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Jim Furtado
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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Atlanta Braves’ Tyler Flowers Is Redefining Catcher’s Safety

A mask with a built-in spring to absorb the impact of a baseball.

The 30-year-old catcher is no longer the only catcher in Major League Baseball to wear the mask.  Other catchers such as Cincinnati’s Tucker Barnhart and Minnesota’s Kurt Suzuki have also converted to the Defender.  A handful of MLB umpires have also started wearing the mask.

Safety concerns for all sports have never been higher.  This mask comes at a perfect time when people are paying more attention to head injuries and long-term damage to the head and brain.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 05, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2016

Williams [Arizona] News, April 20, 1916:

An improved baseball bat is the recent invention of George J. Blahos, a sailor on board the U.S.S. Mississippi. His device can be applied to any bat by any carpenter, says New York World. It consists of cutting slots in the thick or batting end of the bat, inserting in them strips of nonresilient material, cardboard, for instance, fastening these with a peg driven through at right angles to them.

And thus, George J. Blahos invented the corked bat. Anyway, here’s a copy of his patent filing.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 20, 2016 at 11:17 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: bats, dugout, equipment, history

Friday, April 01, 2016

Gizmodo - Bryan Menegus: The Reason Baseball Bats Break is More Complicated Than You Think

Consider the following: baseball bats are made of wood, and being a natural material, wood has certain innate structural flaws. One of the most popular bat woods—ash—has porous holes that run along the grain (grain being those different colored lines that result from a tree’s growth rings). Lots of tiny holes creates weakness, and weakness can cause bats to break, which is why manufacturers put their logos perpendicular to the grain on ash bats.

However, Barry Bonds caused a boom in popularity in maple bats, which neatly coincides with the uptick in shattering bats. Maple has a totally different grain structure to ash, and although it has grain like any other wood, the weakest points in a maple tree run radially from the center (think of someone chopping firewood). Because players were using the same grain-perpendicular striking surface, these maple bats turned into wooden shrapnel with staggering regularity.

There’s an interesting video with this article.  My apologies in advance if the blockquote tag I’ve always used still won’t work.

Lassus Posted: April 01, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment

 

 

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