It’s Tuesday

Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan died on Sunday at the age of 77. My condolences to his family.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, I was a huge fan of Morgan. Games like APBA and Strat-O-Matic taught me what a valuable player he was. However, when he became a broadcaster after he retired as a player I was not a fan of his at all.

When it came to analytics, Morgan was an antediluvian. He railed against “Moneyball” even though he never read the book and even kept insisting that Billy Beane had written it, although, of course, the book was written by Michael Lewis.



I was going to quote some of Morgan’s narrow-minded and bitter diatribes against the use of statistical analysis, about how only people who played the game can really know the game, but I decided that would be a waste of space. Besides, despite the widespread use of analytics now in everything from baseball to beer, I heard many of the same things from many people in my early days working in baseball.

One of the reasons for my bitterness is that, essentially, I was right and almost all of the rest of the world was wrong and yet I am the one forgotten today. Remember what that salutation from Michael Lewis says on my copy of Moneyball, “For [me], Who led the way.” Inspired by Bill James, but knowing the value of data long before I ever heard of Bill or read The Baseball Abstract, I was sure that data existed and could exist that would help baseball teams make better decisions.

As has been pointed out by others, a real irony exists in Morgan’s extreme “distaste” for analytics. It is from more modern analysis and understanding that “traditional” metrics didn’t tell the whole story that Morgan has vaulted to the top of the list of “modern era” second basemen.

Anyway…I have tried to be restrained in telling this story. From APBA Blog a picture of Joe Morgan’s APBA card representing his 1976 season, the second of his two consecutive MVP seasons with the Reds.


See the source image


While watching a show on Motor Trend with my wonderful wife (I think the show was Bitchin’ Rides) I wondered aloud about what my father would think of modern advances in automobiles, specifically 3-D printing. Of course, I will never know as he has been dead for more than a quarter century.

I think 3-D printing could revolutionize repair and restoration of cars. In fact, I think it already has. From a post on


Core applications of additive manufacturing (AM) in the automotive industry

Design and concept of communication High detail, smooth and accurate 3D printed scale models are very often used in the automotive industry to demonstrate designs and concepts of new vehicles. The reason is simple – using CAD models alone is not effective enough to define possible design problems. Such models are also used for the aerodynamic testing of new models.
Prototyping validation Like in many other industries, prototyping is a very important part of the manufacturing process in the automotive sector. 3D printing allows for rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing stage. Using AM now is one of the most popular ways to validate a prototype – from a small quickly printed detail to a high detail full-scale part suitable for performance validation and testing.
Preproduction sampling and tooling The specialists of 3D hubs regard this application as the most promising. 3D printing can be used to make molds and thermoforming tools, rapid manufacturing of grips, jigs, and fixtures. This allows automakers to produce samples and tools at low costs and to eliminate future losses in production when investing in high-cost tooling.
Customized parts Additive manufacturing is used by automotive enterprises to tailor the parts to specific vehicles (making them custom and lightweight) or even drivers (e.g. seats for racing cars). This is especially useful when the cost of such unique components is justified by a substantial improvement in vehicle performance.

As we see, 3D printing can be a key to car model evaluation and cost-saving for automakers.


Many restorations are hampered by lack of parts for older cars. It seems as though 3-D printing could fill much of that void. I guess some “purists,” people whose views are similar about cars to what Joe Morgan’s were about baseball, would argue that using a 3-D printed part ruins an original car. I would ask that if a restoration of a classic car is being held up by the unavailability of five parts, parts that can be created using 3-D printing, should the restoration never be completed? Below is a picture of a car where this question could be relevant, a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible.


See the source image



So, what do you think? Would it be OK to finish a restoration of a car like this using 3-D printed parts?









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6 thoughts on “It’s Tuesday

  1. I was first exposed to 3D printing a few years back due to my business contacts in the industrial sector. I thought it to be fascinating with virtually limitless uses. So far this has been true due to the widespread uses of it.

    If you have ever watched Jay Lenos Garage, both his Youtube channel and TV show, he is an enthusiastic proponent of using it. He and his crew have used 3D printing to make actual parts and molds for parts that need to be cast to maintain an authentic look. I really don’t see a problem using the technology when you are trying to restore a car built by a company that went out of business 100 years ago, or even parts from 30 years ago that are “no longer available”. It’s a far better solution than than using something made of “Chineseium”, albeit much more expensive.


    1. Very glad you offered your experience and expertise. You know, of course, a significant proportion of “car people” are opposed to anything except new or NOS parts in a restoration. I think they are entitled to their opinion, but are not entitled to tell me what I can do with my car and my money.


  2. The use of 3D “printing” will expand exponentially as the cost of the process decreases and the availability of the machines increases. It is a new technology that will revolutionize many industries. The ability to laser scan an unavailable part and then alter it in the computer back to it’s usable status and then 3D print the “repaired” part will make restoration of cars much more possible. I have no objections to completing a restoration of a car with 3D printed parts especially if it will make the vehicle usable.

    I do have some concerns about the strength of some 3D printed parts. Some parts that are manufactured by forging are stronger because the process alters the metal grain structure to compress and thus strengthen the part to withstand the loads that the part will see. At the present time the 3D printing process cannot do this alteration of the grain structure to strengthen the part. Of course advances in the technology will allow things which we cannot yet foresee.

    Models have been used by builders for centuries. In the late 1970’s when the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was being designed and built, Bechtel, the design firm, built a 3/4 inch equals 1 ft. “model” of the plant out of plexiglass and plastic model parts to assist in the design of the plant to see where there would potentially be problems in fitting the piping, electrical and mechanical components into the building spaces. This was way before the advent of CGI models and computers with enough computing capacity and memory to do the same thing virtually. A few years after this my personal computer had a “huge” 40 megabyte hard drive and the processor was an Intel 286. Technology and the way it is used are tools to be used to help us everyday.


  3. I take 3D printing like anything else. For some it will be fine, for others it will be a strict no-no.
    I’d suspect those with a car like a Duesenberg would be less likely to go the 3D print route, mostly because I see a car like that as something being entered in concours competition where I believe they prize originality and being as close to correct as possible. Then again I’m sure they realize there are limits, there’s only so much new old stock etc, and concessions must sometimes be made.
    I think 3D print is great, it will allow for a wide range of items to hit the market. But just like bought vs built, NOS vs offshore repro, date correct vs new crate motor, people are going to have an opinion on what’s acceptable.


    1. Thanks, markcars2014. I guess I should refrain from writing the adage that opinions are like a certain part of the human anatomy; almost everyone has one and almost all of them stink.

      In all seriousness, I see a day when 3-D printing will really be the only way older cars can be restored. At that point, almost everyone will accept the reality.


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