Communication and Sign Stealing in Baseball: Pitcher-Catcher “Hot-Key” Sign Indicator Obfuscation via Situational Game Data

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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The game of baseball and its internal cryptic communication system has always been vulnerable to sign stealing. By systematically studying the signals of an opponent so as to decrypt and intercept opponent communications, one can garner valuable insight into future events and strategies. Such “theft of signals” can lead teams to frequently change their sign indicator, should they suspect it has been compromised. The current paper presents a theoretical process of “hot” sign indicator obfuscation whereby the pitcher and catcher use unique hot indicator values that are generated after each pitch via an algorithm derived from randomly changing situational and/or scoreboard data.

Howard is with the Dept. of Psychology, Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD.

Please address author correspondence to Jeffrey Howard at
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