The Home Run Pitch
To determine whether or not a pitched
ball can be hit farther than a ball on a tee.
- Not many people know Luke Mamer.
Luke won a championship at Major League Baseball's
All-Star week in Chicago, but only his parents and
- That's because Luke was one of
over 450,000 boys and girls from 7 to 14 years old who
took part in the annual Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run
Contest. Luke and three other winners each won an
- In the Pitch, Hit, and Run
Contest, contestants show their ability by:
- throwing strikes from 45 feet
- running from second, around
third to home
- hitting a baseball from a tee
toward straightaway center field
After the contest all of the
finalists got to shag fly balls during the Major League
Home Run Derby.
What an honor!
In the Home Run Derby, Major League
sluggers try to hit as many baseballs as they can over
the fence. But the sluggers don't use a batting tee. The
ball is pitched to them.
As the kids watched home runs fly
over their heads, some of them wondered whether the Major
League sluggers had an unfair advantage. They wondered
whether a pitched ball travels farther when it is hit
than does a ball that is hit from a tee.
You are a writer for the All-Star
Week Program. The Pitch, Hit and Run Contest
Committee has asked you to design a page for next
year's program. They want the page to inform the public
about which ball travels farther when it is struck by a
bat, a moving one or one that is still.
Before writing your article you
will have to investigate.
- Use the materials provided and any
other materials you can find to design an experiment to
test which ball will travel farther when struck with a
bat, a stationary ball or a moving ball. As you design
your experiment, pay careful attention to these
- How will you control the swing
of the bat?
Should you control the point of
How will you measure the
distance the ball travels?
Be sure to record your results
in a table or chart.
- Energy in a Collision
The page you are designing for the
program must state which travels farther, a ball hit from
a tee or a ball hit from a pitcher. Your informative,
eye-catching page should also include an illustration and
clearly explain the reason.
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
Christopher Yancone, teacher at Ridgeway Elementary
School, Severn, MD.
© 2003-12 Event-Based Science Institute