Time Magazine has named Major League Baseball’s instant replay system as one of its “50 best inventions of the year.” Major League Baseball is the only major professional sport with an innovation included on Time’s list.
Time’s summary of instant replay says, “Introduced for this season's stretch run, replay allows teams to contest controversial home run calls for the first time. Using ballpark monitors, umps can review a play from every possible angle.”
Said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig of the honor: “The limited use of instant replay proved seamless in the 2008 season, and I am pleased that it will be available to benefit our game going forward.”
MLB launched limited instant replay on August 28th. Instant replay applies only to home run calls – whether they are fair or foul, whether they have left the playing field, or whether they have been subject to fan interference. All Major League Baseball games are monitored and staffed by an expert technician and either an umpire supervisor or a former umpire at Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB.com) headquarters in New York. A television monitor and a secure telephone link to MLB.com are in place at every Major League ballpark. If the crew chief determines that instant replay is appropriate, he can place a call to the MLB.com technician, who then transmits video footage to the crew chief and the umpiring crew on site.