Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Major League Baseball in 2064 - 50 Years From Now

Just a few more days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and it got us thinking on how baseball will look in 50 years. So much has changed in the last 50 years of the game, but the future of the game for the players and fans will probably see more changes that most of us can’t even begin to imagine.

So step into the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster time machine, and let’s see what baseball will look like in the year 2064 ...

The Game
  • Active rosters have been increased to 30 players, and the league now has 36 teams world wide. Teams (Kansas City, Houston, Milwaukee, and Miami) that have historically under preformed have been relocated ... abroad. The game is international now, Major League has also added a few expansion teams in Mexico, Japan, Korea, London, New Dehli, and Cuba. The designated-hitter rule is now present in the West Federation, formerly known as the National League. The WBC no longer exists, it has been replaced with the Champions League tournament - the best performing Major League club in each participating country plays in a one-and-done survivor tournament. 
  • In addition, Major League Baseball has adopted a relegation rule. The bottom performing six clubs are replaced each year with the World League, formerly known as AAA minor league baseball, with their top six finishing teams. Most of the minor league teams have also been relocated throughout the world.

The Equipment
  • The biggest equipment development will benefit catchers ... think IronMan outfit, a full body armor protective suit that also has climate control features: a built-in air conditioning and heating unit to protect the catcher in any harsh weather elements. Also it will also have communications capabilities with the pitcher, an onboard system will allow the pitcher and catcher to communicate without any hand signs. How? A micro LED screen imbedded to the side of the catcher’s mask and pitcher’s cap will allow for two-way communication with mind-thinking technology.
  • Sponsors are now paying a premium to have their brands on Major League uniforms, but only on the back of the collar above the LED nameplate and number.
  • Uniforms are now embedded with smart technology that can alert the manager and a trainer when a player is fatigued or injured. There is no guess work, the staff will know immediately, and a player can’t talk there way out of it.
  • Gloves now have “smart technology” built into the gloves. A small LED screen displays which pitch is being thrown, and provides hitting tendencies of the batter at the plate. In addition, it allows for the manager to direct fielders on where to position them at any given time.
  • Eye black and sunglasses are no longer used. A special “eye contact lense” is being used by players that automatically deflects any direct sun rays from their vision, and can  be preset to the player’s preference.

The Fan Experience
  • Giant HD scoreboards are obsolete ... instant replays are shown on the field as a 3D hologram replicating the exact movement of the ball and player(s). Natural grass has been replaced with “Smart Turf” ... a hybrid grass and synthetic strain that features LED capabilities that allows for in-game advertising on the field, and game updates. Season ticket holders no longer have physical tickets ... instead they are provided with season ticket “smart bracelets” that contains the game day bar codes for entry, information on available concessions, wait times for rest rooms, and a loaded payment account for payment for anything at the ballpark. Each year a new bracelet is distributed to season ticket holders with new enhancements and features.
  • The concrete floors at the ballpark have now been inlayed with LED screens that provides updates on ball park amenities and team sponsors advertisements.
  • As a nod to the fan experience from the 1970s, beer vendors are back at each ballpark.
  • Seagulls are no longer a problem at AT&T Park, but individuals with mini-drones trying to watch the game from home or outside now crowd the airspace around the ballpark.

So what changes do you think we'll see in 2063?

1999 SF Giants wearing futuristic jerseys for "Turn Ahead the Clock Night"

Barry Bonds wearing the futuristic jersey 

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