The Thing About 100 MPH Fastballs

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an awesome Sunday afternoon at the ballpark. Today, dear reader, I want to write about something completely different: An awesome Tuesday evening at the ballpark. My youngest son and I went with his Knothole Baseball team with tickets purchased through The Kid Glove Way, a charitabler organization that has partnered with the Cincinnati Reds since 1949 to ensure that local youth have equipment to play baseball & softball, regardless of their financial situation.

redlegs

The weather was perfect, and my Reds got off to a great start: Leadoff batter Billy Hamilton hit one into the left field corner for a triple. Now, this would have been a double for most any other player – proven out by Reds’ sluggers Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips, who both hit balls in almost the exact same location as the night progressed, and both ended up on second base. But not Hamilton…he’s FAST – the fastest runner in Major League Baseball by most accounts. If you have the opportunity to see this guy run in person (he IS coming right along as a hitter, so the odds are increasing), I highly recommend it…television doesn’t do his speed justice.

The rest of the game dragged on in a pitcher’s duel…not the most exciting spectacle in the wide world of sports…but the crowd took notice when Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman started warming up in the bullpen. “The Cuban Missile” caught a line drive in the eye during Spring Training, which fractured his skull…thing about a 100 mph fastball; it goes the other way just as hard if the batter turns on it well. It was cool to be there for his second game back after recovering from that serious of an injury.

So there we were, top of the ninth inning, score tied 1-1, and Chapman strikes out the first two batters. The Padres’ Chase Headley came to the plate, took a ball, fouled one off, and drove the next pitch over the left field fence. Thing about 100 mph fastballs…

The Reds’ offense came up short in the bottom of the ninth, and they lost. It was still an awesome night at the ballpark with my son, though.

The thing about 100 mph fastballs reminded me of the thing about open ended compressed air blow offs: there’s no way to generate an air flow with a higher force, but that’s not always a good thing. They’re loud, unsafe, inefficient, and wasteful of your compressed air. Conversely, EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products, such as our Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives and Super Air Amplifiers, are all specifically designed to use MUCH less compressed air, meet OSHA standards for dead end pressure and permissible noise exposure  and still produce a highly effective air flow for blow off, cooling, drying, etc. Sure; the air flow from these products doesn’t have the force of what you get from an open pipe, but the fact that these engineered products entrain so much “free” air from the surrounding environment into a laminar (as opposed to the open pipes’ turbulence), high velocity flow, make them an ideal choice for most any air blowing application. Not to mention, they’re also much quieter, and ensure compliance with OSHA directives concerning the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.

The Reds will be in and out-of-town for the rest of the season, trying to solve the different equations for beating different opponents. We’re here every day, looking to help you solve your unique compressed air applications. Batter up!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

Not Just Another Day At The Ballpark

Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.

We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.

Notice the Braille at the bottom.  I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.
Notice the Braille at the bottom. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.

The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.

To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.

My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

Built To Last, And Then Some

I’ve written before about my lifelong dedication as a fan of the Cincinnati Reds. If you follow baseball, you can probably appreciate how excited I am at the very real prospect of some postseason action at Great American Ballpark. It’s kindling memories of the World Series Championship team from 1975-1976 who, coincidentally, reunited for the dedication of Joe Morgan’s statue at the ballpark recently.

The Big Red Machine in 2013
The Big Red Machine in 2013

It also got me thinking about how cool it is when stuff lasts a good, long time. I had the pleasure to talk with a customer about a Reversible Drum Vac the other day…it needed a new gasket in the quick connect assembly that attaches the vacuum hose to the drum. The caller mentioned that it had been in service for quite some time, and wanted to make sure that “today’s” gasket would fit “yesterday’s” Reversible Drum Vac. I assured him it would, because the design hasn’t changed. Out of curiosity, I looked up the original purchase. It was in 1995, which means that this was one of the very first Reversible Drum Vacs that EXAIR made.

When someone asks about our products’ guarantee, and we tell them it’s “Five Years; Built To Last,” they’re usually impressed. I’m going to start telling them they ain’t seen nothing yet.

This year, EXAIR is celebrating 30 years in business. That means there are a LOT of EXAIR products out there, and (hopefully) a good many “oldies but goodies.” If you’ve got one, we’d love to hear from you about it.

Go Reds,
Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Today In History…I Wish…

A lot of folks are reminiscing today about where they were, what they were doing, etc., when they heard the news on September 11th. I remember it well…I was at Great Lakes Recruit Training Center. My whole boot camp company consisted of young men from the Cincinnati area – it was a special thing the Naval Recruiting Command did with the Cincinnati Reds…we had all been sworn in just a month earlier, before a ball game, in left field, at Riverfront Stadium. So, when Pete Rose got his 4,192nd career hit on September 11, 1985, Chief Floyd came in to let us know about it, even though he was thoroughly disgusted with our worthlessness, which he also reminded us of (quite colorfully, as was his custom.)

Of course, most people aren’t thinking about that today. I’ll never forget arriving at work on the morning of September 11, 2001.  Dan was looking at grainy internet pictures of a smoky hole in the side of WTC Tower 1, and Tom turned on the radio that he kept in our office, just in time to get the report of the plane hitting Tower 2. But sometimes, I wish that date was all about the Coronation of The Hit King. I want to think that would be the case, even if I wasn’t a life-long Reds fan who grew up in the Big Red Machine era, when Pete accumulated most of those hits.

It got me thinking: I wonder if, in 1941, anyone lamented the fact that American History buffs would forget that December 7th was the date that the Marquis de Lafayette joined the Continental Army (1776), or that it was the day that Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution (1787)? Or that aficionados of the “Old West” wouldn’t remember that Jesse James robbed his first bank on that date (1869)?  I kind of hope so.

Today is certainly, absolutely, without a doubt, the time to honor the memories of the innocent people who were murdered in a grotesque act of evil. The first responders who sacrificed their lives to rescue others that day must never be forgotten. Our collective resolve in the following days was a crowning achievement in the history of nations. Today is aptly named Patriot Day, and I’m a little more cognizant of how proud I am to be an American right now.

But I still wish it just made me think about baseball.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair