Can a baseball pitcher throw a true riser?

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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I have heard a couple of angles on this...so to speak. Is it possible to throw a baseball in such a way as to cause the ball to fall, and then rise due to aerodynamic lift? Baseball players will swear that they do.:wink:
 

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  • #2
Janus
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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
I have heard a couple of angles on this...so to speak. Is it possible to throw a baseball in such a way as to cause the ball to fall, and then rise due to aerodynamic lift? Baseball players will swear that they do.:wink:
Can't be done. I remember a study done which calculated just how much spin/velocity it would take for a true "riser", and it is beyond human limits to through one. It is an opitical illusion. The batter's mind tends to "straighten out" the path of the pitch as it drops. When a Pitch is thrown that doesn't drop quite as fast, it appears to "rise".

Another myth is that a ball hit with top spin will pick up speed when it hits the ground. What actually happens is that the ball just loses less speed than it normally would, again fooling the eye.

Another good one is the idea that a corked bat will increase batting power.

Some tests where done with corked and non-corked bats. It was found that in order for the extra springiness of the cork bat to do any good, the bat had to be securely clamped in a vise much more rigidly than it could be held in a human grip.

The conclusion was that the advantage of the corked bat was simply in weight. The lighter bat sped up the swing of the batter, allowing him to wait longer on the pitches. He would have done just as well by just choosing a lighter bat.

This doesn't mean I think batters caught using corked bats shouldn't be punished. After all, they did do it thinking that it was giving them an unfair advantage.
 
  • #3
BoulderHead
The batter's mind tends to "straighten out" the path of the pitch as it drops. When a Pitch is thrown that doesn't drop quite as fast, it appears to "rise".
Cool, I like that explanation!
I'm taking your word for it 'cause I haven't any knowledge on this topic, though I had pondered over it a few times in the past. I had always heard that the players would swear it happens, and the physics-folks would swear it didn't happen. Much swearing seemed to be going on!
My question is; surely these pitches have been filmed, what does the film show?
 
  • #4
enigma
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Originally posted by BoulderHead

My question is; surely these pitches have been filmed, what does the film show?
I'd put my money on what the physics-folks are saying...
 
  • #5
BoulderHead
Originally posted by enigma
I'd put my money on what the physics-folks are saying...
Hehe, yes, I can see how my post gave the impression I doubted. I would definitely bet on the physics-folks rather than the eye of the player. Because I have only seen one or two baseball games in my entire life I was curious if such a thing could be seen on a monitor.
 
  • #6
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Originally posted by Janus

Another myth is that a ball hit with top spin will pick up speed when it hits the ground. What actually happens is that the ball just loses less speed than it normally would, again fooling the eye.
Depends upon how fast it is thrown.

I can basically drop a ball on the ground and get it to move through spin.

There are objects that you can get to dip and then rise.
 
  • #7
BoulderHead
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
As I said in another column, I've seen people who have to believe aliens make crop circle, sit right in front of a full length video of a group of men making an extremely complex crop circle by hand in less than 3 hours.

The alien freaks say the video is rigged and couldn't possibly be done by man.

There you have your answer.

Dare a pitcher question newton?
I mostly want to see what it looks like up close, if possible, and see if the camera catches the same view as the player. I was told that the raised edges of the baseball (where the stitching is) are what enables certain actions to take place. What can be done with a baseball?
 
  • #8
LogicalAtheist
The truth reveals that it's not what can be done so much as what it can appear (to the batter) is being done.
 
  • #9
Integral
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Originally posted by enigma
I'd put my money on what the physics-folks are saying...
There is no trouble with asking for experimental verification. That is the root of the scientific method. I would have to believe that such things have been filmed. Though it may take a high speed camera to catch the motion in detail.
 

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