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Monday, July 23, 2012

Did You See Me Catch that Foul Ball? 

Long time readers know how the Clarion Content has a hankering for good guest columnists whenever and where ever we can get one. In fact, we are getting ready to introduce two such features when we debut the new blog format.

We will be running a "Vox Populi" reader submitted column, on any topic you would like. Amaze, delight, shock our audience. We dare you. And similarly, we will be accepting your Durham picture submissions for a special regular feature.

Our guest writer, today, is a fiction raconteur who fancies this popular new format of the moment, called flash fiction. A brief bit of razzle-dazzle and you're done is their modus operandi, super short fiction.

In this piece, our guest author has seized upon one of the Clarion Content's favorite topics, baseball. A flash fiction piece about baseball in the future, we know, we know, you all are already probably thinking: no umpires, electronic scorekeeping, et cetera. This author strikes out in a totally different direction.

Did You See Me Catch that Foul Ball?
by: A. I. Wright

I work for a company that sells clips of people who catch foul balls. They make good money.

We have the interns record and then electronically mark the telecast of every Major League Baseball game each time a fan catches a foul ball and their face is visible for at least two seconds. Surveys have shown most people won't buy unless their face is on for two seconds.

Then, thanks to some excellent facial recognition software and a little data mining deal with one of the big secondary ticket broker sites, pennies per name, we are able to email them an offer to purchase the clip. We will upload it on-line to our site, licensed by MLB, for one fee or we will email them a video file for a slightly larger fee.

You would be amazed how many foul balls there are in fifteen Major League Baseball games a night. Unfortunately, on a lot of them, we don't get the money shot. Next year, we are not only going to get the telecast feed, but the game film from all the other camera angles, too. It should double or triple the available number of clips, and thus revenue.


The sublime part is most people don't even ask these days how you connected the foul ball footage to their email address to make them the offer. And ninety-eight percent of those that do ask, we are able to put off with a simple, "Your tickets."

What a wonderful world.

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