DAR photo by Rob Tate
Players and coaches have been using signals in baseball for over 100 years but one area team is using a cheat sheet this season.
Fellow reporter Rob Tate snapped this picture Wednesday at the Farmington-Poplar Bluff baseball game. At right is Farmington's Pete Grindel wearing a wrist band that usually holds a football playbook. Tate said the Knights used it on defense with the coach yelling out a code and the fielders adjusting their alignment accordingly.
This probably wouldn't work on offense considering an opposing fielder could look down to see what the call might be, however, it's one less thing a player has to remember.
"If coach touches his shoulder is that a hit-and-run or a straight steal?"
The first reference to signs in baseball was in 1888, according to 'The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary' by Paul Dickson. Coaches use signs to set up a defense, call a pitch or tell a batter or runner what to do by using a series of motions, many meaning nothing to confuse opposing teams.
Football teams use the wrist band for no-huddle offenses by calling out plays from the sideline. The player, already at the line of scrimmage, can quickly look at his playbook for the play.