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Discussion: Rock Ball in Vegas

Posted Discussion
April 25
Webbie25
Men's 70
2414 posts
I wanted to throw out some observations about the 'Rock'. As does everyone, I do love to hit it. I saw a lot of missiles hit this week in 15 games at the 65M+ and 60M level that were amazing to watch. I know a lot of guys that salivate at the opportunity to hit it here. (Or drool as we get older)
Dave, I know this is not going to change anything, and am not expecting it to. This is just for discussion.
This ball behaves like no other ball, especially in the wind. I played outfield for 9 of my games and third base for the rest. In the air, on the ground, even thrown it plays differently, and it is not just the fact that it gets to you in a hurry.
As an outfielder, I was amazed that almost every fly ball danced in the air, reacted almost like a knuckle ball, and when the wind was blowing, made some of the best outfielders in both divisions look like they were lost out there. Seemingly routine fly balls caught the breeze and at times actually looked like a small rocket engine had ignited in mid air and the ball changed direction and took off. I watched many good outfielders camped on a drive toward them, only to realize that ball wasn't coming down, or veered away, and it went to-or over-the fence. I hit some myself I thought were outs. 3 or 4 of those carried over the fence. And no outfielder in either division was immune-it seemed.
As an infielder, I have noticed in previous tournaments, and watched it again this time, that the SECOND hop in a hard infield is about 6-12 inches higher than the first hop on a hard ground ball. I have seen a couple guys take it in the nose playing for a normal hop and getting surprised. I have take to playing a very short third to mitigate this hop-and it worked decently. It does cut my range a bit, but there were very few balls I would have gotten if I had been back further. (besides, at 65 my 'range' is a relative thing)-lol.
Even throwing this ball can be an adventure. I have had a few throws act like a slider if I don't get the correct grip on it. I pitched through college and threw a lot of cutters then. One world tournament I had 2 throws take off on me from third to first-with a 'cut fast ball' motion that would have made Mariano Rivera proud. I have never had that happen with the Stote or another ball.
I just wanted to throw this out and see if anyone else had a comment. Please, guys, let's not get on Dave or SSUSA about it, ok?
April 25
DieselDan
Men's 75
605 posts
Our LVSSA team worked various fields last FR.-Sun. A few of us worked Warm Springs on Fri. and watched the 60M. Do to the steady and strong wind the teams on #8 did have some shots. One HR landed about 40' into left field of #9. I believe no one hit a HR on #9 until the wind died down.

As for the ball, I thought Vegas did not use the Trump stotes, which this tournament used, and is considered not as good as the regular Trump ball.
April 25
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
DieselDan ... The Southwest Championships (and the World Masters Championships) are the only two events annually where The Rock is the official tourney ball ... This is a contractual agreement by and between LVSSA and SSUSA ... If someone was hitting the Anaconda/Trump/STOTE ball, it was not an authorized ball and, if discovered, should have been removed from play ...
April 25
Doak

19 posts
Webbie, is right the ball had a lot of action on it. (would hate to be an outfielder) But we won the 65 major plus and in our bracket no one hit their limit of HR's in a game. Although, some of the balls got out of the park in a hurry. The balls did jump at BLD's on the second hop, but I thought it was more the rock hard outfield rather than the ball. So, I prefer the rock as a hitter because you get a response on the bat when you hit it. Now for the 55 and below age brackets those guys can power anything out of the park. There was great competition in our bracket with 6 teams. It was a refreshing change from the usual 2 to 3 team brackets...
April 25
Matt43

22 posts
Based on play in wind with several different balls, I see little difference. I've had the Stote move 25 to 30 feet on a long fly ball in the wind. Also, have had the Stote take high bounces on hard or synthetic fields. I believe the weather, not thr ball influence flight.
April 25
Dbax
Men's 65
2102 posts
I disagree. There are no seams on the Rock. It knuckles incredibly without any wind. It also makes everyone in the lineup a home run hitter. It's ridiculous.
April 25
VegasBob

66 posts
The Rock ball was designated by LVSSA to differentiate itself from other tournaments and to fulfill the requests of many players. It holds up in the heat better than the Stote. There was wind at play in both sessions, which may makes the ball more volatile. We use this ball all year long in Las Vegas and it plays more subdued with no wind. Glad to hear that the joint LVSSA/SSUSA time and effort to run this tournament is rewarded by your positive comments.
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