Covering Major League Baseball can be hard on HD broadcast lenses. Just ask Corplex Mobile Television, the Lake Bluff, IL-based production company responsible for producing live coverage of the American League Championship Series (on TBS) between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
In Game 4 during the bottom of the fourth inning, Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner hit a pitch and broke his bat, the end of which flew towards the Yankees dugout and hit a nearby $150,000 Canon XJ86x9.3B lens on a Sony HDC-1500 HD camera. The bat head broke the lens' protection filter and scratched the front element, causing the camera operator to frame his shots for the rest of the game through a tiny hole in the face of the lens. But the Canon lens and the Sony camera kept on working.
TBS announcer Ron Darling joked that Gardner might have been out for revenge, as it was the same camera that helped show Gardner was out on a slide into first base during Game 3 a day earlier.
For Canon, it proved the lens' durability even under the harshest of circumstances. Immediately after the game, a Canon service team worked to replace the broken elements and the lens was back in service in a matter of days.