Angels use instant replay system at the World Series

Anaheim Angels’ pitchers had a secret weapon at this year’s World Series. An instant replay system set up adjacent to the top of their dugout provided instant coaching tips by showing, for example, what side a player favored in the batter’s box. The San Francisco Giants, like every Major League Baseball team except the Cleveland Indians, do not have such a system.

Diego Lopez, the Anaheim Angels’ senior video coordinator, operated the Grass Valley Profile-based system with two Apple Macintosh G3 laptops. He was using specialized software from Dixon Sports Computing to log digitized footage, organize it and make it available between innings. Footage is stored using such specific criteria as a player’s name or an exact game scenario.

Angels’ players and coaches have actually been using the system since 1997, with about four hours of video storage (eight 4 GB drives) for each game. Replay clips delivered by the Profile server are displayed in full- or slow-motion with fast forward and reverse functionality within minutes.

At Edison Field in Anaheim, custom robotic cameras were installed behind first and third base to capture a batter’s swing while another is trained on the pitcher’s mound. For away games, Lopez taps into the TV broadcast or scoreboard feed to provide video analysis. The Profile is housed in a special video room located inside Edison Field with a compact viewing station (linked via fiber-optic cable) near the Angels’ dugout. For away games, it is packed in a travel case.

After each game, the game footage is stored as data files in an IT room in Anaheim, where the team has saved every pitch from this season and those going back to 1997.

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