Rutgers Greensward and Athletic Field
Rutgers-Newark is very much an urban campus, but is stunningly green, filled with grass, trees, and flowering plants. In places, you can't see the city outside the campus, and might actually think yourself in the suburbs or a rural college complex. But in other places you are reminded powerfully how urban it really is.
The campus is divided into an upper and lower area joined by sloping streets. From the upper area, you can look down on this large field, which accommodates football, soccer, and baseball/softball, and see its urban setting, close in to Downtown's skyscrapers. I guess the rounded barrier is the home-run fence. I don't know if Rutgers-Newark also has a lacrosse team, as has nearby NJIT in its large, open green. In the foto below, the Gold Dome Athletic Center is in the middle distance, with the Military Park Building beyond. Was the Athletic Center's geodesic dome ever gold-colored? It's not now. Did it fade in the sunlite?
At the time I was wandering that area, a game was in progress on the baseball/softball field. As I focused in, it emerged that this was women's fast-pitch softball. I don't know if this is intramural play. Certainly the players don't seem to be in crisp uniforms, but I don't know if the game in intercollegiate play calls for uniforms as such, or if the sweatsuit-style clothing these women are wearing is regarded as a uniform. (The next two fotos may at first seem identical, but the players are in different positions, as are the pitcher's arms.)
Wikipedia says of this game:
Pitchers throw the ball with an underhand motion at speeds up to 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) for women and up to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) for men. Considering the distance between the pitcher and batter (40 to 43 feet (12 to 13 m)), the equivalent batter reaction time in baseball would be to a 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) pitch from 60 feet (18 m). An allstar major league baseball team once played an exhibition game against Eddie Feigner of the barnstorming softball team "The King and His Court". The only major league player to make contact with a pitch was Rod Carew who hit a foul ball. The game was cut short after four innings due to the major league players embarrassment and the exhibitions never happened again. The reason for this is that a fastball can move up or down in a strike zone and baseball players are only used to seeing a ball that goes down or straight and therefore they will have diffeculties hitting a ball that rises.
The pitching style of fastpitch is different from that of slowpitch softball. Pitchers in fast-pitch softball usually throw the ball using a "windmill" type of movement. In this style of pitching, the pitcher begins with his arm at the hip. The pitcher then brings the ball in a circular motion over the head, completes the circle back down at the hip, and snaps the hand.
In this foto, zoomed from a wider view, you can see the pitcher's arm over her head.
I tried to capture the ball in mid-flite, but thought I had missed it. That would hardly be surprising, given the speed of the movement. I also thought I took more fotos in that effort, but either I did not take several pictures, or I deleted immediately, before taking others, the ones I was sure had failed, because the camera-assigned foto numbers are sequential and, lo and behold, the very first closeup does in fact capture the ball mid-flite.
After the ball was released in this last foto, one player rushes in near the pitcher's mound. I don't know that I've ever seen that in baseball, not at Yankee Stadium, not at Bears & Eagles Stadium.