OK New Yorkers, what does the “No Pepper Games” sign on the back stop, one on either side near the on-deck circles, at Yankee stadium mean? I know what pepper is (the game), but why is there a need to warn against it in the ballpark?
They ban pepper games because they don’t want the ball to be hit into the stands and hitting paying customers. The sign is usually designed so the guy with the bat can see it.
For those who don’t know, “pepper” is when a ballplayer stands with a bat and hits practice ground balls to a line of players. If the fielder misses, the ball goes behind him and into the stands. Since the games would be played during batting practice, the ball would be hit toward the patrons at a time when they’re concentrating on getting seated and not on what’s coming in their direction.
As an addendum, the “no pepper” rule is in effect throughout the major leagues, not just in New York. Some stadiums put the signs up, others don’t.
Well, it makes sense not to do it when there are fans there, but thats obvious. I can’t think of a single park that has it up there except Yankee Stadium. I was thinking that there is some back story in NY, or some joke involved with it.
I’ve seen that sign at a number of rec league parks too. Except in this case, I thought “pepper” means to hit balls into a fence that the coach tosses up. It eventually distorts and bends a chain link fence.
From the Majorleague baseball FAQ http://www.majorleaguebaseball.com/u/baseball/mlbcom/headquarters/faq.html
I don’t think all parks ban it. Atleast this answer leads me to believe that.
Pepper also tears up the grass where the player’s are standing, Enright you are thinking of “Soft Toss” a great tool to develop your swing, but murder on the balls and fence, better to use tennis balls or hard foam base balls.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.
According to Joe Garagiola’s Baseball is a Funny Game, one of the duties of a major league umpire is to enforce the rule against pepper games. That, of course, was in the 40s and 50s, but I doubt they’ve repealed the rule since then.