Take me out to the ballgame

May 1, 2011
As you read this, the major league baseball season will be about a month old and those of you who follow it, not the fantasy version ...

As you read this, the major league baseball season will be about a month old and those of you who follow it, not the fantasy version, will either be jubilant with your favorite team’s start or down-in-the-dumps as the team is not living up to expectations.

I must confess that I am not a red-hot baseball fan, leaning more to professional football, the game in which players can handle the ball. In my youth I was a baseball player in high school and later in life moved up the classes in softball to industrial league until an injury reminded me that I was a family man with family responsibilities and that the game was for younger people.

The nice thing about watching baseball is that it is a slow game — no time limits as it is played — so a viewer has copious amounts of time to sit back and think other thoughts as the game progresses.

The other night as an especially slow Red Sox TV game was still in progress at bedtime and another relief pitcher made his way in from the bullpen, even stalwart members of the Red Sox Nation (our fan club) were thinking non-sports thoughts. I was thinking about how I could tie baseball into an analogy that could serve as the theme of this column.

Like the Red Sox, we here at ILS play in the big league, the difference being our league is global. We just boosted our circulation by 33%, with a majority of these readers in global manufacturing industries. Our sister publications that carry our editorial, ILS-China and ILS-Japan, add another 26,000+ readers with manufacturing interest in those countries. Combine this with innumerable readers in 133 countries that routinely access the ILS web site (www.industrial-lasers.com), and you have a potent international presence.

Also, like the Red Sox, ILS has an All-Star lineup of heavy hitters, contributors represented in each issue throughout the season. And these stars are backed up by a team of professionals who make all the plays that put ILS into your hands and on your computer.

In our own way, we are just as entertaining as a baseball team, given our cutting-edge editorial.

At the ballpark, you see sponsors’ advertising signs prominently displayed, the income from which helps to field the team. ILS also has sponsors, companies with excellent lasers, laser systems, and related products that are used around the world. Without our world-class sponsors, ILS would be just a minor league player. However, we are in the Major League with worthy opponents, and we are in competition with them for your attention and your support of our sponsors. We field the best team we can to make our yearly drive to the top of the standings exciting.

Unlike a baseball team whose product is pretty much the same game in and game out, ILS has a fresh face each issue. If you track us on the web, you know we are posting fresh, current, and newsworthy material each day. We also post more lengthy Featured Articles that the web format allows and host periodic webcasts, with more All Star players contributing to these successful events.

So as I clicked off the TV after a satisfying Sox opening day victory against the arch-rival Yankees, I called it a day, smug in my analogy.

About the Author

David Belforte | Contributing Editor

David Belforte (1932-2023) was an internationally recognized authority on industrial laser materials processing and had been actively involved in this technology for more than 50 years. His consulting business, Belforte Associates, served clients interested in advanced manufacturing applications. David held degrees in Chemistry and Production Technology from Northeastern University (Boston, MA). As a researcher, he conducted basic studies in material synthesis for high-temperature applications and held increasingly important positions with companies involved with high-technology materials processing. He co-founded a company that introduced several firsts in advanced welding technology and equipment. David's career in lasers started with the commercialization of the first industrial solid-state laser and a compact CO2 laser for sheet-metal cutting. For several years, he led the development of very high power CO2 lasers for welding and surface treating applications. In addition to consulting, David was the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Industrial Laser Solutions magazine (1986-2022) and contributed to other laser publications, including Laser Focus World. He retired from Laser Focus World in late June 2022.

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