⚾️ Why Hitting a Baseball Is (Almost) Impossible

Dylan Jardon
Dylan Jardon
3 min read

Morning slugger!

You remember when Randy Johnson SMOKED a pigeon with a 100 mph pitch?


I wanna go out in an explosion of confetti feathers too.

Now statistically, this was nearly impossible.

But actually, just hitting a baseball should be impossible too. Yet pros hit the ball in play on ~50% of swings – and make contact 80% of the time.

So what’s their secret?

Well let’s set the scene…

It’s the top of the 7th inning. You’re at the plate facing down Hall of Fame legend Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson.

Ya, that’s a 6’10” mullet with an arm cannon.

But as if that isn’t intimidating enough, you also got grade A hecklers behind you.

You’re rattled.

But buckle up – your problems are about to get even worse because…

Here’s how the math breaks down.

Randy’s 60 feet 6 inches away.

Or 55 feet when he strides off the rubber.

So a chill 95 mph fastball will leave you with only 0.4 seconds before it hits the catcher’s mitt – that’s 400 milliseconds.

Not good.

That leaves us no time to react because:

  • Your brain takes 100 milliseconds to process the image – aka you’re living in the past.
  • Your nerves take 25 milliseconds to send the swing signal.
  • Your body takes 150 milliseconds to actually swing.

TLDR: You have ~0.1 seconds to swing or not – that little green line.

How fast is that?


Too slow. That was 0.3 seconds…

Oh and you have the tiniest swing window to hit the ball – just 0.007 seconds.

Otherwise you’ll hit a foul ball at best.

So what’s the pros secret, dammit?

The average Major League Baseball player’s vision is 20/12.

(20/8 is the theoretical limit of human vision – which 2% of MLB players have.)

What’s this mean?

The pitcher looks super close to them.

Here’s how our eyes stack up:

  1. You
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Bald Eagle

Or for a mole, it looks 1,800 feet away.

That’s why moles don’t play baseball.

But humans do – because pros basically wear 2x binoculars.

Which lets them see the exact release angle and ball spin as it leaves the pitcher’s hand – revealing the type of pitch.

Then they just predict the ball trajectory and BANG — they hit bombs.

Not bad for chimp brains #SportScience

Crush Ass,
Dylan & Henry 🌈

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