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

This is a Multi-man, One-man Show

For those of you who haven’t heard (and for those who have), Homer Bailey of our hometown Cincinnati Reds pitched his second career no hitter July 2nd.  I received some flak from the guys on EXAIR‘s softball team for skipping practice last Tuesday to go watch a Reds game.  Well, seeing a no hitter live is a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m sorry to miss practice but I would do it again.

It is a great thing to go to a sporting event and feel a group of 27,000 people cheering for the same outcome.  The energy in the building increased with the third out in every inning.  By the end of sixth inning and every subsequent inning, we were out of our seat to applaud Homer into the dugout.  There is a superstition in baseball that no one should mention that a no hitter is still going on. As the game wore on, more and more people acknowledged that Homer had a chance to throw his second no hitter.  I winced each time the baseball gods were challenged, “Hey, the Giants don’t have a hit”, “Dude, do you think Homer could do it again”, “Didn’t this guy pitch a no hitter last year.”  I don’t believe in jinxes, superstitions, or voodoo dolls, but at a baseball game all you can do is cheer for your team, have a great time, and wear your hat inside out in the bottom of the ninth when the Reds are down a run.

What I’m trying to say is I know it doesn’t make a difference for a guy in the upper deck to point out that the Giants don’t have any hits, but it is all we can do to help this pitcher so superstition lacking comments to yourself!  Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest.

Seriously though, there are two reasons I wanted to write about the no hitter for EXAIR’s blog.  The first reason is that a guy pitching a no hitter is just one of those rare sporting events that made me want watch sports.  ESPN doesn’t have to build it up or make it more than at is.  People have been playing major league baseball for well over 100 years and a no hitter has only happened 280 times, so it is something to get excited about.

The second reason to write about this event is that the no hitter is primarily remembered as an individual achievement, but in reality the entire baseball team needs to play exceedingly well in order for a no hitter to happen.  There were two great examples of teamwork leading to a great individual achievement during the game.  The first was Joey Votto’s play at first to turn a hit into a fielder’s choice.

In the above play (click on the image for a video), it is Homer Bailey’s responsibility to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side of the infield.  He makes a very good pitch to one of the best hitters in the game, but doesn’t cover first base as quickly as he should.  Joey Votto realizes that it will be a close race to first, and sees that the runner on second is heading to third.  He guns down the runner at third, which saves the pitcher from possibly blowing his own no hitter with bad defense, and gets the lead runner out from an earlier walk (a Fielder’s Choice isn’t a hit).  This is the kind of play that will never be documented in the stat sheet, but inspires confidence in Homer that his team is looking out for him.  If you have confidence in the people around you to do their jobs, this allows you to have great achievement at yours.

The second example of great teamwork was off the field, but I think it was much more important.  My wife and I went to see the game with her coworkers and their families.  One father had his son, who lives out of state, at the game.  The father was overwhelmed by his son (and son’s friend) and trying to socialize with his coworkers that he lost track of the game and tried to leave in the eighth inning.  Now I don’t have kids, so I don’t really understand not realizing that there is a no hitter in progress, but I could see how this could happen.  When he tried to leave the game, the entire section of coworkers vehemently pleaded with him to stay for six more outs.  Any sympathy we had for a tired father and his even more tired son, faded. The poor father was taken aback and had no idea what was going on because our superstition prevented us from mentioning anything about a no-hitter.  It was the end of the eighth inning.  This is not the time to mess with the baseball gods and say anything about the no hitter.  We politely but forcefully pointed him back to his seat and asked him to stay for six more outs.  By the end of the game, the father had figured it out and we took a great picture of the two of them after the game was over.

All of this is a long way of saying that sometimes in life you might not cover first base or you might not know every stat in a baseball game, when you worried about taking care of your son, but if you look out for your teammates, one day they might do the same thing for you.  Every great event has a group of people behind it.  So if you are trying to save your company money by reducing the amount compressed air you use.  Give Joey P, Rusty Bowman, No Leak Evans, Raker rhymes with Baker, Captain Kirk, Brian not Philo Farnsworth or I a call and we will help you out.  The team at EXAIR has more experience in compressed air products than Reds players have playing baseball, and we can make that play, when you really need it.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
davewoerner@exair.com

We’re All In This Together

We as Americans are a charitable society. Severe weather this year has devastated many families. Citizens from around the country have stepped up to the plate volunteering to help with the clean up as well with monetary and food donations.

bruce

Speaking of stepping up to the plate, the Cincinnati Reds players wives put together gift baskets filled with their husband’s favorite items to be raffled off. All proceeds went to Matthew 25: Ministries and the Oklahoma tornado victims.

