Pro tip: Don’t burn your baseball field

These sorts of baseball diamond incidents are a good reminder to you youth sports bosses: don’t light your field on fire because it’s wet.

It happened in Ridgefield, Conn., where about $50,000 in damage was done and about 8 inches of gasoline-soaked soil had to be removed.

The high school team was supposed to play at 11 Saturday morning, but the field was too wet.

“The basepath — the dirt part of the field — was wet and it was evident that they’d have to relocate or cancel because of the conditions,” Selectman Rudy Marconi tells the local newspaper. “Someone had idea to put gas on the surface. Let it burn to dry up the water and make the field playable.

“Unfortunately, it was not a very good idea,” he said. “In theory it sounded plausible, I guess, to those who participated.”

But it doesn’t work. Gasoline will not make a field dry.

“I’m not aware of who exactly it was who got the gas but what we do know is that someone did use some gas around third base and that seemed to work,” he said. “Others then went to get more gas and began spreading it from second over to the third … they lit up that little area and it dried it up. Everyone thought it was working. They thought they could take care of the whole field with gas. … One person said they had done it in the past.”

And there’s another threat. When you light gasoline, it’s the vapors that explode. Someone could’ve been badly hurt.

There’s a psychological test here. If you see something everyone else is doing, but you have a feeling it’s wrong, do you speak up?

“Everybody is helpful and wants to jump in to get something done,” he said, “but what’s important to remember out of this is that if something doesn’t seem right or doesn’t look right, in all likelihood it isn’t right. I had several people come up to me at the field and say that it felt wrong but nobody said stop …

“I believe one person went over to the police station, and I’m not sure if it was someone from Ridgefield or from the visiting team but the bottom line is you cannot spread 25 gallons of gas on the infield of a baseball field — it’s all clay and it soaks right in.”

(h/t: Brad Koehn)