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Do umpires ever freeze baseballs before a game?

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βˆ™ 2006-09-04 17:48:40

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I'm quite certain they do not in any way tamper with the baseballs other than rubbing them up with a special clay. However, years ago the late Joe Engel, then owner of the Class AA Chattanooga Lookouts, froze a number of baseballs prior to a game during which a lucky fan would receive a house if his or her ticket stub number was selected. Engel knew there would be an over-flow crowd for this game, meaning he would have to rope off the outfield for the spill-over of fans to stand. He also knew there would likely be a number of balls hit past the rope and kept as souvenirs by the fans. Therefore, he put the baseballs in the freezer to reduce the distance they would travel, thus preventing the loss of balls to the crowd which, incidentally, numbered better than 20,000, a record that might still stand for a game in the Southern League.

2006-09-04 17:48:40
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