Apr
10

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Nathan Kirby Breaks Down 99-Year-Old Pitching Photos for #TBT

Spring means baseball, and baseball has a lot of history. Records go back decades, or more, and die-hard fans recall players from bygone eras as if they just left the room.

Walter_Johnson_1924_2

Walter Johnson

One of those players from the past with a U.Va. connection is Walter Johnson, a Hall of Famer whose big league career stretched from 1907 to 1927. On March 19, 1915, his team – the Washington Senators – was in Charlottesville for spring training (a common practice for big league clubs at the time, as the University of Virginia Magazine reports in its current issue). While here, Johnson demonstrated several different pitch techniques for images taken by Charlottesville-based photographer Rufus W. Holsinger’s studio. Those photos are now kept at U.Va. in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library with the rest of the Holsinger Collection.

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Nathan Kirby

For this Throwback Thursday, we asked Nathan Kirby, a second-year pitcher on U.Va.’s baseball team, to look at the photos and tell us what each of Johnson’s pitches are and when they might be used in a game. Nathan’s a good person to ask - he just threw a no-hitter with 18 strike-outs. Here’s a look at the photos and what Nathan had to say about them:

Curveball

pitches

Kirby: This goes more up and down – think like 12 to 6 on a clock. It’s generally used to get a third strike or a ground ball.

 

Change-up (Palm-ball)

changeup

Kirby: This is generally used after a fastball. It looks just like a fastball, but it’s slower. It’s one of the harder pitches to pick up out of the pitcher’s hand.

 

Fastball

fastball

Kirby: This is the hardest pitch a pitcher will throw. It can be two seams, which moves more. Or it can be four seams, which is more straight and would be used more for accuracy.

 

Slider

slider

Kirby: This is like a fastball version of a curve. It typically slides right to left or left to right, from 10 to 4 or 2 to 8, depending on whether you’re a right hander or left hander.

 

 

Apr
8

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Photos: Renowned Composer Philip Glass Visits U.Va.

Philip_Glass_Solo_#1B647702

Philip Glass, one of the most prolific and influential composers of the late 20th century, was the 2014 artist-in-residence at the University of Virginia. He met with students, discussed creativity and collaboration, and gave a solo piano performance in Old Cabell Hall. Here’s a look:

An image of composer Philip Glass addressing Prof. Dan Shanahan's Music Cognition Class at U.Va.

An image of composer Philip Glass addressing Prof. Dan Shanahan's Music Cognition Class at U.Va.

An image of composer Philip Glass addressing Prof. Dan Shanahan's Music Cognition Class at U.Va.

An image of composer Philip Glass performing at U.Va.'s Old Cabell Hall.

An image of composer Philip Glass performing at U.Va.'s Old Cabell Hall.

An image of composer Philip Glass performing at U.Va.'s Old Cabell Hall.

An image of composer Philip Glass performing at U.Va.'s Old Cabell Hall.

Apr
4

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What Jefferson Would Have Made If He Had Lego

lego-rotunda

This amazing Lego Rotunda is the work of fourth-year student Thomas Lockwood, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He worked on it on-and-off beginning in his first year and used about 6,500 pieces. Check it out:

lego-rotunda

00-lawn 01-rotunda

Thomas explained how the project came together:

 I’ve been building with Lego since I was four, which greatly influenced my decision to major in mechanical engineering. Normally I build airplanes or vehicles from sci-fi movies, but I was surprised to learn no one had built the Rotunda in Lego yet and felt obligated to try building my own model.

I first looked at Thomas Jefferson’s original plans, and used my own pictures of specific areas such as the columns and capitals, to make the model more accurate. In making the design, I have a computer program, which allows me to design everything in 3D without having to worry about losing or running out of parts.

Once the computer model is finished, the program automatically creates a list to help me to find all the parts for the physical model, and once I have all the parts, I can use the computer model like a set of instructions.

I started the model back in my first year, working on it when I went home for summer and winter breaks. I brought the model with me to Charlottesville this past semester to finish the remaining sections before graduation (which was made a lot easier thanks to all the snow).

The model is 30 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 17 inches tall. I normally count the number of pieces used, but I lost count at 6,200, though I think the final part count is in the ball park of 6,500.

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Nathan Kirby Breaks Down 99-Year-Old Pitching Photos for #TBT

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring means baseball, and baseball has a lot of history. Records go back decades, or more, and die-hard fans recall players from bygone eras as if they just…