Items included food and gifts from their home state, gift cards to their favorite stores along with books and DVDs and four Field Box tickets to an upcoming Reds game. Additionally, each raffle winner received an autographed jersey from the player. That’s awesome!

EXAIR Corporation shares in this exceptionalism. When the Hantavirus struck Mexico we shipped boxes of our respirator masks to our distributor who was in a position to help people around them. Annually EXAIR donates to local charities. One of the more fun events for our employees is the Rubber Duck Regatta (watch video) where 140,000 rubber ducks are dropped from the Purple People Bridge into the Ohio River and swim a quarter mile along the Serpentine Wall. The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line won a 2012 Honda Civic LX Sedan and possibly $1 million if their duck is the “Million Dollar duck”! Second place was a year’s worth of groceries from Kroger, and the remaining five runners-up won $500 cash! All money raised from duck sales go directly to the Freestore Foodbank to help those in the community in need. The company buys a rubber duck for each of us and then some. No one on our company was a winner but it was fun never the less and it went for a good cause.

Our company founder has been involved with the Special Olympics for many years, and recently helped the juvenile arthritis foundation by sponsoring the Concours d’Elegance here in Cincinnati. Our company president has a soft spot for underprivileged youth sports and has spent his time as a baseball coach for the cause. The list goes on…

We are fortunate to work for a company and leaders who show us this kind of example and encourage participation in events which benefit charitable foundations and causes. I have yet to see EXAIR turn down an employee who requests an entry or registration fee for a race or event which benefits a good cause.

With EXAIR’s help, we help – we’re all in this together.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Cincinnati Institutions – Baseball, 3-Ways and Vortex Tubes

Every decent sized town has its own institutions. Cincinnati proper’s population is about 300,000 while the greater Cincinnati area is 2.1 million. Founded in 1788, Cincinnati grew as a result of the Miami-Erie Canal connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio river and became a major trade partner with the southern states. And as every city will, it began to develop its personality…

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the countries first professional baseball team was created in 1869. There has been baseball in this town ever since, and the Reds are having a fairly good season this time around.

Baseball history photo: An 1868 studio photo of the 36 and 7 Cincinnati Club with a listing of the player’s primary position. Standing (L to R): Asa Brainard, Second Base/Pitcher; J. Williams Johnson, Right Field, Johnny Hatfield, Left Field; Rufus King, Centre Field; John Con Howe, Short Stop. Seated (L to R): Harry Wright, Pitcher; Fred Waterman, Third Base; Charley Gould, First Base; Moses Grant, Substitute.
Of course many cities also develop their own unique flavors and tastes. Around here, Cincinnati style chili represents our unique taste. Order yours as a 3-way, 4-way or 5-way and you’ll receive chili covered spaghetti topped with cheese (3-way); add onions (4-way); add beans (5-way). Years ago, as an outsider myself (a Wolverine in Buckeye territory no less) I couldn’t fathom this even represented what chili should actually be. Today, however, I can regularly be found thoroughly enjoying a 3-way.

Cincinnati chili, 3-way style.
Major business is also a part of every cities identity. Cincinnati houses the world headquarters of Procter and Gamble and Kroger. GE Aviation has built jet engines here since 1946. It also depends on a large and diverse manufacturing base to keep people working.

That’s where EXAIR comes in, as part of that diverse manufacturing base. Cincinnati is also the genesis of commercial Vortex Tube technology and developing Vortex Tube products for the industrial manufacturing market. EXAIR has been a part of that tradition for 29 years, our founder has been involved with the Vortex Tube market for 40 years.

The uniqueness of Vortex Tubes, and the way they operate, make them suitable for many industrial applications. Applications which require low maintenance, steadfast, reliable solutions will benefit form a Vortex Tube product. Vortex Tubes will also remain operational in extreme environments whether it is from a overly dirty or oily surrounding to very hot or isolated in a remote part of a facility where regular maintenance is not an option.

Vortex Tube products can cool small areas where space is limited such as cooling brazed joints on a rotary assembly station or cooling glue beads in a packaging operation. Heat seals can be cooled to prevent leakage and high temperature camera electronics can be kept cool when looking into furnaces or boilers.

Cabinet Coolers systems are in full swing this time of year as well. Based on Vortex Tube technology, these products keep your electronic cabinets from overheating in the sweltering summers, or if they are packed with heat generating components that cause problems year round. Cabinet Cooler systems benefit from the same inherent qualities of a Vortex Tube; low maintenance, durable, reliable, low cost and simple to install. See the video below.

So whether it is baseball, Cincinnati style chili or Vortex Tubes – EXAIR is proud to be part of the institutions of Cincinnati.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com