History in the Making

Oct. 25, 2016
GX_Arturo_Blog
GX_Arturo_Blog
GX_Arturo_Blog
GX_Arturo_Blog
GX_Arturo_Blog

This week marked the beginning of an historic sports event. The World Series got under way with the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians. It may be common knowledge by now, but for the benefit of the uninitiated, the last time the Cubs won the World Series was in 1908. The last time the team even played in it was in 1945. As for the Indians, their last appearance in the Fall Classic was in 1948 which also happened to be the last time they won the title.

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To give you some perspective, at the end of 1907 Benjamin Holt received the first patent for a practical continuous track for use on a tractor for his improved “Tractor Engine.” Holt was one of the founding fathers of the Holt Manufacturing Company, which would later become Caterpillar.
After making military tractors and transmissions for the M3 Tank, along with aircraft parts and ammunition in World War II, John Deere introduced its first self-propelled combine, the model 55, in 1947.

Here we are now in 2016. And, we are now facing another industrial revolution of sorts with the advent of telematics, machine control, GPS, and laser technology. These innovations have been integrated into the heavy equipment. The thing is…companies and contractors used to win projects because they had operators who were more skilled than their competition. Now, you could say they land the big jobs because they have better software. The game is a little different, but the goals have always been the same. Dig up the dirt, move the dirt, grade the dirt.

I would say in the decades, and even more than a century, since the Cubs and Indians were last called world champions, innovation can be found in everything from baseball gloves to field maintenance, to instant replay. Building a team based on statistical analysis has taken hold. Pitch count, setup relief pitchers, closing pitchers—there are even considerations of using camera and computer technology to call balls and strikes for umpires to eliminate human error. But as it is in grading and excavation where the goals have always been the same, so it is in baseball. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, and you catch the ball.

Whatever your perspective is on whether technology has ruined traditional values in baseball and dirt moving, they’re still a joy to behold.