which dugout is home team

Which Dugout Is Home Team In Baseball? (Explained)

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which dugout is home team

Looking for the home team dugout during a ballgame? You’re not alone! As every baseball fan knows, every ballpark features two dugouts, one for the home team and the other for the visitors. But have you ever wondered which team sits in which dugout? The answer may surprise you! In this article, we’ll take a look at what side is the home team dugout in baseball and why it’s important.


KEY POINTS

  • The dugout side is entirely up to the home team and there is no official rule dictating this.
  • Traditionally, the home team sits in the dugout on the first-base side of the field. This tradition dates back to the early days of baseball.
  • It’s not uncommon to see the home team sitting in the dugout on the third-base side, as some ballparks have unique designs or histories that make this a better location.
  • The home team dugout location can have a big impact on the game. From strategic advantages to practical considerations such as shade and communication with coaches.

What Is A Dugout In Baseball?

The dugout is the heart of the team’s operations and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There is a home dugout and visitors dugout on each field and they are home to all the players who aren’t playing on the field, coaches, and other team personnel. Equipment such as bats, gloves, batting helmets, and catcher’s gear, are usually stored in the dugout in personalized player cubbies. Unless you are in Little League, where everything is scattered and little Jimmy can’t find his helmet for his at-bat.

Sure, dugouts were initially created to give fans better sight lines, but they’ve evolved into something much more significant. They are where the team’s spirit comes to life. Where players and coaches can scheme, plot and devise their next move. And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s where they take a quick nap between innings.

Dugouts are a place for players to gather, psych each other up, share learnings from their previous at-bats and celebrate their home runs and other achievements. They are a reprive from the hot sun or the cooler breeze, as the dugout often provides a bit of shade for the players. It’s where you’ll see players sipping on sports drinks, munching on sunflower seeds, or chomping on gum, all while waiting for their chance to deliver on the field.


Home team dugout Side?

While the baseball rulebook features plenty of rules governing the play in and around the dugout, there is no official rule about which team should sit on the first-base side and which on the third-base side. The decision is entirely left to the discretion of the home team.

Despite the lack of an official rule, there is a long-standing tradition of placing the home team dugout on the first-base side. This tradition dates back to the early days of baseball when most players were right-handed. Being on the first base side, allowed coaches to have a clear view of the at bat. This is because the majority of hitters back then were righties.

But while tradition may dictate that the home team sits on the first-base side, it’s not uncommon to see them occupying the dugout on the third-base side. Some ballparks, such as Wrigley Field in Chicago, have their home team dugout on the third-base side. This is due to the unique design of the stadium. The third base dugout faces away from the sun during day games whereas the visitors dugout at Wrigley faces direct sunlight during the later innings.

Ultimately, where the home team sits in the dugout is entirely up to them. While there may not be an official rule, the location of the home team dugout can have a significant impact on the game, from strategic advantages to practical considerations such as shade and communication with coaches.


Strategic Advantages: Home Team Dugout on the First Base Side

The dugout is also known as the strategic hub for the team. The manager, with the help of their assistants, rules the roost from the dugout. They dictate offensive strategy by sending hand signals to the first and third base coaches, who in turn communicate with the batter and runners on the field. It’s like a game of telephone, but with more pressure!

The coaches must carefully translate the manager’s signals into their own set of secret hand signals to avoid detection by the opposing team. (Unless you’re the Astros and use technology and trash cans to steal and relay signals).

Have you ever wondered why baseball teams pick a specific side for their home dugout? Well, it turns out that there are a couple of factors that come into play.

  • The view! The first-base side offers the best perspective of the game, especially for close plays.
  • The majority of MLB hitters are right-handed so being down the first base line offers managers an unobstructed view of the at-bat. The unobstructed view also comes in handy when arguing with umpires.
  • Having the home team dugout on the first base side allows the players to better communicate with the first base coach, who is responsible for coaching the base runners and signaling for steals or bunts.
  • Weather component – Weather conditions such as wind direction and sun glare can also impact the decision of which side the home team chooses for their dugout. A team could be facing direct sunlight during day games which is not ideal.

So there you have it. Who knew that something as simple as a dugout could have such an impact on the game?


Home Team Dugout Sides In MLB

MLB First Base Side Dugouts

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Houston Astros
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Seattle Mariners
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • San Diego Padres
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Washington Nationals

MLB Third Base Side Dugouts

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cleveland Guardians
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Miami Marlins
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Toronto Blue Jays

Why is a baseball dugout underground?

Baseball dugouts are built below ground level for a few reasons. One reason is that it provides a better view of the playing field for players and coaches. This is because it allows them to be closer to ground level and reduces obstructions. Additionally, being below ground level helps keep players and coaches out of the direct line of sight of the spectators, which can minimize distractions during the game. Until they recently put up the protective nets, fans had to be 100% focused on the game or risk getting hit with a line drive foul ball. Moreover, the dugout’s position below ground level also provides better protection from the elements, such as wind and rain and sometimes hard-hit foul balls.


Best Baseball Dugout Celebrations

Whether you are a Little Leaguer or MLB player, baseball is supposed to be fun. Chatter or chants in the dugout were always great as a kid but the elaborate dugout celebrations after home runs is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Whether it’s completely ignoring a rookie after he hit his first homerun, getting pushed through the dugout in a shopping cart or the new Dong Bong from the Baltimore Orioles, dugout celebrations show that these players are still kids at heart and realize they are playing a kids game for a living. They better have fun with it.


Final Thoughts On The Home Team Dugout

After all, dugouts are more than just a place for players and coaches to sit during a baseball game. They serve a crucial purpose in the development of team chemistry, the communication of game strategy, and the observation of close plays on the field. While the decision of which dugout to occupy may seem arbitrary, there are several factors that can influence the choice, including the weather, position of the manager and the best view of the game. Whether situated on the first-base or third-base side, the dugout remains a big part of the baseball experience and a key component in the success of any winning team.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.

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