The Physics of Baseball

Hitting a baseball may look like a simple task, but it it much harder than it really looks. From a fan’s point of view, when you are watching a professional baseball player and he successfully hits the ball, you do not realize all the factors that contribute to his success. Considering a batter is always facing a baseball, which has a diameter of about 3 inches at 90 mph, and hitting it with a bat of less than three inches wide, a batter needs all the skills that he needs, especially the combination of good concentration and eyesight, excellent reaction, and the determination and the will to get better. When a batter is waiting for the pitch, the combination of these skills come into play in just less than a second. With less than a second, he must use his skills to look for the ball, determine it’s speed and location, and react by swinging. Again, this whole process has to be done in the same time as with a snap of your fingers, considering the batter is facing a pitch of about 90 mph on average. However in order to be successful, the biggest key is timing and precision. Even if he goes through the entire process from the pitch to his swing, it will not matter unless he makes contact with the ball and executes the play. For the best results, hitting at the bat’s “sweet spot”, will give it the most power and the highest chance of hitting a home run. If the calculation of the timing is off by even a few milliseconds, the ball may tip off the bat and reduce the speed of the ball after contact, resulting in a weaker hit.Puig1_s640x427 All in all, the game of baseball is more complex than you really think it is. From the outside looking in, we don’t really understand the complicated process behind a baseball player hitting the ball, but after understanding the physics behind this, it really shows how complex the task of hitting a baseball really is.