Aces install humidor to combat Reno climate

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Updated: 4/04/2014 12:12 am
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- New this season for the Reno Aces is a humidor, designed to combat the high altitude and dry climate.

You can't see a difference right off the bat. Even the pros can not feel a difference between a humidified baseball and a regular one.

"From it being in the humidor, it feels a little cold," said Aces Pitcher Archie Bradley. "It almost feels harder. It feels like its more dense. The normal one feels more soft. But just picking them up, I can't really tell much."

Because of Rreno's dry climate and high altitude, baseballs travel faster through the thin air, making it a hitter's heaven. But it also skews the stats.

"Some of the offensive stats in our history have been inflated," said Chief Operating Officer Eric Edelstein. "Some of the defense of our pitching stats, they believe, haven't been a true representation because of how the ball has been axed here in Reno."

So in order to level the playing field, the Aces will start storing baseballs in the humidor at 50-degrees for two weeks before a game. Each baseball gets four hours of play time before it needs to go back in the humidor.

"The humidified baseball is heavier, it's larger by up to a quarter of an inch," said Edelstein. "And so it does take that extra bit to get it out of the park."

The Reno Aces will be one of five professional teams to use a humidor. After a two year stretch, home runs decreased 15 to 20 percent at Coors Field in Denver, which also sits at a high altitude.

Edelstein believes the humidor will make the game more pure. "What were doing here, is creating a situation where baseballs feel and behave in 90% of the cities across the United States. So we are really trying to return them to a more average state."

The Reno Aces say time will tell how the humidor will effect players' stats, but do believe it could result in shorter games, if pitchers get outs more quickly.
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