What Is A Corked Baseball Bat

Corked bat – Wikipedia

In baseball, a corked bat is a specially modifiedbaseball bat that has been filled with corkor or other lighter, less dense material in order to make the bat lighter and more maneuverable. A lighter bat allows a batter to make a quicker swing, which may help the hitter improve his or her timing. However, contrary to common perception, corking a bat does not produce a “trampoline effect,” which causes a hit ball to go further. Physics experts have demonstrated that this is not the case. In Major League Baseball, altering a bat with foreign chemicals and utilizing it in play is prohibited, and players who do so will be ejected from the game and subjected to further penalty.


For the purpose of corking a bat, a hole of 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) in diameter is bored approximately six inches deep down through the thick end of the bat. Consolidating the material into the hole using crushed cork, bouncy balls, sawdust, or other similar materials is common, with the hole’s end often closed up with glue and sawdust. This, however, compromises the structural integrity of the bat and makes it more prone to fracture, which is exacerbated if the cork is inserted farther into the bat than around six inches.

Major League Baseball

Using a corked bat in Major League Baseball is a violation of Rule 6.03 (a)(5), which states that a batter is out for illegal action if he does any of the following: (5) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the opinion of the umpire, has been altered or tampered with in such a way that it improves the distance factor or causes an unusual reaction on the baseball; This includes bats that have been filled, have a flat surface, have been nailed, have been hollowed, have been grooved, or have been coated with a material such as paraffin, wax, or other similar substance.

Popular belief is that the substance used to cork a bat generates what is known as a “trampoline effect,” which causes a ball struck with a corked bat to go far further than a ball hit with an uncorked bat.

Another advantage of using a corked bat is the influence it has on the weight of the bat, which is thought to be beneficial.

A smaller ball’s velocity when it exits the bat, on the other hand, is reduced as a result of the weight decrease, thereby negating the benefit obtained from a faster bat speed.

History of use

Six players have been found using corked bats since the beginning of the 1970s. The following table provides a summary of these occurrences: In addition, Phil Garner, a former Major League player and manager, revealed on a Houston radio station in January 2010 that he used a corked bat against Gaylord Perry and “struck a home run” with it during a game against the Astros. Garner also revealed that the 2005 Houston Astros utilized corked bats during the 2005 Major League Baseball season and the 2005 World Series, according to Garner.

Two sports memorabilia collectors who had acquired Rose’s game-used bats from that season had the bats x-rayed, and the results revealed that the bats were corked, as expected. Rose has previously said that she does not use corked bats.

See also

  1. Russell, Daniel, et al (2011). “What about corked bats?” you might wonder. Baseball and softball bats have unique physics and acoustics. Penn State University is a public research university in Pennsylvania. Obtainable on August 1, 2019. A bat with less bulk, and particularly one with a lower moment of inertia, may be swung more quickly
  2. AbSolomon, Christopher (June 23, 2011). “The mechanics of baseball cheating,” as the title suggests. smithsonian.com. The Smithsonian Institution is located in Washington, D.C. abNathan, Alan M
  3. Smith, Lloyd V
  4. Faber, Warren L
  5. Russell, Daniel A. (2019). Retrieved August 1, 2019. (2011). “Corked bats, juiced balls, and humidors: The mechanics of baseball cheating” is the title of this article. The American Journal of Physics, volume 79, number 6, pages 575–580, arXiv:1009.2549. Major League Baseball. Official Baseball Rules, 2019. Bibcode: 2011AmJPh.79.575N.doi: 10.1119/1.3554642.S2CID18919590
  6. AbMajor League Baseball. Official Baseball Rules, 2019. 6.03 (a)(5) Batter Illegal Action
  7. AbEmerging Technology from the arXiv
  8. Rule 6.03 (a)(5) Batter Illegal Action (September 16, 2010). “The erroneous legend of the corked bat,” says the author. MIT Technology Review is a publication dedicated to the advancement of technology. Retrieved on August 1, 2019
  9. ” Corked bat-related penalty reduced by one game “,ESPN.com news services, June 11, 2003 (accessed March 6, 2009)
  10. Abcd” Sosa gets eight games, appealsArchived2004-10-18 at theWayback Machine “,MLB.com (accessed June 28, 2006)
  11. Ab”2154640″
  12. Meltzer, Peter E. “2154640”
  13. Meltzer, Peter E. (June 10, 2013). So You Think You Know Baseball? : A Fan’s Guide to the Official Rules of Baseball is a fan’s guide to the official rules of baseball. Page 51 of the W. W. Norton Company’s book ISBN 978-0-393-34667-1
  14. Petchesky, Barry (June 8, 2010). “This Is Pete Rose’s Corked Bat,” the narrator says. Deadspin.Gawker Media is a media company based in New York City. The original version of this article was archived on March 31, 2021. November 6, 2021
  15. Retrieved November 6, 2021
  16. Chris Littmann is the author of this piece (June 8, 2010). Corked bats allegedly belonging to Pete Rose have come to light, according to reports. SBNation. “Pete Rose interview,” which was retrieved on June 16, 2016. This is according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 13th of January, 2004. On June 16, 2016, I was able to retrieve

External links

  • ESPN reports on doctored bat violations. What about corked bats, do you think?

