Monday, October 25, 2010

Curveballs Don't Curve... Apparently

Just came across this interesting article about research done by Arthur Shapiro of American University and Zhong-Lin Lu of the University of Southern California on visual perception and curveballs. Turns out they don't really "break." It's all a visual illusion. We've been cheated all these years by our eyes...


Jeremy said...

It's all semantic. From the link:

"A little terminology: to many batters and pitchers, a break is a deviation from the relatively straight path of a fastball. In that sense, all curveballs break."

It seems the researchers selected another definition of "break" and then showed that definition to be false.

Oh, and on the "rising" fastball, the Mythbusters took that one and showed that the maximum lift a baseball's backspin can generate is well less than the weight of the ball.

Robert J. Hudson said...

The U$C researchers were probably using U$C pitchers--and, if this is the case, their curveballs probably don't break!