Baseball vs the Heat

Baseball vs the Heat
Weather Talk

POSTED: Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 2:29pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 2:32pm

Take me out to the ball game!

I've only been to one baseball game in my short lived 24 years, believe it or not, and that was the opening day of the Southwest University Ball Park to see the El Paso Chihuahuas play against the Fresno Grizzlies.

Sports is sports, whether you love it or hate it, the whole point of going to see a game at a stadium is purely for the experience.  And that's exactly what I did, enjoyed the experience of being at a baseball game.

And what caught my attention were the home runs. But not for obvious reasons.  

As weird as it sounds, there is a bit of science behind baseball. 

And as you may have already imagined, weather plays a big role in the way the sport is played, and could even mean the difference between your team winning or losing.

Air pressure is usually used in determining how far a baseball will travel in the air when hit.

At higher elevations, air has a lower density and when the air density is lower, baseballs can travel further.

This holds true for temperature as well.

When you are out in 85-100 degree weather, you will notice more home runs than when you are out in cooler weather.

Warm air is less dense, meaning there is less resistance, thus producing longer flight distances.

Baseballs that are used out in drier air become harder and therefore explode off of a bat when contacted.

And the Colorado Rookies out in Coors Field know all about that.

Colorado's air is very dry, and as we now know, in dry air the ball travels further than in thin air, thus causing more frequent home runs.

After nearly a decade with inflated numbers at Coors Field for offense, a decision was made by baseball and the the Colorado Rockies to start storing the game baseballs in a room-sized Humidor that was installed at the park in order to keep them moist.

This was done so the baseballs will not carry as far when hit with impact.

Remember that El Paso's air is pretty dry as well, and you can also imagine what the cause and effect are on the pitchers in such climate.

Their curveballs curve less with the thin air than at sea level, this leads to fewer strikeouts and the result is less pitches to use in their arsenal.

The next time you are out watching a game at the ballpark, try noticing the weather and how many home runs there are during a game, and the results may surprise you.

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