The Misleading Myth Of The Corked Bat

After the discovery that Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, one of the game’s most lethal hitters, had been found using an illegal bat in June 2003, the baseball world was stunned. In order to conceal the alteration, so-called “corked” bats have been hollowed out and filled with a lighter substance, such as cork, in order to appear natural. They are prohibited because, according to anecdotal evidence, they allow hitters to hit the ball farther than they otherwise would. This effect is of course a matter of scientific debate, and the question is whether it is real: do corked bats actually propel balls further?

  1. This enables the batter to swing them more quickly.
  2. In reality, a lighter bat has a lower collision efficiency, which is defined as the ratio of ball velocities before and after being struck.
  3. This is known to occur in hollow metal bats, but it is unclear whether the same is true for wooden bats, at this time.
  4. We now have an answer, owing to some exciting work done by Alan Nathan at the University of Illinois and a few colleagues in the field.
  5. After sending balls at baseball bats that were changed in various ways, they monitored the speed at which the balls hit the bats and rebounded from them using their equipment.
  6. They come up with two outcomes.
  7. In other words, the elasticity of the bat-ball collision does not increase as a result of the contact.
  8. “We come to the conclusion that corking a bat provides no benefit when the aim is for the batted ball speed to be as big as feasible, as is the case for a home run hitter,” the researchers write.
  9. Being able to swing the bat quicker allows the batter to delay the swing for a critical extra fraction of a second, which is critical in baseball.
  10. As a result, while corking may not help a hitter to smash the ball further, it may likely allow a batter to hit the ball more firmly more often, according to Nathan and colleagues.
  11. It has been demonstrated in the study that corked bats prevent balls from being hit any farther, but this has nothing to do with the topic of whether corked bats allow home runs to be hit more frequently.

In the meanwhile, corked bats may still provide an advantage, but perhaps not in the sense that most people believe. Corked Bats, Juiced Balls, and Humidors: The Physics of Cheating in Baseball (http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.2549)

Why Cork A Baseball Bat?

Using a bat that has been changed, in the opinion of the umpire, results in a hitter being called out for unlawful action under Major League Baseball Rule 6.06(d). Wooden bats don’t come in a number of different shapes and sizes. It is because of this that even the smallest adjustment might result in a significant competitive advantage for a player. JustBats.com investigates the reasons why historical baseball players have chosen to breach the laws and cork a baseball bat. Please keep in mind that JustBats.com does not support corking a bat or partaking in any changes to a bat that provide the player an unfair competitive advantage.

According to the MLB regulation, it is not the fact that a corked bat is lighter that renders it unlawful; rather, it is the fact that lighter wood bats are shorter than heavier wood bats, and the bat is no longer a single piece of solid wood.

The Benefits Of A Corked Bat

Albert Belle, Amos Otis, Sammy Sosa, and Graig Nettles are just a few of the notable players who have been found using a corked baseball bat. As a result, they were all subjected to repercussions from Major League Baseball. So, why did they take such a chance? The following are some of the advantages of using a corked bat:

  • Softer Collision: The cork causes the bat to behave more like a sponge than a spring when it strikes a baseball because the lower weight transfers less force when the bat meets the baseball. As a result, the cork absorbs a portion of the impact. More Mass: Cork is typically drilled into the middle of the bat, shifting the center of mass closer to the bat’s handle. The bat will be easier to swing as a result. Faster Swing Speed: Because the cork makes the bat lighter, it also has a lower inertia, allowing for a faster swing speed to be achieved. Higher bat swing speeds result in higher batted-ball speeds.

Corking a baseball bat is essentially a trade-off between batted-ball speed and quicker swing speed, as described above. A corked bat has no effect on the speed or distance traveled by a baseball. In conclusion, a corked bat offers only marginal advantages, but studies have shown that the psychological benefits of using a corked bat outweigh any actual advantages for a player. As a result, it is not worthwhile to cheat in this situation, as it is in virtually everything. What if I told you that I knew someone who had corked a bat?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

And keep in mind that we are always here for you, from Click to Hit!

Do corked bats allow baseball players to hit farther?

