Assemble 2 baseballs in one MLB game. How did it happen?


Sometimes crazy things Happens – so crazy they don’t even seem real. Phyllis right fielder Bryce Harper was warming up before playing some practice bats last week. He drives a great line, and then hits It collided with another ball in the middle. It gives us some fun physics to unpack. Let’s see how impossible this is.

What data can we get from video?

Two balls are involved in this crash. Harper’s flight probably started on the home plate. I’m going to say this ball. The second one was thrown towards the home plate by a player somewhere on the outfield. Say this ball b. I need to have a value for where the balls start, what their velocities are and where they collide. The Major League Baseball clip I linked to is not the best video, it doesn’t show the complete trajectories of any one ball, so we may have to bring some stuff around.

One thing we can see is the effect between the two balls, which occurs above the second base. Next, it appears that ball B falls straight down and lands near the base. But how much impact does it have? Looking at the video, it is possible to find the estimated free fall time for ball marriage (based on my measurements I go with 1.3 seconds) if I know that it takes time to read and the vertical acceleration is – 9.8 meters per second square (because it is on Earth) Happening), but I can find the falling distance using the speed equation below:

Example: rate align t

With my guess for the falling time, I am getting a collision height of 8.3 meters. If the baseball field is on the XZ plane and the position above the ground points in the y direction, then I now have three coordinates for the point of collision: x, y and z. I can use this point to find the starting velocity of the ball A I know it starts moving on the home plate, which is 127 feet from the second base. So I keep my source at home and then the x axis stays with the house and a line between the second.

Now all I need for the ball is the initial velocity vector for it to go through the point of collision. There are several ways to find this, but the easiest is to use Python to plot the trajectory of the ball and adjust the launch angle until the collision “hits”. I’m going to use The speed of a starting ball (Departure speed) 100 miles per hour. (This is 44.7 meters per second)





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