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The Need for Silent Stopwatches and Pitch Count Rules in Baseball – Reflections on America’s Favorite Pasttime

February 1, 2017

You spend your life gripping a baseball and at the end you realize it was really the other way around.       – Jim Bouton

So often we think we have learned a thing or three after 30 years in business, and yes, it is likely true that we have.  However, as the Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan wrote, “…he not busy being born is busy dying”…which in my translation means never stop learning.

After an exciting 3 days in January with 6000 baseball coaches at the American Baseball Coaches Association National Conference  in Anaheim, I am proud to say I learned these things (so I can keep busy being born):

  • Coaches have to be the most positive, resilient and motivating group of people you’ll ever find. The lead the efforts of teams and groups of people toward a common good result—winning.  If they get down and show it, the team’s chances are finished…kaput.
  • They do what they truly love for the satisfaction of helping others and by default, helping themselves. These were not the Major Leaguers that I met; instead they were coaches of high school, junior college, and college aged teams.  None of them are Rockefellers in the wallet, but they get enormous personal wealth out of helping younger people with the games of Baseball and Life.
  • All ages from 20 to 90 were present…it’s hard for a good coach to quit. As Jim Bouton said in the last line of Ball Four, “You spend your life gripping a baseball and at the end you realize it was really the other way around.”
  • 1st and 3rd base coaches need a Silent Stopwatch, so the beep tone does not ruin the player’s concentration.

My favorite comment was by an older coach, who had been through the mill a few times.  He went on about the new materials in gloves and bats, and new video software and training programs.  I asked him what stopwatch he used and he said…” I don’t have one. I ran over to Walmart and bought one for $6 and it broke the second week I had it.  I need something good.”  Well, Coach, you came to the right place, let’s get busy being born.

  • The SC-505W Single Event Timer allows coaches to take consecutive single event times without resetting the stopwatch.  Put it into lap mode, start and stop as many times as you need.  The event time for Catchers Pop, Home to First, Wind Up and Delivery…all right there.  Takes up to 199 readings and memorizes the last 12.  $25 retail
  • The SC-889 Speed and Sport Timer reports “Speed of the Pitch” and memorizes up to 180 pitch speeds.   Unlike radar, you do not have to use the Robic SC-889 from behind home plate…use it from the dugout, bull pen, or anywhere.   $47 retail.
  • The Robic M467 Dual Pitch Counter keeps track of 2 separate pitch counts.  All high schools in America now have Pitch Count Rules and restrictions.  The M467 is the easiest way to keep track of both pitchers, yours and mine, to stay within the guidelines.  $18 retail.
  • The Oslo by Robic Silver 60 operates silently for 1st and 3rd base coaches.  Base coaches want to time pitchers, catchers, runners and hitters without any sound.  Use the Oslo Silver 60 to get all the times needed without beeping…it also has a backlight for night time use and temperature display.  $28 retail
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