Summary of “The inside story behind the funniest baseball card ever made”

Thirty years ago – in what otherwise would have been a forgotten minor league set – Comstock appeared on one of the most memorable baseball cards ever made.
I never had a major league baseball card of myself, until 1988.
The cool part of that 1988 card is it became a sought-after error card within the Topps set.
Honestly, another minor league card was a reminder of how my career was going.
You had to sign a contract to do the baseball card, which covered a bunch of stuff and said you agreed that your photo would show up in the set.
So many of those guys were future major leaguers, and it was pretty obvious the card company needed them in the set.
Their mom showed them the card awhile back, and they loved it.
Fans bring the card to the field and want me to sign it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MLB leans on longtime mud supplier, not Rawlings, to coat balls”

Bintliff harvests the mud himself, using only a shovel and a few buckets, as he has for his entire adult life.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that MLB has recently tried to eliminate Bintliff, teaming with Rawlings to develop a ball that doesn’t need to be enhanced by mud.
Over the course of five or six weeks Bintliff will siphon off excess liquid and rerun the mud through the strainer.
Bintliff now has a modest backyard, just enough room to fit four mud bins at a reasonable distance from a small patio table.
Instead, they had to store the mud inside-and the only space large enough was the laundry room, which, despite the practicality of its tiled floor, is hardly where anyone might want to keep giant containers of mud for weeks at a time.
Modern baseball has been kind to Bintliff: More home runs and more foul balls mean using more balls, and each additional one requires additional mud.
Essentially, in the current setup, there are plenty of chances for the ball to be affected by irregularities, however tiny-which could hypothetically be removed by a ball that doesn’t need mud.
Rawlings has spent years researching Bintliff’s mud and developed several prototypes for a new ball.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We Watched 906 Foul Balls To Find Out Where The Most Dangerous Ones Land”

We watched clips of 906 foul balls hit during those games, and we recorded whether the fouls were grounders, fly balls, line drives or pop-ups.
Zones 6 and 7 cover the areas past the foul poles; the fly balls that land here typically have too much arc to be dangerous, and line drives rarely make it that far.
Less than half of the foul balls we charted were followed by a camera to where they landed.
Nearly equal shares of foul balls ended up in zones with netting vs. zones that largely lack netting: 454 balls landed in zones 1, 2 and 3, while 452 balls fell in zones 4 through 7.
Statcast was able to measure exit velocities for 580 of the 906 foul balls in our data set, and most of the hardest-hit of those 580 landed in areas that are primarily unprotected.
After the incident at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox announced that they would implement netting from foul pole to foul pole, and crews worked during the All-Star break to install the new nets.
The efforts that other leagues make to ensure the safety of their spectators could serve as a blueprint for MLB. Take the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, where the stadiums have netting from foul pole to foul pole.
There are ways for MLB to protect its fans from foul balls – particularly in the most dangerous areas of the park.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Inside Story of Tazer Ball, the Most Shocking Extreme Sport in TV History”

For a brief moment in 2012, it looked like Ultimate Tazer Ball was the next big thing.
Either way, Tazer Ball – a freakish amalgamation of soccer and rugby in which players could shock each other with stun guns – dominated the press cycle for several months.
They needed to branch out, to swing for the fences with a new sport that could, at the very least, land them a lucrative TV deal.
During a paintball conference in Chicago in 2011, Ultimate Tazer Ball was born.
Kids, if you want to start training to be a pro Ultimate Tazer Ball player, get off your butt, go outside, and harass some cops.
The sport’s website has long-expired, its creators have moved on to other ventures, and mentions of Tazer Ball have mostly fallen to the wayside of social media’s endless churn of recyclable content.
What about the guys who actually played the game? The professional paintballers who ran around tazing and tackling each other in the hope that the sport – and thus the players – would hit it big?
About a year after that fateful night in Chicago, Kellenberger, Wunsch and Prumm had recruited around 20 paintballers for an all-expenses-paid trip to California and the opportunity to “Try out a new sport.” Exactly what that new sport was, they didn’t say, and that’s where we’ll let Derrick Weltz – former star of the Toronto Terror team – take over.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Ultimate Guide to Hitting a Home Run”

Use a Composite Bat Wooden bats make a beautiful cracking sound as they hit a ball, but if you’re going for a home run, you should pick a composite bat.
An end-loaded bat is harder to swing, whereas balancing the weight towards the handle makes even a heavy bat feel lighter, and thus you can swing it faster and control it more easily.
Here’s the key: “If swung at same speed, the bat with the larger moment of inertia will hit balls faster.” That’s according to Dan Russell, a professor of acoustics at Penn State who studies vibrations in baseball bats.
In theory, if you could swing every bat at equal speed, you’d want to get as heavy a bat as possible.
Your ability to control the bat is also reduced with a heavier bat, but let’s assume that you’re only hitting fastballs thrown straight over the plate for simplicity’s sake.
Hit the Ball Right on the Sweet Spot Since you’re aiming for the most efficient bat-ball collision possible, aim to hit with the bat’s sweet spot.
If you’re hitting hard enough, you should feel vibrations most of the time, but about two-thirds of the way to the end there will be a small area where it will feel more solid, and the bat won’t vibrate at all.
Angle the Ball Between 25 and 30 Degrees So, once you’ve picked the right ball and the right bat and the right stadium, and you’ve swung as hard as you possibly can, all you have to do is nail the angle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Mookie Betts built a better swing: an excerpt from The MVP Machine.”

