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What is Sport? (And What Is Pelotero’s Deepest Purpose?)

September 06, 20233 min read

I prefer watching BP over the game because I want to watch how players prepare. I want to watch infielders taking fungos. I want to see a hitter's progression through BP. I thrive on the process of creating the result. - Bobby Tewksbary

We’ve been trying to find a better “category” term for Pelotero lately. This has led me down a word definition rabbit hole. I looked up a word recently and got really mad… until it all made sense. That word was: Sport.

I’ve been an athlete or coach for basically my whole life. I’m a baseball guy but also played soccer and basketball growing up. I ran indoor track in high school in an effort to get faster, but baseball has always been my thing. 

When I looked up the definition for sport, everything was good until the last two words: For entertainment.

Definition of Sport

This pissed me off. It felt like my whole life was diminished. Entertainment? That isn’t what I felt like I was doing at all. So I dug deeper into entertainment.

Definition of Entertainment

With the definition of entertainment, I was faced with amusement or enjoyment. I was initially hung up on amusement. Baseball is part of my identity, not some Taylor Swift pop song. 

Then I shifted my perspective. With entertainment, there are three components.

  1. The Entertainment

  2. The Entertainer

  3. The “Entertainee” (The Fan)

With Taylor Swift, she creates a song (the entertainment) and she (the entertainer) performs the song for the fans (the entertainees.)

When it comes to baseball, this same dynamic exists. There are three components.

  1. The Game (The Entertainment)

  2. The Players (The Entertainers)

  3. The Fans (The Enterainees)

This leads us to a very important question: What is most entertaining about baseball?

For me (and consequently for Pelotero), the thing I find most entertaining is Peak Performance vs Peak Performance. The classic Eric Gagne vs Barry Bonds at bat was a prime example of this dynamic. Two players at their ultimate prime. Power vs Power. Pure entertainment.

When you look at the game through this lens, you quickly understand the high level components of the game.

  • The Owners control the game. Baseball is an incredible game that people pay money to consume! The product is the amusement and enjoyment of players, coaches and fans.

  • Players and coaches are in the entertainer business. They are responsible for creating amusement and enjoyment.

  • The fans are the the entertainees. They experience amusement and enjoyment by watching the gameplay and being around (but not inside) the game.

As a player and as a coach, I feel enjoyment from being on the entertainer side of the equation. I prefer watching BP over the game because I want to watch how players prepare. I want to watch infielders taking fungos. I want to see a hitter's progression through BP. I thrive on the process of creating the result.

If we zoom out, Pelotero is a company built for what we believe in most. That the highest skilled, most athletic players are most entertaining. Through this lens, we deeply care about the long-term success of the game of baseball. 

How do we help? What do we do? We create tools to coaches and players which use technology and data to automate "entertainer-side" decisions across all levels of the game. Smarter, faster player development. Better game play and competition. Efficient player evaluation.

Speed is critical. We have to make good decisions fast because players are under a time constraints to become the best versions of themselves. Athletes, whether they know it or not, are on the clock. 

As we move forward, our focus will always be on the best interest of the game. We are very excited about the future of Pelotero and feel great responsibility to do our best for the future of the game. And we truly look forward to helping others who feel the same way.

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Bobby Tewksbary

Bobby is a co-founder of Pelotero. After finishing his collegiate and professional player career, he owned a baseball training facility for over a decade. He has worked with thousands of players of all ages - including pitching to one of my clients in the MLB Home Run Derby.

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