(Lancaster, Pa.) – If “Robo Umps” are going to continue calling balls and strikes, they need to be ready to hear the good and the bad from the fans, just like their human counterparts. And for that, they’re going to need names.
That’s the consensus of the teams of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which announced today they are seeking names for each of their ballparks’ automated ball-strike system (ABS) radar panels.
“It was one of the biggest talking points of 2019 and certainly will be again this year,” noted Christian Heimall, High Point Rockers Assistant General Manager. “However, it did get a little tiresome constantly saying ‘Automated Ball-Strike’ or having fans not know what ABS was. This will hopefully be a fun way for our fans to be a part of one of the most widely-discussed topics in baseball.”
Through the Atlantic League’s partnership with Major League Baseball, the previously nameless panels made history in the 2019 ALPB season by electronically determining balls and strikes and relaying the calls to umpires wearing earpieces. MLB later used the ABS in its Arizona Fall League and announced earlier this year that it will test electronic balls and strikes in spring training games this year.
Beginning next Monday, February 3, Rockers fans will be encouraged to submit their family-friendly suggestions using the hashtag #HighPointABS on social media. Fans can do so on Twitter (@RockersBaseball), Instagram (@highpointrockers), or on Facebook (@HighPointBaseball). All Atlantic League teams will announce the winning names – the newest members of their ballpark communities – on Valentine’s Day, February 14.
“What better day to announce the names of something people are clearly very passionate about,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “Love or hate it, Atlantic League fans have expressed their feelings to that big black box in their home parks. On Valentine’s Day, they’ll be able to put a name to their passions, and we will have fun along the way.”
The Atlantic League’s 23rd Championship Season will kick off on Thursday, April 30, when the High Point Rockers host the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at 7:00pm. Season Tickets and Group Outings are currently on-sale by calling (336) 888-1000 by sliding to www.HighPointRockers.com.
About High Point Baseball, Inc
High Point Baseball aka the High Point Rockers began their inaugural season in the Atlantic League in 2019 with their home opener on May 2, in a brand new approximately $36M downtown ballpark named BB&T Point. Enhancing the rich baseball history in North Carolina, High Point Baseball is part of the fastest growing family sport in America. High Point Baseball is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment experiences for the Triad of North Carolina. With seven players having their contract purchased and earning the 2019 Ballpark of the Year as well as Mascot of the Year (HYPE, The Rocking Horse), the High Point Rockers have built a fun and competitive atmosphere in both High Point and the Atlantic League.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com