MLB Testing Strange New Tech to Combat Sign Stealing with Encrypted ‘Bone Conduction’ Device

Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images.

Sign stealing has plagued baseball since the game was created in the 19th century, from the telescope and buzzer system used in 1951’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” to the Apple Watches and telephoto cameras and trashcan banging deployed in more modern times, and Major League Baseball is turning to some unusual technology to combat the problem.

For well over a century, catchers have used a variety of hand signals to communicate with their pitchers strategies for the type and direction of pitches, but that method has been vulnerable to spying by the opposing team — something that is illegal under MLB rules if
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