Keep Your Eye on the Ball: Curveballs, Knuckleballs, and Fallacies of Baseball

Overview

"Keep your eye on the ball!" may be good advice—but it is impossible to do. The batter can track the ball until it is about five feet in front of the plate, but then he falls behind because the ball is moving too fast.

In Keep Your Eye on the Ball, Robert G. Watts and A. Terry Bahill—engineers by vocation, baseball fans by avocation—have devised a series of experiments that put some of baseball's most cherished myths to the test. By applying physics, psychology, physiology, and other scientific principles to ...

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Overview

"Keep your eye on the ball!" may be good advice—but it is impossible to do. The batter can track the ball until it is about five feet in front of the plate, but then he falls behind because the ball is moving too fast.

In Keep Your Eye on the Ball, Robert G. Watts and A. Terry Bahill—engineers by vocation, baseball fans by avocation—have devised a series of experiments that put some of baseball's most cherished myths to the test. By applying physics, psychology, physiology, and other scientific principles to baseball, the authors have resolved, once and for all, some of the controversial issues that have intrigued fans for decades, including:

* Do curveballs really curve? Do fastballs rise?

* How do knuckleballs and spitballs work?

* What exactly happens when the ball hits the bat?

* Does corking the bat really help a hitter?

* Are aluminum bats more dangerous than wooden bats?

* Can certain physiological factors help predict success for a hitter?

* Why are more home runs being hit than ever before?

* Are today's players better than yesterday's?

Completely revised and updated to include recent statistics, new research, and additional historical commentary, Keep Your Eye on the Ball is a highly informative and entertaining guide to the science of baseball that all fans of the game—regardless of scientific background—will enjoy.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The advice given to every batter cannot, in fact, be done, say Watts (mechanical engineering, Tulane U.) and Bahill (systems engineering, U of Arizona-Tucson), because once it is closer than about five feet, the eye cannot keep up. They apply physics, psychology, physiology, and other sciences to such mysteries of baseball as curve balls, what happens when the ball hits the bat, and whether aluminum bats are more dangerous than wooden ones. They have revised and updated the 1991 edition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
BookPage
New get your calculators and slide rules handy. Baseball isn't brain surgery, it's physics...
Sacramento Bee
Engagingly written
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780716737179
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1900
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert G. Watts teaches in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tulane University. Having more than a mere theoretical interest in the game, he pitched as a young man for the semiprofessional Bayou Latanache Baseball Club—where he gained first-hand knowledge of spitballs, fly balls, and a healthy familiarity with insider-baseball lore.

A. Terry Bahill has been Professor of Systems Engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson since 1984. He has been investigating the brain's motor functions since 1971. Actively pursuing experiments in the science of baseball for many years, he has developed a measuring device that strengthens a player's ability to follow the pitch, as well as the Bat Chooser, a system that computes the Ideal Bat Weight for individual hitters.

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Table of Contents

1. The Game of Baseball: A Little History
2. The Flight of the Ball: Do Curve Balls Curve
3. The Origin of Forces on a Baseball
4. The Flight of the Ball: Forces on Curve Balls and Other Pitches
5. Bat Meets Ball: Collisions
6. The Flight of the Gall: The kinetics of Fly Balls
7. Baseball Players Cannot Keep Their Eyes on the Ball
8. Physiological Predictors of Batting Performance
9. Baseball Batting Statistics: Were Yesteryear's Players Better?
Index
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