Sign up for free newsletters from Scientific American. ” data-newsletterpromo article-image=” data-newsletterpromo article-button-text=”Sign Up” data-newsletterpromo article-button-link=” name=”articleBody” itemprop=”articleBody”> name=”articleBody” itemprop=”articleBody”> The explanation is provided by Porter Johnson, a physics professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. As a result, the use of corked bats during games is prohibited in professional baseball since the bat must be constructed from a single solid piece of wood.

  • The fact that lighter bats let the hitter to react more quickly is a distinct benefit of this method.
  • Consider the possibility that you could create baseball bats that had the same size, shape, construction, and strength as one another, but that were different weights.
  • And, more importantly, how much of a difference does it make when the mass is altered?
  • Considering a much smaller scenario, such as an elastic collision on a billiard table, is beneficial.
  • As stated by Newton’s Laws, when the target ball has the exact same mass as the cue ball, the target ball will experience the largest amount of recoil energy.
  • A lighter cue ball will travel faster, but it will bounce off the target more frequently, delivering less energy to the second ball.
  • For reasons that are similar to those cited in the billiards example, it is reasonable to assume that the optimal weight of a baseball bat should not be much different from the weight of the ball itself, which is around five ounces.

However, the following elements combine to make the baseball problem extremely difficult to solve:

  • The contact between the bat and the ball lasts around one thousandth of a second, and the forces involved can be several thousand pounds in weight. In part because the batter maintains control of the bat by gripping the handle, a reaction force of the same magnitude will be experienced by the batter unless the ball hits the bat at the “sweet spot,” which is located near the trademark symbol. The internal vibrations created within the bat as a result of the collision dissipate at least two-thirds of the mechanical energy generated by the collision. When the ball is struck by the bat, this dispersed energy is responsible for the sound that is created. In contrast to the pool example, the ball and bat are both travelling at high speeds before the impact, and the bat continues to move at high speeds after the collision. Newton’s Laws indicate that only a percentage of the bat’s energy may be transmitted to the ball in this situation
  • Once again, this is dictated by Newton’s Laws.
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As a result of these considerations, the optimal bat weight should actually be somewhat more than the weight of the ball itself. A typical ideal baseball bat should weigh around five times the weight of the ball, or approximately 25 ounces, according to some models; nevertheless, this weight is much less than the weight of bats usually used in professional baseball. However, a few ounces more or less may not make a substantial difference in the behavior of a bat in any case. It is possible that lighter bats are preferred by certain batters simply because they are simpler to wield, giving the batter more time to react to an approaching ball and change his swing.

  • Lightening the bat does, on the other hand, enhance the likelihood that you will hit the ball properly.
  • It is true that batters in the big leagues have been increasingly using lighter bats during the last several seasons.
  • An alternative method for making a bat lighter is to drill a hole in one end, insert a piece of cork deep into the hole, and then carefully plug, seal and cover the opening.
  • The original answer was posted on July 28, 2003.

What about corked bats?

Today is a Monday. The last time the contents of this page were updated was on September 8, 2011. For a more broad examination of the mechanics of baseball cheating, check out this recently released study on the subject: An ad hoc group of researchers from the American Physical Society published “Corked bats, juiced balls, and humidors: The physics of cheating in baseball,” in American Journal of Physics, (79)6: 575-580. (2011). A corked bat was used in the first inning of a game on June 3, 2003, and Sammy Sosa, the Chicago Cubs’ centerfielder, was dismissed from the game.

He claimed it was an accident, explaining that he had used the bat during batting practice and had accidently grabbed it when he stepped up to the plate by mistake.

However, it raises the question of why a player would utilize a corked bat in the first place.

Some basic physics arguments

Robert Adair’s book The Physics of Baseball, as well as a clip from an interview he did a few years ago, in which he addressed the subject of corked bats, served as the basis for the points presented in this article.

