A visual tour of the Baseball Trade Show
The annual Baseball Winter Meetings Trade Show, held this year at the San Diego Convention Center, is now in its third and final day. This year's iteration features more than 200 vendors, peddlling everything from groundskeeper supplies to beverage dispensers.
The Trade Show's labyrinthine corridors are packed with national pastime stimuli. What follows is a brief photographic and video overview of that which can be found therein.
The El Paso Chihuahuas' Bark in the Park jersey won MiLB.com's Promotion of the Year MiLBY Award in 2014. It could be found hanging at the OT Sports booth, serving as an inspiration for teams hoping to make a similar promotional impact during the 2015 season.
Playing baseball in bad weather can result in large batches of sodden, soiled and generally unusable baseballs. But these balls are given new life via the Baseball Renewer. Fifteen minutes in this contraption reduces the weight of a wet ball by an ounce and a half. Will wonders never cease?
Minor League Baseball is in the midst of its annual rebranding season, with a variety of teams opting for new identities and/or logos. The freshest marks in the industry are on display at the Trade Show courtesy of the New Era Cap Company, such as this Biloxi Shuckers hat displaying the team's alternate beacon-themed logo. There is nary an oyster to be found.
Somebody call security! Extended Digital is selling a concourse cruiser called the "Defender," which features flashing lights that can be used in times of emergency (or if its users just want to pretend that they're in an episode of CHiPs).
It's tough to stand out amidst the sea of Trade Show vendors, but Jeremy Legg of the touring entertainment group The Fur Circus found a way to do just that. Our conversation with Jeremy was kind of stilted, however.
And what might this be, you ask? This might be a replica miniature bathroom stall equipped with a Peep No More-brand bathroom stall occupancy indicator, we answer. It's an automatic device, with the red "Occupied" sign immediately locking into place once the stall door is closed.
One of the more intriguing offerings at the Trade Show came courtesy of author and inventor Winston B. Lewy, who was giving away copies of his book How to Master Baseball. The book details Lewy's 945-step plan for mastering the game, complete with diagrams on how to build his PVC-pipe based hitting tees. And check out the cover art!
All photos except the How to Master Baseball photo by Danny Wild / MiLB.com. The last photo is by Benjamin Hill / MiLB.com.
Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.