How to Build a Baseball Field Drag
A drag is a spiked platform dragged across the skinned, or grassless, areas of a baseball field. The spikes can be as small as nails or much larger like bolts. The spikes scarify, or dig up and even out, the dirt surface. Smaller drags are drawn by hand and larger ones by tractor. Drags help with weed control and level the ground’s surface to eliminate puddle areas. Commercial drags range from very small, inexpensive models to big, heavy ones that cost a great deal. However, if you maintain a baseball field for your local Little League, school or junior college, you can make a nail drag out of building materials from your local home improvement center.
Lay four wooden boards, 2 by 4 inches by 3 feet, in a square with the 4-inch sides flat on the ground. Position the two horizontal boards so that their ends overlap the ends of the two vertical boards. The ends of the boards should line up with the sides of the perpendicular boards they overlap, forming a perfect square.
Drill a pilot hole through both boards at each corner in the center of the overlapping area. Insert and secure a heavy-duty, galvanized eye bolt through the boards and tighten. The eye of the bolt should be on the same side of the square as the vertical boards.
Position a fifth board the same size as the other four across the middle of the wooden square. Place it parallel to the two sides of the square that are on top of the other two boards. Now you have three parallel boards on the same plane. Line up the ends of the fifth board with the sides of the square, drill pilot holes in the ends and secure the board to the frame with eye bolts.
Drill two staggered rows of pilot holes down the length of the three parallel boards. Make the holes and rows 1¾ inches apart. Drive a 4-inch galvanized nail into each hole so that the pointed end faces away from the two boards that have no holes.
Screw a 1-by-4-inch board 2 1/3 feet long over the nail heads on the back of each 2 by 4 board to hold the nails in place.
Turn the drag over so that the nails protrude toward the ground. Attach a sturdy nylon rope or chain 20 feet long to the eyes of the bolts on either side of the boards with the nails. Now the drag is ready for use.
Because the drag has an eye bolt on each corner, you can drag it in either direction by moving the rope or chain to the opposite side.
If the ground is packed, add concrete blocks or other heavy items to the drag to increase its weight.
Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.