  1. A corked bat has (slightly) less bulk than a normal bat. Players may save around 1.5 ounces by drilling out the middle of a wood bat and replacing it with cork, allowing them to play with a lighter weight bat. Furthermore, the location of the bat’s center of mass would shift slightly to the handle end of the bat, which is a significant improvement. In other words, the bat’s moment of inertia would be reduced, making it simpler to swing. Lower inertia (less mass) translates into higher swing speed. A bat with less mass, and especially one with a lower moment of inertia, may be swung quicker than one with more bulk. For an amateur golfer, 1.5oz may not seem like much, but for a professional, it means being able to watch the ball travel an extra 5-6 feet before having to commit to a swing before committing to a swing. In addition, research has revealed that quicker bat swing speed results in faster batted-ball speed, however the difference in ball speed would be modest for the majority of players, according to the findings. Additionally, choking up on the bat, using a shorter bat, or cutting some wood off the handle, all of which are acceptable techniques of lowering bat mass, might be used to effectively lessen the moment of inertia. A collision with less mass will be less effective. Even though lowering the mass (and moment of inertia) of the bat can enhance the bat swing speed, the reduced mass also results in a less effective contact between the bat and the ball. The ball will always be propelled quicker and further with a heavier bat if the swing speed is maintained constant. So decreasing bulk from the bat will actually slow down the hit ball’s speed
  2. There is no scientific advantage to doing so? By decreasing the moment of inertia, the mass may be reduced, which in turn raises the swing speed, which in turn increases the batted-ball speed. However, because of the smaller mass, the efficacy of the contact is reduced, resulting in a fall in the batted-ball speed. It’s a toss-up between which impact is more significant. However, because the two effects cancel one other out, there appears to be no scientific benefit to using a corked bat – at least when it comes to hitting home runs – in baseball. There would be an advantage to just getting in touch, though. The lower weight and faster swing speed of the bat allow a player to take a few more milliseconds before committing to a stroke with the ball. This implies he can wait around 5 or 6 more feet to see how far the thrown ball travels before determining whether or not to swing. This may assist a player who is experiencing a slump in his or her game in making greater contact with the ball. A corked bat, on the other hand, will not make the ball travel quicker or further. Is there a psychological advantage? One of the media accounts on the Sammy Sosa incident had a remark from a big league player that went something like this: “I don’t care what all those MIT academics say
  3. If players didn’t believe it made a difference, why have they been doing it for all these centuries?” Check out the plethora of rituals that hitters and pitchers go through before and during a game to demonstrate how superstitious baseball fans can be. Others have lucky socks, shirts, and caps that they refuse to wash for fear that it would end up ruining their current winning run. Other players have a pre-game or pre-at-bat routine that they follow before each game or at-bat. The most important point to consider when considering the corked bat is that if a player believes it will make a difference in his game, it is quite probable that it will make a difference. The psychological influence, rather than actual improvement in performance from the bat, is responsible for the phenomenon. A corked bat was used by the Detroit Tigers’ Norm Cash to win the batting title in 1961. However, the following year, Cash dropped to a.243 average while using the same corked bat
  4. Why did Cash utilize a splintered cork bat? The hollowed-out section of the bat must be filled with something, else the bat’s sound would be noticeably different from that of a solid bat, indicating that the bat has been illegally modified in some manner. In 1974, Graig Nettles was playing for the New York Yankees when he shattered his bat during a game, resulting in six superballs being thrown out of the park. Somewhere, I heard that numerous Anaheim Angels players have experimented using liquid mercury – which would be quite intriguing since the moment of inertia would shift as the bat is swung, with the greatest inertia occurring immediately before contact

How do you Cork a Bat?

Corking a bat the traditional way is a relatively easy thing to do.You just drill a hole in the end of the bat, about 1-inch in diameter, and about 10-inches deep.You fill the hole with cork, superballs, or styrofoam – if you leave the hole empty the bat sounds quite different, enough to give you away.Then you glue a wooden plug, like a 1-inch dowel, in to the end.Finally you sand the end to cover the evidence.Some soures suggest smearing a bit of glue on the end of the bat and sprinkling sawdust over it so help camouflage the work you have done.Sammy’s corked bat was different.What makes Sammy Sosa’s corked bat interesting is that it was not corked in the usual way, by drilling a hole in the end of the barrel.The cork-filled hole in Sammy’s bat was in the taper region at the middle of the bat.This would have a different effect than has been described above. Instead of lowering the moment of inertia by removing mass from the end of the bat, Sosa’s corked bat would probably have had a very similar moment of inertia (perhaps even a little higher) than an uncorked bat of exactly the same dimensions.If the taper region was weakened then the bat might be more likely to flex during the swing, a feature which is currently being designed into some of the newest aluminum and composite baseball and softball bats.If the bat flexes during the swing, and if a player can time the swing just right, then the tip of the bat is moving faster than a rigid bat would be when it meets the ball.For a wood bat, the bat speed just prior to the collision is the single most important factor in how fast the ball comes off the bat.So, it is conceivable that Sosa’s specially corked bat could give him a slight advantage for hitting the ball faster and farther. Sammy consistently claimed that he used this corked bat occasionally in batting practice to put on a homerun show for the fans.However, as he found out to his embarrassment, using such a bat in a game situation is not a good idea.In batting practice the hitter is hitting balls which are pitched so that he can hit them, in order to help him warm up his swing mechanics.In a game when the opposing pitcher is purposefully trying to jam the batter with a pitch to the inside, a bat which has been weakened at the taper/handle region will break very easily.
Fig. 1Graphic published in theChicago Sun Times , June 4, 2003.

