalez, a rookie at the time, hit a walk-off home run in the 15th inning to eliminate Tampa Bay from the MLB playoffs. Hrusovsky later got a picture with Gonzalez and was featured and interviewed on Cleveland Fox 8 news and other local media outlets. Gonzalez was claimed off waivers by the Yankees early this month. Hrusovsky remains a free agent, but unlikely for long.

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