Back on February 8th, the St. Louis Cardinals finally broke ground on the famous Ballpark Village, and team officials implied that the first phase of the project will be ready by Opening Day 2014.
With the amount of excitement that has been built up since 2006, the United Cardinal Bloggers decided that it would be a good idea for all group members to write about what they want to see in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame–an integral part of the Ballpark Village project. Thus, that it was I intend to do here, and to be honest, I hope someone with the Cardinals is reading–I am that pumped about my idea.
In my humble opinion, there is one exhibit that really should be considered as being part of the actual Cardinals Hall of Fame. It is interactive and is able to bring fans closer to the game. It can also be enjoyed by all ages–from the youngsters to lifelong fans.
Can You Steal on Yadi? Interactive Exhibit (For All Ages)
Let’s be honest, the answer is most likely a resounding no for most of us.
Regardless of the answer, envision this scene.
There in front of you sits half of the infield diamond: home plate, first base, second base, and a daunting, life-size figure of Yadier Molina just about to unleash one of his cannon-like throws to second.
Traveling from Yadi’s extended throwing arm to the second base bag (127.3 feet) is a clear tube that is close to the diameter of a baseball. Inside the clear tube is either an actual baseball or a fiber optics image of a ball–whatever the design engineers consider feasible and reproducible for the project. I suppose that if need be, they could even use a long skinny video board instead of the tube, but that is out of my jurisdiction, I am just here for the idea.
The base path between first and second base (90 feet in length) can be a brown field turf–something that does not need much maintenance and is easy on the body in case of a fall. There can also be a rubberized flooring following the same path to second base so that wheelchair-bound fans can enjoy the exhibit as well.
Thus, the scene is set: a half baseball diamond, Yadier Molina with a tube going down to second base, and the base path for the fans to use when trying to steal.
To provide my readers with a clear image of what to expect, I am going to provide you with a make-believe father and young son using the exhibit. Let’s call the father, Stan. He is a thirty-two year old guy who has been a diehard Cardinals fan since he was born. The son, who is just seven years old, will go by Tony. He, like his father, is a huge Cardinals fan as well.
Stan: “Hey Tony, you know how good Yadier Molina is?”
Tony: “Yea, Dad. He is the best! He hits a lot, and he throws really fast!”
Stan: “Yes, son. He is the best. Let’s try out this exhibit so you can see what it is like to face Yadi.”
Stan sends Tony up to first base. Tony, who has already started playing organized baseball, takes a couple steps off the base as his leadoff. Next, the moderator of the exhibit tells Tony that the video board in front of him will count down: “3, 2, 1, GO!” and that he is to take off towards second base when the board reads GO.
Tony digs his feet into the field turf, sways his arms back and forth, and gives a thumbs up to the moderator. The board reads GO!, and Tony is on his way to second base. Just four to five steps into his run, the ball has already traveled from Yadier’s hand to second base–a mere 1.75 seconds. It will actually have to be around 3-3.2 seconds in order to factor in the time it would have taken for the pitcher to throw the ball to home plate first.
Tony turns in amazement, “Dad, Dad! Did you see how fast that throw was?” His dad replies, “Yes, son. That is why he is the best. I hope this makes you truly appreciate how fast Yadi really throws it now.” Of course, the dad, Stan, could not help himself and tried the exhibit himself right after–he, too, falling victim to Molina’s cannon of an arm.
Thus, there is the exhibit that hyped me up so much. The only engineering part that really needs to be figured out is how to make it so a ball can consistently go from Molina’s hand to second base in a little over 3 seconds. I trust the incredible engineers of St. Louis to be able to make either an air-powered machine that can push an actual baseball at that speed through the tube or come up with some fiber optics contraption to serve as a ball traveling to second.
Some modifications can be made such as scaling the exhibit down to help fit the building. If space permits, it can even become an outdoor exhibit for the Hall of Fame.
St. Louis Cardinals fans, young and old, know that Yadier Molina is the best catcher in the game right now. When his career ends, he very well may be the best catcher ever. Well, this is a fun, interactive exhibit that can help make fans truly appreciate one of Yadi’s many talents on a firsthand basis.
Let’s be honest, who would not want to try this exhibit at least once?
Until next time…
P.S. If any of my readers have a contact with the Cardinals, please let me know because I would really like to pitch this idea to them.