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Cardinals notebook: To follow the story, MLB will use baseballs marked for the 700th home run from Pujols | Cardinals of St. Louis

Typically, baseball field officials at majors are unable to authenticate baseballs that leave their sight, which would be problematic for a baseball that makes history so rarely seen.

With Albert Pujols poised to become the fourth big league player to hit 700 career home runs, Major League Baseball will introduce individually and sequentially marked baseballs for use only in its bats, an official said Tuesday. league manager at the Post-Dispatch. . The special baseballs ensure that if the home run disappears into the crowd at Busch Stadium or elsewhere, it can be forever identified as the one true story maker.

“Pretty much as big a milestone as this sport has ever seen,” said Michael Posner, Major League Baseball’s senior director of authentication and memorabilia. “It’s not about giving value to something. It is a part of history that we will never forget. Authentication is about capturing that moment and recording it and having 100% certainty that we know it’s the ball.

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Immediately after Pujols reaches No. 699, individually marked baseballs will be put into play for each pitch he sees up to No. 700.

Baseballs will bear “obvious markings” that identify the order in which they will be used. The umpires, who receive the baseballs at the start of each at-bat, will use this number to put the balls into play, in order. Each baseball will also have an invisible-to-the-eye marking that can only be revealed by proprietary technology, and only two people will know precisely where that marking is on each baseball, Posner said.

The league will also soon begin using similar, individually marked baseballs for Yankees slugger Aaron Judge as he nears Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61.

Each game has been assigned two authenticators, each with a background in law enforcement, and as Pujols nears No. 700, a third authenticator will be at the ballpark assigned to anything Albert-related. That means there will be an official to authenticate the bat, jersey, shoes — whatever Pujols wants to track or chooses to donate to the National Baseball Hall of Fame or the Cardinals Hall of Fame. They will also authenticate the bases, the lineup card and even the dirt of the game and the time of the important home run.

It’s the same process MLB used to track Miguel Cabrera’s 3,000th hit and 500th home run, and also used for an iconic player’s final games in case the last hit produced a ball. which leaves the view of the authenticators. Over the past two decades, Major League Baseball has expanded and modernized its ability to authenticate items used in-game to protect against fraud and maintain a reliable record of the provenance of important coins.

If a fan catches the ball for number 700 and chooses to keep it, MLB officials will authenticate the ball on the spot for that fan and return it.

Posner said his policy is to be “agnostic” when it comes to possession.

“It’s a place that talks about its history, and you know that in St. Louis, where they talk about Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith like they’ll talk about Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado,” Posner said. “Knowing where the balls are is important for us, for the game. We all know Kirk Gibson’s home run and the mythology of where it is. It’s important for us to know that it’s the ball who made history and where he is.

Carlson swings back

Limited for a month by a sprained left thumb, outfielder Dylan Carlson took hits against a batting practice-style pitch Tuesday for the first time. He plans to ramp up his workouts this week so he can begin a rehab assignment Friday at a minor league affiliate. That would give her the weekend to fight and plead to join the team when she travels to San Diego on Monday.

An asset in center field for the Cardinals, Carlson tried to play through the pain in his left thumb despite it hurting him when he threw a baseball. It also compromised how long he could hold the bat when swinging with his left hand.

He didn’t have that problem swinging on Tuesday.

“Rest was the big key,” Carlson said. “Fortunately, that time has passed and now is the time to go. Testing my patience a bit.

Golden opportunity for Edman

Instead of defending his reign as the Golden Glove winner at second base, Tommy Edman could start one as the first winner of a new defensive honor. Rawlings, the St. Louis-based sporting goods maker, announced Tuesday that a Gold Glove Award would be presented to a utility outfielder for the first time since the award was established in 1957.

A utility prize will be awarded in each league.

As he moved from second base to shortstop this season, Edman has been one of the majors’ best outfielders, leading with more than 20 total defensive points saved. But with more than 50 starts in each center infield spot, the reigning second-place Golden Glove winner didn’t lead to either position. Seeking to recognize the modern value of versatile players and teams increasingly using defenders in multiple positions, Rawlings said in a statement that he wanted to add a trophy for defenders “with the superior defensive ability to play in multiple positions. “.

To be eligible for a Gold Glove, players had to have at least 713 innings in the field in the team’s 141st game. It was Sunday for the Cardinals. Two-time Golden Glove winner in left field, Tyler O’Neill, his season interrupted by injury, is just through – with 749 innings.

Finalists for the Gold Glove will be announced on November 3.

Molina, Hudson, etc.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina appears to be in line to lead the Puerto Rico national team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, should he choose to accept a flagged offer. However, there has been some upheaval in the direction of this team. Former Cardinal Eduardo Perez abruptly resigned as general manager of the team on Monday, in part, according to El Nueva Dia, because he contacted candidates for the post of manager after the federation contacted Molina directly. At receiver, Molina led Team Puerto Rico to second place in the 2017 tournament. … Dakota Hudson remains on course to start half of Saturday’s doubleheader against Cincinnati. He will be the Cardinals’ 26th man and will return to Class AAA Memphis after the doubleheader. The plan is for the plumber to join the Cardinals on next week’s road trip.