San Rafael, CA – For the first time in professional baseball history, a human umpire will not call balls and
strikes – but rather the calls will be made by a computerized video system.
In partnership with Fremont-based, Sportvision Inc., the San Rafael Pacifics will install a
pitch tracking system for two games on July 28 and 29 as part of the Pacifics second
annual Pat Tillman Foundation Nights at the ballpark.
Former Oakland Athletics star and current MLB Network Analyst Eric Byrnes will return
to the Pacifics for the second straight year, and will serve as the Strike Zone Umpire,
relaying the computerized balls and strikes calls to the players and fans. Byrnes, who
played 11 MLB seasons, has long been a proponent for an automated strike zone.
Byrnes will donate to the Pat Tillman Foundation based on performance of the
automated strike zone, giving $100 for every walk and strikeout over the two games
played at historic Albert Park. Byrnes will also donate $10,000 if he ejects any player or
manager for arguing balls and strikes.
The Pacifics will donate $1 for every ticket sold over the two games and auction off
Byrnes’s game-worn umpire jerseys with all proceeds going to the Pat Tillman
“Pat lived his life as a forward thinking man and I feel like the automated strike zone is a
fitting way to honor his memory,” said Byrnes. “Last year’s tribute to Pat was a huge
success. Making history in his name is just another way to teach the next generation
about who Pat Tillman was, what he stood for, and the incredible sacrifices he made.”
Sportvision Inc. ® is the nation’s premier innovator of sports and entertainment products
for fans, media companies, and marketers. Sportvision solutions have enhanced
exerpiences for fans and marketing partners of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, the Olympic
Games, NHL, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, NBA, NCAA, WTA, MLS, IRL, X Games, and other
sport events on-air and online. As sports fans demand richer and fuller entertainment
experiences, Sportvision delivers a heightened sports-viewing experience across all
forms of media.
Pat Tillman was an all-star safety for the Arizona Cardinals and a star at Arizona State
University before putting his NFL career on hold to serve in the Armed Forces. While in
service, Tillman suffered a tragic death via fratricide. The Pat Tillman Foundation
provides educational scholarships to military veterans. Since 2004, the Foundation has
donated over $6 Million in scholarship support to nearly 350 scholars at almost 100
“This is an incredible opportunity for baseball as a whole,” said Pacifics Assistant
General Manager Vinnie Longo. “This will give professional baseball the chance to
debut an automated umpire and it will provide an opportunity to add jobs for umpires in
the form of a review official, who will not only call the balls and strikes but can provide
on-site reviews of challenged calls. The fact that we are able to honor Pat Tillman’s
forward thinking initiative at the same time only makes it a more special and historic
For tickets and more information, please visit pacificsbaseball.com.