Physics Of Baseball Essay

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The Physics of Baseball
The sport of baseball is one that has been around in the United States since the eighteenth century, and is still played across the nation today – in backyards and in enormous sports stadiums. Though there is no proven inventor of the game, references to early variations of the game we know today as baseball date back to the 1700s. Baseball most likely holds its roots in two old English games, rounders and cricket, which were brought to New England by the colonists. From these two traditional sports, baseball was crafted, and it was a thriving pastime across the colonies by the American Revolution. It wasn’t until 1845, however, that a volunteer firefighter Alexander Joy Cartwright developed a formal code of rules which would serve as the foundation for the modern game of baseball which we know today. Since then, rules have been added and altered. Official regulations were established on matters such as bat size and the distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. Through out all these changes and additions, however, there has always been one set of laws which baseball followed. Whether in a little league or an MLB game, the laws of physics are constantly at play.
The game of baseball has several elements of motion to it – throwing, catching, hitting, running – but I’ve chosen to focus on the physics involved in hitting a baseball. To a spectator, the exchange is simple: the pitcher throws the baseball, an opposing batter tries to hit the ball. Even to an athlete, the process is not one of thought, but of instinct and action. However, in actuality, the laws of physics dictate everything that will occur from the moment the baseball leaves the pitcher’s hand. Even the very familiar equipment o...

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...ys that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this is also displayed when a bat hits a ball. The bat exerts force on the ball, just as the ball exerts force on the bat. This force can sometimes even be enough to break the bat, like in the illustration below.

Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion affect every aspect of life, and there are examples of those forces at work all over, not just in baseball. The laws of physics are at play in even the simplest of movements or actions, facts so widely accepted that you don’t even have to think about them. Athletes don’t think about the physics behind their movements before they throw a ball. However, all the information above demonstrates just how much a sport like baseball depends on the laws of physics. Without these forces, America’s pastime wouldn’t be very entertaining to watch or play at all.

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