Experimental Evidence that Corked Bats Don’t Hit Balls Further/Faster Updated added on October 7, 2004

Fallon and Sherwood of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Baseball Research Center conducted some trials with aluminum bats and corked wood bats a couple of years ago. They utilized the Baum Hitting Machine to swing a bat at roughly 66 mph at a ball traveling at 70 mph. They were successful. After adjusting for the inertia qualities of the bats, the researchers discovered that corked bats achieved batted-ball speeds that were around 0.9 mph faster than typical wood bats. They also discovered that their corked bats shattered after as few as three collisions, which meant that the amount of data they were able to collect before the bats were injured was restricted.

Alan Nathan conducted an experiment that was never published.

In this experiment, two identical wood bats (same length, mass, MOI, and so on) were used, and one of them had a 7/8″ diameter 9-1/4″ deep hole bored into it.

(BBCOR is explained further down.) Dr.

My Experimental Evidence

In July of 2003, I had the opportunity, withAlan Nathan(Univ. of Illinois) andLloyd Smith(Washington State Univ.), to measure the Bat-Ball Coefficient-of-Restitution (BBCOR) of several corked and normal wood bats.We obtained three professional grade wood bats (33″) from Rawlings and measured the BBCOR for all three.We drilled a 1″ diameter, 10″ deep hole in the end of two of them, and measured the BBCOR of the drilled (but empty) bats.Finally we filled the bats with cork and remeasured the BBCOR.The Bat-Ball Coefficient-of-Restitution (BBCOR) depends primarily on the elastic properties of the ball and bat, with a slight dependence on the moment of inertia of the bat. If a hollowed-out, corked wood bat has a trampoline effect, then it would show up as an increase in the BBCOR.In our experiment, the BBCOR was measured by firing a ball (upwards of 110 mph) from a cannon towards a stationary bat and measuring the speed of the ball before and after it hit the bat.The bat was gripped at the handle by a clamp device which was free to rotate about a pivot, though the bat was initially at rest.For those concerned that clamping the bat in a pivot is not the same as a player holding or swinging the bat, Keith Keonig (Univ. Mississippi) has convincingly shown that batted ball speed is completely independent of the method by which the ball is gripped at the handle.After the collision the ball rebounded backwards and the bat rotated about its pivot. The ratio of ball speeeds (outgoing / incoming) is termed the collision efficiency,e A.A kinematic factork, which is essencially the effective mass of the bat, is defined as k=m ballz 2/ I bat whereI batis the moment-of-inertia of the bat as measured about the pivot point on the handle, andzis the distance from the pivot point where the ball hits the bat.Once the kinematic factorkhas been determined and the collision efficiencye Ahas been measured, the BBCOR is calculated fromBBCOR =e A (1 + k) + k The data at rightshows a typical result for one of the bats.The plot indicates that the BBCOR is lowest for the drilled (hollow) bat. The BBCOR value for the corked bat is slightly lower than the original bat, though given the error in the measurements the results are basically indistinguishable.This result confirms the previous experiment by Alan Nathanthat a corked bat does not have a trampoline effect. Fig. 2.BBCOR values measured for a normal wood bat and for the same bat after being drilled and corked.
Perhaps it would be even better to compare Batted-Ball Speed (BBS).Batted-Ball Speed may be predictedfrom BBS =e Av ball+ (1 +e A)v bat wherev ballis the incoming ball speed,v batis the bat swing speed just before collision ande Ais the collision efficiency (ratio of ball rebound speed to incoming speed).The bat swing speed depends on the moment-of-inertia of the bat.Using the measurements ofe Aalong with the bat kinematic factorkand knowledge of how swing speed is related to bat moment-of-inertia we obtained the BBS values shown in Fig. 3 at the right.This result suggests that corked bat would produce batted-ball speeds about 1 mph lower than a normal wood bat. Fig. 3.Batted-Ball Speeds predicted for a normal wood bat and for the same bat after being drilled and corked.
One of my meager contributions to the understanding of how a baseball bat works is a correlation between the frequency of vibrations in the barrel of a hollow aluminum or composite bat and its measured performance.A lower frequency of thefundamental hoop modeof the barrel means a softer spring constant of the bat, and a greater trampoline effect resulting in higher batted ball speed.A simplemass-spring model of the trampoline effectyields a very interesting result, indicated by the solid black curve in the figure at right.As the frequency of the hoop mode decreases, the performance of the bat increases until an optimal frequency is reached.Below this optimum frequency the performance quickly falls off.The success of this simple model is evidenced by the general characteristics of baseball bats.The majority of aluminum bats currently on the market have hoop frequencies in the neighborhood of 2000 Hz.The highest performing bat I have seen so far has a hoop frequency of about 1600 Hz.A prototype all-composite baseball bat I had the chance to test in my lab was found to have a hoop frequency of about 1450 Hz.This bat was field tested by a top college baseball team and almost every player on the team was hitting balls in excess of 500 ft.In constrast, a 1989 graphite bat – which was marketed as having the strength of aluminum and the perfromance of wood – has a hoop frequency of 3350 Hz.It did not last long on the market because it was a very poor performing bat, nowhere near the performance of available metal bats.When I measured the hoop frequency of the corked wood bats used in our 2003 study I found the hoop frequency to be in excess of 5300 Hz, which essentially means that any enhancement in performance would be almost negligible. Fig. 4.Mass-spring model of the trampoline effect showing how hoop frequency predicts performance.
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Room for Further Experimentation

