If it's February, then spring training must be just around the corner. So it's not too early to start thinking about the office softball league. Here are two smart plays for next season.
The Copperhead ACX is baseball's first "electric bat." It uses vibration-control technology that was originally developed for jet fighters and applies that technology to the collision between bat and ball. What's the point? By converting unwanted vibrations into small amounts of electricity, the Copperhead enlarges the sweet spot and reduces the "sting" caused by an off-center whack.
Rawlings's Radar Ball is the first baseball that clocks how fast it's thrown. A built-in microchip calculates how long it takes the ball to travel the standard distance from a pitcher's mound to home plate, converts the result into miles per hour, and displays the speed. To reset the timer, just tap the ball three times.
The Copperhead retails for $299. Call Worth Inc. (931-455-0691) or visit the Web (www.worth sports.com). The Radar Ball costs $34.99 to $39.99. Call Rawlings (800-729-5464) or visit the Web (www.rawlings.com).
A version of this article appeared in the Feb/March 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.