However, for the most part, the game is played with velocities between these two areas, which creates a gray area where characteristics of both can be observed. When a ball is hurled towards home plate by a pitcher, it can be forced to move in different directions if there is an altered surface on the ball traveling at a small velocity. This can be achieved by illegally placing a foreign material, such as spit or Vaseline, onto the ball. Movement can also be achieved when a ball is changed through use during the game to prevent such movement, balls are changed constantly throughout the game. The air resistance is, surprisingly, smaller for turbulent air than for smooth air.
Despite popular belief the biggest opponent that a hitter faces is not the pitcher it is air resistance. If a ball were hit with a velocity of 110-mph at an angle of 35, it is expected to travel about 700 feet, if it
Cited: Adair, Robert K. The Physics of Baseball. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990. Monteleone, John and Mark Gola. The Louisville Slugger Ultimate Book of Hitting. New York: Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated, 1997. Rubin, Louis D. "The Quotable Baseball Fanatic." New York: The Lion Press, 2000.