The Physics Behind Baseball

Topics: Baseball, Baseball positions, Designated hitter Pages: 2 (627 words) Published: January 10, 2013
The Physics Behind Baseball

Not all sports have physics involved, right? Wrong, all sports have a science to them, but the hard part is understanding the physics. One specific sport has more physics than them all. Baseball is game that has been played since the 1700s and according to “The 10 Best of Everything”, a National Geographic book, the World Series is number 9 for world’s most popular sporting event below the Wimbledon. Baseball is a game of physics and skill. All positions have a science behind them such as pitching, batting, and playing third base.

On every major league baseball field, the pitcher’s mound is 60 ft. 6 in. away from home plate. The average pitch is around 90 mph. A complex mechanic to get the ball across the plate is fueled by the knowledge of physics. As said by “The Physics of Baseball: Pitching”, a Discovery Channel video, the first thing of pitching is called the sequential summation of movement which is the large body mass moving first followed by progressively smaller body masses. In the pitcher’s windup, or pitching motion, an average of 3 horsepower is generated. Out of those 3 horsepower, only 1.5 horsepower is given to the ball. After the ball is released, it slows down roughly 1 mph every 7 ft. One way to generate this power is to have a longer wingspan. In the pitching battle, the taller pitcher has the advantage because a longer arm means more angular momentum. More momentum results in a faster pitch, either striking the batter out or giving up a run.

The only way to hit the ball as a batter is to see the pitch swing. Stated by Charles Carlson, a writer who works with Exploratorium, by the time the ball has traveled about 12 ft., he has a good visual fix on the ball. He has also decided what type of pitch it is. This leaves the ball 48 ft. 6 in. away. If the batter is going to swing, he is to start when the ball is between 25 and 30 ft. away from the front of home plate. From there, the batter only has roughly 250...
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