To hit a ball the maximum possible distance, the
trajectory off the bat should have a 35-degree angle.
A line drive travels 100 yards in 4 seconds. A fly to the
outfield travels 98 yards in 4.3 seconds.
An average head wind (10 mph) can turn a 400-foot home
run into a 370-foot routine out.
Ever since the
first recorded game, June 19, 1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey, the
spirit of baseball has swept America off its feet. Although changes have
altered the sport throughout the years, the foundation upon which baseball was
built still remains the same. That foundation is the classic conflict between
the pitcher and batter. It is this conflict that continues to amaze the older
fans and attract the new ones.
George Brett of
the Kansas City Royals caused quite a stir with his Hillerich and Bradsby pine
tar bat in 1983. On July 24th, Brett hit a home run off Yankee reliever Goose
Gossage in the ninth inning to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. Because the bat had
pine tar beyond the legal limit of 18 inches, measuring from the bat handle,
the home plate umpire disallowed the round-tripper. As a matter of fact, I
recall that Brett had pine tar halfway into the Louisville Slugger trademark.
However, this decision was later reversed and the pine tar home run did count.
Kansas City ultimately defeated the Yankees, 5-4.
Weighted on deck
warm-up bats and other devices should be used with extreme caution. The five
foot on-deck circle gives the next batter an opportunity to prepare for his
turn at bat. It is located 13 feet behind home plate and 37 feet to the right
on-deck bat is shaped like a regular bottle bat. It has a red plastic coating
from the trademark to the end of the 2 5/8 barrel. This bat weighs 4 pounds 1
ounce, and is 34 inches long. It is manufactured in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Who is the Home
Run King of Professional Baseball in the USA? Prior to Barry Bonds' feat in
2001, it was Joe Bauman. In 1954 he hit 72 home runs in just 138 games. This 6
foot 5 inch, 245 pound first baseman played for the Roswell (New Mexico)
Rockets in the Class C Longhorn League.
spoke with Joe, who still lives in Roswell, for the purposes of this
article. He said that he used a Louisville Slugger, 35 inches in length
and weighing 34 ounces, a Model S-2 Vern
Stephens bat. Bauman, often called "Joltin' Joe", was 32 years old
when he hit his record breaking 72 home runs. Until then, the Minor League
record was 69 home runs, set in 1933 by Joe Hauser of the Minneapolis Millers
of the American Association. Hauser's record was tied in 1948 by Bob Crues of
the Amarillo Gold Sox.
The answer to
that question is "both," though past players tend to have used
heavier bats than do today's players. Baseball's "king of swat" Babe
Ruth reportedly began his hitting career using a 54 ounce (1.5 kg) hickory
bat, and is known to have used a 40oz bat in 1927 when he hit his 60 home
runs. Ty Cobb and Joe Di Maggio both played with 42oz bats
and Rogers Hornsby used a 50oz piece of lumber. George Sisler, playing for
the St. Louis Browns in the 1920's, made his bat heavier by hammering
Victrola needles into the barrel of his bat. In the 1950's
Cincinnati Reds' Ted Kluszeski hammered tenpenny nails into his bat to make
Other great hitters including
Ted Williams, Rod Carew and Stan Musial used much lighter bats: 31-33oz. Roger
Maris used a 33oz bat to hit his 61 home runs in 1961. Many players have
tried to make their bats lighter by drilling a hole in the barrel and filling
it with cork. Detroit Tigers' Norm Cash admitted to using a corked bat in
1961 when he won the batting title with a .361 average (though he slumped to
.243 the next year with the same corked bat).