Boston hitting coach Tim Hyers suggested to Betts that he spend the day working with the silver-haired, blue-eyed Doug Latta, a self-described swing whisperer.
Latta rarely uses the words swing or swing plane when talking about hitters.
Turner turned on the slider machine and told Bellinger to try to swing and miss below the sliders.
Between growing awareness of that relationship and a still-unexplained change in the composition of the official MLB ball in 2015, which caused balls in the air to carry farther, hitters had more incentive to swing up.
No hitter was ever taught to chop wood, swing down on the ball, or hit grounders at the Ball Yard, Latta says.
Another new face, J.D. Martinez, was told by the Red Sox coaching staff to make Mookie his “Project.” As Martinez watched Betts hit for the first time in the spring with his 2017 stroke, he said, “I don’t know that that’s going to work.” Betts was not offended.
Now Betts has become a hitting tastemaker, too, inspiring rivals to reject the round knob at a time when some bat companies, like golf-club designers, have begun to use swing sensors to determine the perfect fit for each player in length, weight, and grip.
“It’s definitely nice to be able to watch guys in my organization at the major-league level do that.” Although he notes that he’s nowhere near Martinez’s level, he’d like to learn from hitters like him and Betts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Jocks and Mathletes Are Alike”

It’s not only athletes’ bodies that are different; their brains are just as finely tuned to the mental demands of a particular sport.
In neuroscience labs, volunteers also play games where they try to outsmart each other-but the stakes are small amounts of cash rather than World Series home runs.1 One study divided volunteers into groups of 10 and put them one at a time into an MRI machine, where they had to pick a number from zero to 100 that they thought would be closest to two-thirds of the group average.
Following moving targets involves many regions of the brain; one structure neuroscientists have focused on is the superior temporal sulcus, a ridge of brain tissue that that runs behind each ear.
How well a player recognizes these dots translates to how well he can see and anticipate the movements of an opponent or team member.
Hockey players are known for their brawn, but it’s their brains that have to track whom to pass to and whom to bypass.
In 2008 a group of neuroscientists investigated how the free-throw-prediction abilities of Italian Professional League players compared to those of sports journalists and coaches.
Since mirror neurons bridge observing and acting, neuroscientists have hypothesized they have a role in a basketball player’s ability to foresee the effects of another player’s actions.
A well-trained athlete’s brain is a quiet one, an efficient one.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Color Is a Tennis Ball?”

“You would describe the color of a tennis ball as:” green, yellow, or other.
Sure, we understand that tennis balls could be made in other colors, but the state of tennis balls when we care about them-such as when we watch a match on TV-is yellow, so when we’re asked to ascribe one color to them all, we go with that.
As for why we haven’t agreed on the color of tennis balls as we have for bananas, “Maybe they haven’t been around long enough, or the color of them has actually changed,” Conway said.
The tennis gods picked yellow for the color of tennis balls because they thought yellow was bright enough for people to see it with ease.
Could there be a connection between the way some people perceive the color of tennis balls and the color of The Dress?
If the same effect is true for our perception of tennis balls, then the people who see the dress as white and gold, because they are predisposed to discounting cool colors, should see the ball as yellow.
Aside from one or two outliers, those who believe a tennis ball is yellow saw the dress as gold and white, while those who believe a tennis ball is green saw the dress as black and blue.
The color of a tennis ball is, and would remain, in the eye of the beholder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Color Is a Tennis Ball?”

“You would describe the color of a tennis ball as:” green, yellow, or other.
Sure, we understand that tennis balls could be made in other colors, but the state of tennis balls when we care about them-such as when we watch a match on TV-is yellow, so when we’re asked to ascribe one color to them all, we go with that.
As for why we haven’t agreed on the color of tennis balls as we have for bananas, “Maybe they haven’t been around long enough, or the color of them has actually changed,” Conway said.
The tennis gods picked yellow for the color of tennis balls because they thought yellow was bright enough for people to see it with ease.
Could there be a connection between the way some people perceive the color of tennis balls and the color of The Dress?
If the same effect is true for our perception of tennis balls, then the people who see the dress as white and gold, because they are predisposed to discounting cool colors, should see the ball as yellow.
Aside from one or two outliers, those who believe a tennis ball is yellow saw the dress as gold and white, while those who believe a tennis ball is green saw the dress as black and blue.
The color of a tennis ball is, and would remain, in the eye of the beholder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Shot That Stopped Basketball”

I found myself thinking about the waterfall of shots in the wake of one of the more dramatic ones in recent N.B.A. history: Damian Lillard, of the Portland Trail Blazers, hitting the game-winning, series-ending shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five.
He shot the ball from thirty-seven feet out, with 1.7 seconds on the clock, over the outstretched arms of Paul George, one of the league’s best defenders, and it splashed through the net as the buzzer sounded.
Even more than his stellar drives to the basket where he curls into the shape of a cannonball, only to extend his arms out at the last possible moment to release the shot; even more than the remarkable efficiency of motion in his piercing, long-range jump shot; even more than his Swiss Army knife versatility-in 2014, he became the first player to participate in every single event in an All-Star game-what has most captured my imagination about Lillard is the way that he will sometimes stand very still with the ball.
Everything about the shot made you question your own eyes.
The sight of his wave might endure as a more iconic image than the one of the shot itself.
Part of the drama of his shot involved the way that Oklahoma City’s two stars, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, have, in particular, treated Lillard with a palpable disdain.
Behind the singularity of Lillard’s shot itself was the endless waterfall of shots taken in practice, chucked up during games, the shots discussed, watched on film, dreamed of with either pleasure or horror-but mostly just shots, “Getting up shots,” practicing shots, over and over, endlessly.
The game continues; the shots go up and splash down like water.

The orginal article.