Oy, The Humidity!

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox made big news in the PCL this past off-season, when the Rockies announced that they would install a baseball humidor at Security Service Field – identical to the one at Coors Field.

So far, it appears to be working. Colorado Springs needed it more than the Rockies – we’re over 6,500 feet above sea level here. Scoring has been down in the Springs – although part of that is definitely due to an improved Sky Sox pitching staff.

The scores of the first three games in this series have been normal baseball scores: 8-4, 5-1, and 5-4. Tacoma has not homered yet in this series, while the Sky Sox have hit two.

On Sunday, I was hanging out in the press box 30 minutes before the game when Sky Sox Assistant GM Mike Hobson said something about it being time to “get the baseballs out of the humidor.” I tagged along.

Here is the humidor – it just looks like a walk-in fridge.

Only three people have the key to the humidor

Hobson grabbed one of the umpires to watch him remove the balls from the humidor. Apparently, MLB teams have wanted an impartial eye on the process in Colorado, to make sure that humid baseballs were being used by both teams. The PCL is following the same guidelines.

Inside are shelves full of boxed baseballs.

There are two of these shelves, full of baseballs.

The controls are set at 70 degrees, and 60% humidity. A date is marked on each box, signifying when it was placed in the humidor.

Baseballs are removed from the humidor and rubbed with mud, then placed back in the humidor for at least another 48 hours prior to being used in a game.

Boxes of balls are tracked – when they were placed in the humidor, and when they were rubbed with mud.

The humidor is not only used for baseballs.

Cigars – in case Colorado Springs makes the playoffs for the first time in decades.

We’ll check in on the stats in Colorado Springs when the Rainiers next come here – late July – and then again at the end of the season. Right now its a small sample size, but the humidor seems to be working: there have been an average of 10.7 runs per game in Colorado Springs this year, compared to 15.8 runs per game last year.

Lots of people are asking when Danny Hultzen pitches in Tacoma. He is still set for Thursday night against Las Vegas.

If the Rainiers stay in rotation after Thursday, Hultzen’s next start will be July 3rd, the same night as the Rainiers annual Fireworks Extravaganza. This game always sells out – but it is not sold out yet! I advise you to get your tickets soon if you want to come out to this one. 

Tonight’s game is at 6:05 pm (Pacific), and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Blake Beavan (1-0, 3.00) against Sky Sox RHP Rob Scahill (5-8, 5.96). Despite those ugly stats, Scahill leads all PCL starters in strikeouts per nine innings (84 K’s in 74 innings).

Links:

OK, let’s try to get out of here with a win. Avoid the sweep and return home tomorrow.

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One Response to Oy, The Humidity!

  1. Steve Henderson says:

    Why not a “juicing” humidor for Safeco? After reading about the humidor in Colorado Springs, I was wondering if one could be installed in Safeco that would in effect “juice” the ball. The humidor in Colorado Springs is set at 70 degrees and 60% humidity. What would happen if a Safeco humidor were set at 70 degrees and 20% humidity? If the ball was juiced we wouldn’t have to move in the fences and we could still watch the outfielders show their range.

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