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Island baseball teams among first in Canada to use anti-sign-stealing tech

Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls catchers and pitchers will use PitchCom to relay signs
Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls catchers will relay signals to pitchers using PitchCom tech, the West Coast League baseball teams have announced. (Black Press Media file photo)

Ball clubs in Victoria and Nanaimo will implement technology used in Major League Baseball intended to prevent sign stealing.

In separate press releases, the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls baseball teams of the West Coast League announced their catchers and pitchers will communicate via the PitchCom system. The new technology is “a one-way device which allows the [two players] to communicate signals … without any concern of having those signals picked up by the other team,” the press release said.

Catchers call situation, location and pitch type via a small button pad and audio receivers relay information to the pitcher, the press release noted.

The technology is also used by the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays and the Victoria Golden Tide of the Canadian College Baseball Conference.

NightOwls general manager Jim Swanson, who has experience as a scout and coach, said the new tech will aid in player development.

“Everything we do is geared to preparing our exceptional college players for entry into the professional level – our coaching and front office personnel are dedicated to providing the pathway to those pro opportunities,” he said in the release. “We are proud to partner with PitchCom to help our catchers and pitchers in particular get ready for the technology at the pro level.”

The NightOwls, Golden Tide, HarbourCats and Jays are the only Canadian teams using PitchCom, stated the press release.

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