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Friday, February 15, 2013

SB Nation: Richmond: Blind Baseball

The ball is a little bigger than a softball (and it beeps). The blind players must all wear blindfolds, both at bat and in the field, lest those who are legally blind by Social Security Administration standards, but can still distinguish light, have an advantage over the completely blind. They play on a baseball field, but there are only two bases: first and third, positioned slightly in foul territory so that blind runners don’t collide with blind fielders, and they aren’t actually bases, but things that look like padded tackling dummies. Which buzz. Out in the outfield, the opposing team, positioned from the deep infield to the deep outfield by two sighted “spotters,” have lowered their heads, the better to hear the sound of ball on bat, and help guide them toward the beeping ball.

I had no idea this was a thing. Mind…flooded…with…umpire…jokes…

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpires

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4370357)
they aren’t actually bases, but things that look like padded tackling dummies.


Little pillows attached to the ground are not the only actual bases. Anywhere you are safe is actually a base. A rock can actually be a base. A car's door handle can actually be a base. The side of the Empire State Building can actually be a base.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 15, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4370360)
Little pillows attached to the ground are not the only actual bases. Anywhere you are safe is actually a base. A rock can actually be a base. A car's door handle can actually be a base. The side of the Empire State Building can actually be a base.

Or, in my neighborhood when we played in the street, a sewer grate, the back end of a car, and someone's sweatshirt thrown on the ground.
   3. flournoy Posted: February 15, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4370372)
I went with the corner of the screen room on the patio, a rock, and a tree. I had a real home plate!
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 15, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4370376)
My best friend and I would play one on one wiffle ball in the backyard. We would set up bikes, lawn chairs and anything else we could find as fielders. If you hit the bikes etc...you were out, otherwise it was a hit. A grounder back to the mound required a throw to first base (i.e. off the back wall of my parents' house). That rule was changed after a broken window (which after much discussion was ruled to be an error).
   5. Graham Posted: February 15, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4370444)
"Frank is the only blind mail sorter in the U.S. Postal Service."

I wish the author had explained this a bit more. I can't even begin to imagine how it would work.
   6. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 15, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4370452)
That rule was changed after a broken window (which after much discussion was ruled to be an error)

E-1 or E-3?
   7. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 15, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4370454)
@5: The mail arrives on a track. It's held by the sorting system vertically. Say Frank is an Express Mail sorter, and every piece has a bar code label. Frank's setup has a bar code seeker and reader. Zip codes have tones. Frank wears a headset, the zip code reader plays a tone. Frank plays his keyboard and refines the tone to the point where he can send the piece of mail down the proper chute with the proper combination of keys.

Or something like that.

Iirc a typical sorter is expected to sort three pieces of mail per second. I imagine the PO cuts Frank some slack on that.



We'd often play on playgrounds where first and third bases were fixed, but the organization maintaining the field used a removable second base (due to sliding, I imagine) it stashed somewhere for safekeeping between games. We'd use something light colored for second, and all but adjusted it with micrometers to make sure it was perfectly placed, because nothing is more important when you're nine years old.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: February 15, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4370463)
A frisbee was a classic thing to use as a base.
   9. flournoy Posted: February 15, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4370476)
My best friend and I would play one on one wiffle ball in the backyard. We would set up bikes, lawn chairs and anything else we could find as fielders. If you hit the bikes etc...you were out, otherwise it was a hit. A grounder back to the mound required a throw to first base (i.e. off the back wall of my parents' house). That rule was changed after a broken window (which after much discussion was ruled to be an error).


I did this too, but a little different. Each half inning lasted either two outs or four batters, whichever came first, and I believe the fourth batter had to hit a home run, or else he didn't count.

But what I am most interested in is how you broke a window with a wiffle ball.
   10. phredbird Posted: February 15, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4370483)
i'm going to go out on a limb here and say its too early for the oscar pistorius jokes.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: February 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4370539)
Zip codes have tones.
I can confirm that zip codes do work that way.

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