A Guide to Bases – Hollywood vs Bolco vs Schutt

You have questions about bases, we have answers. When you were a kid, your makeshift field might have had a pop can or a discarded sweatshirt for a base. But nowadays, you want the best, safest and most professional bases for your field.

At Beacon, we often hear things like:

“What bases are recommended for my league?”

“What’s better… Hollywood Jack Corbett or Bolco bases?

“Are breakaway bases the way to go for safety?”

The top 5 recommended bases for your ballfield

If you’re not sure what base sets to purchase for your softball and baseball fields, just look for the star. This symbol indicates our Top 5 recommendations. Here’s a few things to know: The prices shown are ranges you’ll likely find these bases sold by most online retailers. And, for the sake of base sizes, 15″ x 15″ is the standard base size you will want (which all of the bases listed below are).

Professional (Pro Style) Bases

For high school, colleges, minor leagues and on up to Major League Baseball. The professional bases we recommend most highly are the Hollywood Jack Corbett Base Set ✪ (most retailers sell them for around $200). They have been used by major league teams since 1939, and today all 30 teams use them – as well as virtually all minor league teams and most college and high school teams. They are high-quality, 1200-lb. tensile strength rubber to withstand cuts and tears, and engineered to withstand bad weather and harsh sunlight with ultraviolet inhibitors. The great thing about these bases is that you can add base jewels for team branding. These jewels go on all four sizes of the base. Note: Base jewels are only available for the Jack Corbett base sets.

You might also consider the Hollywood Impact Base Set ✪ (~$250), with a patented chevron design that allows them to compress and offer more protection against sliding injuries.

Other professional bases you may consider are the Bolco 6200-ML Pro-Style Base Set (~$150), made of rubber surrounding a foam core; the Bolco 175-MLB Base Set ✪ (which sell online for $275 to $325), made of heavy-duty one-piece rubber; and the Schutt Pro Style Base Set ($140 -$170) which are the least expensive of the bases mentioned above, the only set to include anchors and plugs.

Breakaway Bases

Built-in safety for Little League, Babe Ruth and youth softball. These types of bases are compliant with Rule 1.06 of Little League International, and recommended for all Little League teams. Little League players may or may not have learned to slide correctly which can cause injury. These bases are engineered so the base top disengages upon impact, to help prevent injury.

We recommend Hollywood Kwik-Release Bases , available in a Youth Set (sold by retailers for $350 to $400), which dislodges under 19 lbs. of pressure, or a Varsity Set ($350 to $400+) that dislodges under 26 lbs. of pressure. The difference here is just the force needed to dislodge the base. Note: A Double 1st Base is available.

Another option is the Soft Touch Base Set, available in stakedown (sell for over $400), stanchion (~$400 to $500) or ground mount (~$450 to over $500) versions.  These bases are designed to flex and absorb energy until enough force is applied to “pop” the base from its mount.

Throwdown Bases

For T-ball, coach-pitch, indoor practice, turf fields or gym floors. Yep, you just throw ‘em down on the field or gym floor – no anchoring required.
You can find standard throwdown base sets (for ~$15 to $30) for your backyard baseball, softball or kickball game at the picnic or family reunion. (Watch out for Uncle Harry – he throws a spitter.). However for the T-ball and coach-pitched fields, winter practices, indoor turf or gym floor practices we recommend the heavier Impact Throwdown Base Set (~$100 to $145) which is a far sight better than what you’ll find at the big box store. All bases are sold in sets of 3.


Softball Bases vs. Baseball Bases

All these base sets can be used for either sport. But, softball requires a double 1st base (orange & white). If you have a shared field, we recommend purchasing a complete baseball set, and then add the double 1st base that you can swap in for softball.

Have a question? Just give us a call at 1-800-747-5985, or send us a note.

View Base Options

Beacon Athletics

We’ve been in your shoes. So it’s about giving you what you need, when you need it. To live up to “the ultimate ballfield resource” it goes beyond just delivering superior products. It’s also about giving you on-demand resources that will help make your job easier. That’s why we created Ballfields.com and GroundskeeperU.com. Whatever your ballfield needs, think Beacon.

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