What's New in the World

Issue No. 20 "Baseball"

September 18, 1997

    Story by Noel Wanner
The central drama in the game of baseball is the confrontation between the pitcher and the batter. As Bug Holiday, a Cincinnati Reds outfielder, once put it, "This is a funny business. We get paid to knock the cover off the ball, and the pitchers get paid to keep us from hitting it." Or, as Brian Johnson, a catcher for the San Francisco Giants put it, "as a hitter, we have to try to take every advantage that we can."

Brian Johnson
Click on the image of San Francisco Giant's catcher Brian Johnson to hear a RealMedia clip.

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In this intense struggle, the pitcher usually wins. A batting average of .333, indicating a hit one out of every three times at the plate, is achieved only by the star hitters of the game.

"How far can you hit one?"
The Science Behind a Home Run


Try This

Using a wooden bat and hammer you can find the "sweet spots" of a baseball bat.
Bat and Hammer
Click on the image above to learn how to try the activity.


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Last Issue: "Stanley Falkow: Microbe Spy" and "Try this: What's That in My Root Beer?"
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About This Issue:
You've probably noticed it has been some time since our last issue. We will continue to publish new issues, hopefully every other month. Recently, we've been putting more effort into other more "permanent" resources. In fact, this issue covers a topic we will explore much more fully in Spring of next year. "Science of Baseball" (the third in a series of sport science resources) will be available on the opening day of baseball season1998. If you'd like to check out other Sport Science resources and learn about our new Sport! exhibition (September 27, 1997 -January 4, 1998 ) visit the Sport Science web site .

We hope you enjoy this issue and we'd like to extend our thanks to the San Francisco Giants for their cooperation with the project. Good luck in the pennant race!

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