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How Much Force Does It Take to Hit a Home Run?

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Colin McDonald

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of How Much Force Does It Take to Hit a Home Run?

The Mass of a Baseball
First, we must take into account the mass of a baseball. An official major league baseball weighs in at exactly 5 ounces, or 141.748 grams.
The Home Run
Next, we must define a home run. David Ortiz, the player from the video, hits home runs with an average distance of 406 feet, or 123.749 meters. For our purposes, we will assume that he hits the ball at a 29° angle with the horizontal (that is the average angle).
The Pitch
Another factor that must be considered is the speed of the pitch. For this problem, we will assume that the pitcher has thrown a 90-mph fastball (that is 40.2336 m/s).
The Answer
After doing the projectile motion problem, I determined that the ball has a velocity of 37.836 m/s coming off the bat.

The ball stays on the bat for 0.7 milliseconds, and therefore the acceleration from the bat is approximately 111,528 m/s^2.

Using F=MA, we can conclude that the bat applied a force of about...

15,808 Newtons!!!!
How Much Force Does It Take to Hit a Home Run?
Home Run Video

This was an ideal situation with no air resistance or spin on the ball, so, more likely than not, it would take several thousand more Newtons to send that ball over the fence!
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