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Take technology to the ballpark

By Mariah Smith
Extension Center for Technology Outreach

Image of Mariah Smith

Summer is in full swing, and the boys of summer are keeping us entertained in ballparks across this great nation. As college baseball winds up in Omaha and Major League Baseball heads toward the All-Star break, fans are turning to technology to enhance their baseball experience.

Kids will enjoy the science of baseball at http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball. This site has activities for kids, such as finding the sweet spot on a baseball bat. They can also take Babe Ruth through a time machine to see how his stats changed over time. The National Baseball Hall of Fame website has lessons on physics and baseball at http://tinyurl.com/baseballhalloffame. A trip to the ballpark can be fun and educational.

Naturally, the major leagues have pitched directly to the fan base with apps like At Bat, which connects fans to games, archives and stats. At Bat cost $14.99 a year, with a recurring monthly fee of $2.99. Available for the iPhone, iPad and Android, it can be downloaded at http://mlb.com/mobile/atbat/.

At the Ballpark is an app that lets major league fans order food from the comfort of their seats or in some cases even upgrade their seats once they get to the park. The app is free for both the iPhone and the Android and can be downloaded at http://mlb.com/mobile/attheballpark/.

If you are a baseball fan who likes to hang on every pitch, PitchStat is the app you need. Murphy Brantley, a Mississippi State University alumna, created this app to keep track of pitches. If you are headed to see the Bulldogs play in Omaha, this might help you keep up when the Diamond Dogs throw strikes.

They can’t keep your cowbell out of the stadium if it’s on your smartphone. Download the MSU Cowbell app, and you can also play the fight song whenever you need an extra spirit boost.

Omaha and most Major League ballparks are a long way from Mississippi, and trips require a lot of gas money. Apps like GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas while you are on the road.

Dedicated baseball fans like to keep notebooks of game stats. The iScore Baseball app lets you not only keep up with the stats but also map the batting spray chart.

Technology doesn’t stop with the fans. The bat and baseball are getting in on the action as well. From bats wired with sensors that record the metrics of the hitter’s swing to baseballs that measure how fast the pitcher throws his curve ball, baseball and technology are as American as apple pie.

As you head to Omaha to cheer on the Bulldogs or travel anywhere to watch America’s pastime, use technology to make it a fun, educational family trip.

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Released: June 20, 2013
Contact: Mariah Smith, (662) 325-3226

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