As of this summer, there’s a new addition on the service level at Rogers Centre.
Within the bowels of the stadium, across from the entrance to the visitors’ clubhouse and a few steps away from the barber’s chair that allows players and staff to get haircuts in a well-ventilated environment, there’s now a humidor, too.
Over the course of the last six weeks, the baseball storage chamber has been used to regulate the moisture and temperature levels of game balls in an attempt to create more consistency. After just 25 games in Toronto, it's far too early to draw reliable conclusions about the impact the humidor will have on a ballpark that’s traditionally favoured hitters, but anecdotally some players have noticed a difference.
“You definitely can tell when something’s off. When a ball isn’t travelling the same,” said outfielder Corey Dickerson, who has called six different parks home over the course of nine big-league seasons. “We definitely could tell this year, coming here. The ball isn’t travelling as well. A lot of balls that normally would be gone a year or two ago are not gone. So it’s definitely a factor.”
Historically speaking, there’s been a lot of variation from baseball to baseball, even if they all bear the league’s official logo and the commissioner’s signature. Not only are baseballs handmade and rubbed up with mud one by one, they’ve often been stored in drastically different environments when it comes to temperature and humidity.