Currently, the only experiment that has not been carried out (at least to my knowledge) is a meticulously completed field test. Using actual players hitting at pitched balls, precise measurements of pitched ball speeds, bat swing speeds, hit ball speeds, contact locations, bat moment-of-inertia, and vibrational frequency data would be taken (this would need the use of numerous high-speed video cameras). If I am able to find the time (and the necessary equipment) to do this type of field research, I will be sure to report the results on this website.

  1. Adair’s The Physics of Baseball, 3rd edition, is available online (Harper Collins, 2002) ESPN Baseball is a sports television network that broadcasts baseball games.
  2. J.A.
  3. Fallon wrote a paper titled “A Study of the Barrel Construction of Baseball Bats” which was published in Proccedings of the 4th International Conference on the Engineering of Sport held in Kyoto, Japan.
  4. M.
  5. Greenwald is a journalist and author.
  6. Penna, and J.J.
  7. Appl.
  8. 17, no.
  9. 241-252 (June 2000).

The use of a simple frame-of-reference argument can be used to demonstrate that identical measurements will be obtained for I a moving ball hitting a stationary bat, and (ii) a moving bat hitting a moving ball, as long as the relative speed between the bat and the ball is kept constant between the two objects.

  • 5, No.
  • 87-93, K.
  • Dillard, D.K.
  • Shafer, “The impact of support conditions on baseball bat performance testing,” Engineering of Sport, Vol.
  • 2, pp.
  • On September 11-15, 2004, the University of California Davis hosted the 5th International Conference on the Engineering of Sport.
  • Nathan, D.A.

Smith, “The Physics of the Trampoline Effect in Baseball and Softball Bats,” Engineering of Sport, vol.

2, pp.


Russell, and L.V.

5, no.

(International Sports Engineering Association, 2004).

In accordance with ASTM F2219-04 Methods for Measuring High-Speed Bat Performance that are universally accepted A.

Smith, J.

Broker A Study of Softball Player Swing Speed, Sports Dynamics Discovery and Application, and A Study of Softball Player Swing Speed RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, pp.

Subic, P.

Alam, and published by RMIT University Press (2003) D.A.

5, no.

641-647, is a paper published in the journal Engineering of Sport (International Sports Engineering Association, 2004).

On September 11-15, 2004, the University of California Davis hosted the 5th International Conference on the Engineering of Sport. Return to Baseball and Softball Bats: Physics and Acoustics of the Game

Does a corked bat really hit farther?

According to ESPN’s ranking of The 100 Most Memorable Moments of the Past 25 Years, this was No. 33: On June 4, 2003, while hitting against the Devil Rays, Sammy Sosa shatters his bat after being struck by a pitch from pitcher Jeremi Gonzalez. When umpire Tim McClelland goes to pick up the splintered lumber, he notices a piece of cork stuck inside the barrel of the truck. The event left Sosa with egg on his face and sparked one of baseball’s most contentious debates: Do corked bats offer batters an unfair edge in the field?

  • A piece of legislation A Major League baseball bat is a solid piece of lumber that is normally made of either ash or maple wood, depending on the league.
  • It’s 34 inches in length and weighs 32 ounces when fully assembled (86 centimeters and 907 grams).
  • Make sure the cavity has a diameter of roughly 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) and reaches a depth of approximately 10 inches before starting the drilling process (25.4 centimeters).
  • Heck, if you have a few Super Balls hanging around, you can shred them up and drop the rubber bits into the hollow to make it even more convenient.
  • When you’re through, you’ll have a corked bat in your possession.
  • The bat is significantly lighter now that the wood has been removed from the barrel.
  • The following equation may be used to calculate the volume of a cylinder: V = r 2 h is a mathematical formula.
  • When you multiply (670 kilograms per cubic meter) by (0.00013 cubic meters), you get 0.0871 kilograms, which is equal to 3.07 ounces.
  • Of course, because you’re filling the borehole, you’ll need to take the weight of the cork into consideration.
  • The weight of cork filler is as follows: In the formula, m=dv = (240 kilograms/cubic meter)(0.00013 cubic meters) = 0.0312 kilograms (1.1 ounces) = 0.0312 kilograms (1.1 ounces).
  • Specifically, this would entail Derek Jeter swinging a 30-ounce (850-gram) bat rather than a 32-ounce (907-gram) bat.

