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By Brett Federico, VI Form
DIYBaseball: Extension Through Contact
During the Spring Semester, I worked alongside Mr. Bauer in Engineering to develop inexpensive alternatives to popular baseball training aids on the market today. Upon completion, I produced an eight minute video that explains my product’s effectiveness and incorporates coaching cues for those using it. This product in particular teaches players how to properly extend their hands after contact, creating more consistent results. Depending on the location of the pitch, the audible “click” of the baseball should come between the shortstop and the second baseman. Mr. Bauer pushed me to develop a universal training aid for this project, as my previous products were developed to suit an athlete my size. My original design incorporated a fence, a rope, a 25lb weight, two rock-climbing clips, and 6 Wiffle balls, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of trial and error to get to the product that you see in the video!(more…)
By Matt Walsh, IV Form
Baseball: A Diplomatic Tool Between the U.S. and Cuba
When Mr. Calagione, our varsity baseball coach, first mentioned the prospect of visiting Cuba in the spring of 2017, I was dubious. Although President Obama had shown signs of improving diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, I had believed that American travel to Cuba would have to wait several years. The opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of Cuba, a country impoverished by many regimes of cruel dictators and gripped by the historical intervention of the United States and the Soviet Union, intrigued me. I never considered Mr. Calagione’s idea to visit Cuba as a realistic proposal. It was not until he gathered all members of the baseball team in October that the prospect of visiting Cuba became legitimate. The appearance of the word “Cuba” on that piece of paper immediately enlivened me. While I looked forward to playing baseball, enjoying the warm weather, and interacting with locals using my Spanish, the learning aspect of the trip was what excited me the most. The historical context of Cuba from colonialism to the revolution created a unique social, cultural, and political landscape that I was excited to learn about. My eagerness to learn about the livelihoods of those with different social and cultural backgrounds often drove me to engage in what I call “research frenzies”: the hectic act of researching a topic of interest by delving into articles, videos, and photos on the internet using more than thirty tabs. This was often a time consuming (and battery consuming) endeavor that acted in place of actual traveling, and it fulfilled my desire to learn about other cultures. I would always choose travel over feverishly scouring the internet, so the opportunity to visit Cuba for a week energized me. (more…)