To analyze the relationship between a
how a bat strikes a baseball and the flight of the ball then
use what you discover to provided a slumping hitter with
advice to bring him out of a slump.
- In his first two seasons playing
Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro
Suzuki had 450 base hits. That many hits in the first two
seasons is a Major League record.
But in his third season, things
changed! Line drives that used to zip through the infield
became towering shots right into the waiting gloves of
outfielders. Instead of hitting .404, Ichiro's average
dropped to .243.
This is what we call a
As the Mariners' batting coach it
is your job to help your batters climb out of a slump
when it happens. What could be causing line drives to
turn into towering fly balls? Could it be that the
physics of the swing are all wrong?
- Recruit a group of kids to help
you. Using the materials listed above, videotape each kid
hitting a baseball from a batting tee. Film from the side
that has the best view of the bat making contact with the
Study the videotape. Look for a
relationship between the spot on the ball that the bat
strikes and how the ball travels after it is
- The Mariner's are on a long road
trip. Back at the training facility you decide to produce
a video to send to Suzuki. The video should include
visual examples and a detailed explanation of what Ichiro
might be doing wrong with his swing and what he needs to
do to get back on track.
This activity was developed
by the Event-Based Science Institute with generous
support from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. A
version of this
and all other baseball/physics activities is available
free from the EBS Institute. This activity was written
by, Scott Durbin, a science teacher at Robert Frost
Middle School, Rockville, MD.
© 2003-12 Event-Based Science Institute