Introducing PitchCom 

Monday, April 11th, 2022

Baseball is back, and this season, a whole lot has changed. From a universal designated hitter to mic’ed up umpires, it’s a brave new world. Perhaps the most intriguing change is the addition of a new system called PitchCom, which uses wireless transmitters to allow pitchers and catchers to determine what pitch will be thrown. Technology is finally being used to prevent sign-stealing, rather than just enabling it.

USA Today has a story on the new system, which offers several intriguing details, including this origin story:

ProMystic, a company that creates and designs similar technologies for performing magicians and mentalists, developed PitchCom. Company co-founder John Hankins said he was inspired by the fallout of the Houston Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal, which used an instantaneous video-replay system to decode catchers’ finger signs in real time, to create a technology that protected the game’s integrity.

Hankins, an attorney in addition to his credentials as a technical engineer, filed the patent paperwork within a week of his idea in late 2019. He challenged Craig Filicetti, his fellow co-founder, to develop a prototype that they tested one month later in the early part of 2020.

For years, I idly suggested that baseball ought to use technology to allow pitchers and catchers to communicate. Frankly, I envisioned something pretty much exactly like this. The only problem, of course, is that I didn’t actually do anything with that idea.


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