Play Ball! Compute!

Ah, spring training is in full swing. The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The low hum of computers analyzing Big Data sets.

Huh? America’s pastime will intersect with technology in a new way this season.

That’s because Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP, the league’s technology arm, will use six to 12 cameras to track players. This will happen across a limited number of baseball fields – the ballparks of the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and New York Mets.

Software will record the position of every player 30 times per second. MLB’s technology arm will also track the flight of a baseball 20,000 times per second, generating up to seven terabytes per game of data. There’s your Big Data.

Sports executives understand the utility of Big Data as much as Feds do. And for fans who love reading box scores, Big Data is about to produce the mother lode of statistics.

Baseball purists may find this silly, but it’s intended to provide new ways for players, coaches, and agents to measure performance. Is the Bambino rolling in his grave? Imagine how he’d react if he knew fans paid an average last season of $6.12 for a beer.

Play ball!
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Bill Glanz is the content director for MeriTalk and its Exchange communities. In the past 14 years, he has worked as a business reporter, press secretary, and media relations director in Washington, D.C.