The NCAA introduced new baseball bats during the fall of 2010 in an attempt to correct a couple of glaring problems with college baseball.
In their point of view, they believed college baseball players were becoming bigger and better than ever before, therefore the change to the new bats was warranted. The new bats are designed to simulate wooden bats rather than the traditional aluminum.
Wooden bats have been a trademark of Major League Baseball for the entirety of its existence. So the NCAA thought the game was becoming so much of a slugfest with the aluminum bats, that they felt they had to step in and do something about it.
This story made headlines in February because of the upcoming college baseball season. I thought this story wasn’t getting enough publicity because of the simple fact that college baseball just isn’t that popular in American sports, but also because Major League Baseball casts an enormous shadow over the college game that when someone thinks of baseball, they immediately think of the MLB, not college.
I thought the most surprising statistic was that home runs per game have jumped from .68 to .94 over the last three seasons. With almost one home run per game, the NCAA thought the game was becoming too much about power, thus creating a disadvantage for pitchers in college baseball.
The story was pretty simple to do, although it did take a little bit of time to shoot all the footage. Since the season began only a couple of weeks ago, I had to wait until the team had a home game and hope the weather was good enough to film in. As we all know, weather in March/April can be shaky, especially shooting for a sporting event like baseball where the action is few and far between.
I filmed the WVU vs. Bryant University baseball game the week before spring break, then a couple days after was able to shoot the interviews at their practice. WVU Baseball head Coach Greg Van Zant accommodated to all of my needs and was a great and enthusiastic interview; as well as WVU shortstop Grant Buckner.