Kagan: The physics of debunking the amazing batting trick

From SABR member David Kagan at The Hardball Times on April 2, 2019:

In addition to being a fabulous source of solid information, the internet is also chock full of fakery and deception. I think most of us are okay with this sort of duplicity if it is harmless enough. Below is a video that has been kicking around for about a decade. It is entertaining to watch and to think about, so enjoy.


There is little doubt this was done with some form of trick photography. After all, even a professional ballplayer can’t hit a ball with the accuracy required to make this happen. The precision needed is simply beyond human abilities. Still, it is fun to watch.

The four devices used to reflect the ball are usually called “Pitch-Backs.” I recall getting my first Pitch-Back as a kid. I tore it out of the box, set it up on the lawn, and began imitating my hero, Sandy Koufax – never mind that while I was born a lefty, they converted me to a righty in school, further reducing my chances of making it as a ballplayer.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-physics-of-debunking-the-amazing-batting-trick/

Originally published: April 5, 2019. Last Updated: April 5, 2019.