Scottsdale to debut spring baseball festival

From Peter Corbett at The Arizona Republic on December 1, 2011:

Scottsdale is going to bat to launch a baseball festival in late February at the start of the Cactus League season.

Tentative plans for the Feb. 25-26 festival include a display of spring-training memorabilia dating to the 1950s in Scottsdale, interactive baseball activities, the debut of a Cactus League film and talks on the science of baseball. It would take place at the Scottsdale Civic Center and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.


[Marc] Appleman, Society for American Baseball Research executive director, said the science of baseball discussions will be presented by [SABR member] Alan Nathan, a professor emeritus in physics at the University of Illinois.

His topics include pitch-tracking technology and analytics, storing baseballs in a humidor to reduce home-run production and the battle of the bats, a look at the relative power of ash, maple and aluminum bats.

Nathan’s study of Coors Field in Denver showed that home runs declined by 25 percent after the Colorado Rockies began storing their baseballs in a humidor at 70 degrees with a relative humidity of 50 percent, well above the typical 30 percent humidity for the city.

Nathan said using a humidor at Chase Field in Phoenix would reduce home runs by 45 percent because the typical humidity is just 20 percent in the Valley.

Nathan said he will also talk about how precise pitch-tracking and analysis of the data is pinpointing why great pitchers are effective and can alert a baseball manager when their ace is deviating from his typical pitching pattern.


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Originally published: December 2, 2011. Last Updated: December 2, 2011.