These two factors work together to make it simpler to swing the bat, which allows a batter to hit the ball harder and with more velocity. Is it really that important? It does, and we’ll explain why in a moment.

Put a Cork in It (or Don’t Actually)

The distance traveled by a batted ball is determined by the speed at which it is going as it leaves the bat, a quantity known as batted ball speed, orBBS. By increasing BBS, you may increase the distance a fly ball will go. BBS is dependent on two factors: the speed at which the bat is swinging and the weight of the bat. The use of a corked bat results in increased swing speed, which has the effect of increasing bat bat speed. However, because such a bat weighs less, it transfers less power when it collides with another object, resulting in a reduction in BBS.

  • This group’s investigation centered on a concept called as collision efficiency (orq), which is a numerical value that measures a bat’s ability to transform an incoming pitch into a solid hit.
  • According to the value of q for a corked bat, the value was 0.193.
  • In accordance with the findings of the study, the benefits associated with higher bat speed are offset by the losses connected with lower bat weight.
  • Unfortunately, this does not put an end to the debate because corked bats are likely to have an additional benefit.
  • Also, he can swing the bat with greater acceleration, which means he can move the bat from zero to peak speed in a shorter amount of time.
  • This enables him to hold off on the pitch for a longer period of time, to see the pitch more clearly, and to make required modifications in his swing.

Author’s Note

Despite scientific proof to the contrary, some batters continue to rely on their corked bats.

If you find yourself in one of these circumstances, it’s probable that the placebo effect is at play. After all, as any baseball fan will tell you, baseball is a game that is played as much in the head as it is on the field.

Related Articles

  • Alan Nathan’s paper “Comparing the Performance of Baseball Bats” may be found here. Baseball Analysts, January 18, 2010 (July 7, 2012)
  • Alan Nathan, Lloyd Smith, Warren Faber, and Daniel Russell. Baseball Analysts, January 18, 2010. “Corked bats, juiced balls, and humidors: The physics of baseball cheating.” “Corked bats, juiced balls, and humidors: The physics of baseball cheating.” Nathan, Alan, American Journal of Physics, June 2011, (accessed July 25, 2012)
  • American Journal of Physics, June 2011. “Some Remarks on Corked Bats.” “Some Remarks on Corked Bats.” Baseball’s Physicists Explain It All. “What about corked bats?” asks Daniel A. Russell, of the University of Illinois, on July 25, 2012. Baseball and softball bats are studied in terms of their physics and acoustics. Penn State University (July 25, 2012)
  • SI Metric (International System of Units). “Density of Materials” is an abbreviation. Rick Weinberg (July 25, 2012)
  • Weinberg, Rick. A corked bat is used to catch Sammy Sosa, according to SPN’s Countdown of the Top 100 Most Memorable Moments of the Past 25 Years.” ESPN (25th of July, 2012)

Morgan: Corked-bat mistake happened to me once

Thursday, June 5Updated: June 6, 4:19 PM ETCorked-bat mistake happened to me once

By Joe MorganSpecial to ESPN.com

For all those who jumped to conclusions after Sammy Sosa was caught with a corked bat, it looks like Sosa’s explanation was more correct than their accusations.Sosa said he used the corked bat only for batting practice and picked it up by mistake in Tuesday night’s game. Since then, all 76 of Sosa’s bats that were confiscated after the incident have been X-rayed and found to be completely cork-free.
The five bats Sosa has given to the Hall of Fame also were found to be clean.

Furthermore, the five bats that Sosa has donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame were X-rayed by us at the Hall (I am the vice chairman of the Hall) and were deemed to be in perfect condition. These are the bats he used to reach major milestones such as his 500th home run and the World Series championship. This one act should not be used to discredit Sosa’s many other achievements, according to a statement given by the Hall of Fame on Thursday morning. Some pundits have claimed that Sosa’s Hall of Fame credentials should be called into doubt at this point.

