MLB viewers got a new perspective on the field Sunday night in a matchup between the Rangers and Astros. ESPN’s “ump cam” showed fans what the view from behind the plate looks like.
Those watching along seemed to love the unique angle as they posted their reactions to social media.
Major League Baseball has been desperately looking for ways to improve the viewer experience. We’ve already seen attempts to eliminate dead time during at-bats with the introduction of the pitch clock.
While it’s done a nice job of shortening game times, it has caused a bit of an adjustment for players.
Fans have also seen other changes, like the elimination of the shift and adjustments to pick-off rules, which have added an exciting twist to how teams strategize against opposing offenses.
While most of those changes affect the players on the diamond, this ump cam gives a new perspective without having an effect on the game itself.
The angle shows a live view of incoming pitches from the blue’s point of view. Many believe it could be a way to attract new viewers as it gets fans closer to the field.
Take a look.
Umpire’s POV on Sunday Night Baseball 👀 pic.twitter.com/0hFMa6yT0l
— ESPN (@espn) April 17, 2023
We’ve seen similar camera angles in leagues like the USFL, and now, they’re making their way to baseball.
The ump cam hits on a couple of different points of interest.
One, it obviously gives fans the on-field look. That allows viewers to see the difficulty of a job that’s often criticized from the outside.
It also shows fans just how hard it is to hit professional pitching as you get to see what the hitter sees from the batter’s box.
Many have been quick to react as they posted responses online.
One person wrote, “This is so cool,” while someone else commented, “I enjoy this view a little more, could see the pitch more clearly.”
This fan said, “If the MLB ever wants to create young fans, every broadcast should have this.”
This should be the default camera
— ac (@_commandalorian) April 17, 2023
Hopefully, this is something that the MLB continues to use moving forward. Anything to attract new fans should be welcomed.