The MOTOTALK system enables the Motorola handsets to operate on a private channel, and the software modifications allow each handset to only communicate with a partner handset. The result is a secure system, ensuring that the integrity of the game is not compromised in any way.
“We are very proud to be the first team in Major League Baseball history to introduce wireless communication between dugouts and bullpens. This technological advancement will just add one more element to the historical significance of Wrigley Field,” said John McDonough, senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs.
“At Motorola, we strive to bring technology breakthroughs to the world and especially to those organizations in our own backyard,” said Peter Aloumanis, general manager, U.S. Markets, Motorola’s iDEN® Mobile Devices. “We are pleased to provide the Chicago Cubs with this innovative solution that allows managers and coaches to have the freedom to make a call to, or from, the bullpen without being tethered to a wall.”
The Motorola i580, which will be used in the historic game, features an ultra durable, rugged design to withstand even the toughest day in the dugout. The fully equipped handset meets strict military specifications for blowing rain, dust, shock and vibration. Through this mobile phone’s iDEN® technology, Motorola continues to redefine Push-to-Talk (PTT) and wireless technology. This handset and the wireless system had to pass a series of tests set forth by Major League Baseball officials for reliability, ease of use, security and clarity with crowd noise before it was approved.
“When I was approached about the wireless system, I wanted to ensure its reliability,” said Cubs’ Manager Dusty Baker. “I have spent time with Motorola discussing all of the potential scenarios that might arise during the season and they have been able to prove to me that this system is effective.”
To make the call, the manager simply sends an alert to the other phone. The bullpen phone will vibrate and produce a constant ring until it is answered or the caller ends the call. To speak, the manager or coach simply has to press the Push to Talk (PTT) button to hold a conversation. The Motorola i580phones will be housed on specially designed mounting systems in each dugout offering both the Cubs and their visiting opponent easy access to the new wireless solution.
Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame will be in attendance to witness the first wireless call to the bullpen by Cubs Manager Dusty Baker or Houston Astros’ Manager Phil Garner. Following the game, the Motorola i580 phone used for the first wireless call to the bullpen in Major League history will be taken to Cooperstown and placed on display.
Wrigley Field was opened in 1914. The first phone system from the dugout to the bullpen was installed in the 1950’s by the phone company who ran a cable from the dugout to the pen. In 1979, the Cubs rebuilt the dugouts and installed traditional ring-down phones. Nine years ago a new ring-down system was installed.