  1. It is appropriate to penalize Sosa, but there has been no evidence to suggest that this is anything more than a one-off occurrence.
  2. In reality, I understand how a hitter may inadvertently use a corked bat – it occurred to me once, and I was mortified.
  3. Due to the chilly weather, we had to utilize them because our hands were hurting throughout the BP.
  4. For the same reason, I also used aluminum bats during batting practice and in games.
  5. During the game, one of my bats broke, and the bat boy came over to me and handed me a couple of replacement bats.
  6. My first reaction after hitting a fly ball to right field was, “That didn’t seem right.” The corked bat that I had used in BP but had forgotten about was exactly what I was looking for when I went back to look at it.
I had two or three corked bats that I used for batting practice in San Francisco in 1981.
What bothered me was that I could have used it accidentally that one time and it could have broken in two, as happened with Sosa. To me, the consequences were too great. So after that, I went back to using my regular bats for BP. As I recall, the clubhouse guy threw the corked bats away for me.By the way, there’s a debate about whether a corked bat actually causes a batted ball to travel farther. My experience was that corked bats didnotmake the ball go farther – at least they didn’t help me. I agree with ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine on this issue.I also agree with ESPN analyst Harold Reynolds that it’s possible that a corked-bat event like Sosa’s could simply be a mistake. It isn’t probable, but it’s possible. I know, because it happened to me.Chat Reminder:I’ll answer your questions in anESPN.com chat Friday at 10:45 a.m. ET.An analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan won back-to-back World Series with the Reds. He contributes a weekly column to ESPN.com.

The Physics of a Corked Bat

The inherent frequency of hardwood bats is around 250 cycles per second, or 250 Hertz. Published on May 16, 2014. Because the ball leaves the bat in such a short period of time (1 millisecond), the energy transfer from the bat to the ball is not very efficient. A hollowed and corked bat will have a lower natural frequency and a less effective transmission of energy to the bat since it will no longer be as rigid as a non-hollowed and corked bat. The baseball bounces off the bat quicker than the cork can hold the energy that might be used to re-inject it into the baseball.

It isn’t possible.

Observations on Corked Bats (with an asterisk) Alan M.

What is a “corked” bat?

It is possible to make a corked bat by drilling an opening axially into the barrel of a wood bat.

This is called corking. Cavities with a diameter of around 1 inch and a depth of approximately 10 inches are commonly used in dental procedures. Depending on the material used, the hollow may or may not be filled with anything like compressed cork, miniature superballs, or similar.

What positive effect does this have on performance?

In order to make the bat lighter, the wood has been taken from it and (potentially) replaced by a substance having a lower density than wood. The weight of the bat will vary based on the size of the cavity and the density of the filler substance used. Furthermore, not only is the bat lighter, but the bat’s center of gravity, or balancing point, has been moved closer to the hands. Thus, the “swing weight” of the bat is likewise lowered as a result of this. For those who are unfamiliar with technical physics terminology, a corked bat has a lower moment of inertia (MOI) around the knob.

  • The result is straightforward to comprehend: When the weight is concentrated closer to your hands (lower MOI), it is much simpler to swing anything than when the weight is concentrated further away from your hands (greater MOI) (larger MOI).
  • Take a bat by the handle and swing it around, trying to spin it quickly.
  • Then, while still gripping the barrel of the bat, spin it around and try to repeat the process.
  • The result is that a hitter may frequently achieve more bat speed with a corked bat than with an equivalent bat that has not been corked.
  • Of course, not all other factors are equal, and the lower mass in the barrel results in a less effective collision, as we will see in the following section.
  • With a corked bat, the batter may accelerate the bat to high speed more rapidly, allowing him or her to respond to the pitch more swiftly, pause longer before committing to the swing, and change his or her mind more easily while in the middle of the swing.
  • It goes without saying that there are occasions in which one would not want to either choke up or use a shorter bat, particularly in scenarios when one has to defend the outer portion of the plate.
  • Bat control is a concern for many fast-pitch softball players, who take it to the extreme.
  • Because the fast-pitch game is largely favored by the pitcher, batters are frequently more concerned with making excellent contact than they are with hitting for the cycle.

To increase bat control and response time, some hitters utilize very light bats (25 oz. or less). Because they are largely employing aluminum bats, they may reach a low weight at no additional expense in terms of length.

The Machine That Shatters Baseball Myths (With Video!)

Some baseball fans are willing to just enjoy the game they like while debating the age-old controversies that surround it. But there are baseball fans who also happen to be scientists, which is a rare combination. Some of the most widely held baseball myths, including those about corked bats hitting farther, juiced balls, and the effect of humidity on baseballs, were put to the test by physics professor Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois and mechanical engineering professor Lloyd Smith of Washington State University.

How It’s Made

Smith’s testing technique, which was developed in 2002, assesses the explosion of a ball off the bat with the use of three critical instruments. There’s a 12-foot air cannon delivery system that includes a sabot (a plastic carriage that guides the ball down the tube), a box with three LED screens that assess ball speed, and a bat pivot that keeps the bat in position while the ball is being fired. This material has been downloaded from YouTube. Visiting their website may allow you to access the same stuff in a different format, or it may provide you with even more information than you could get elsewhere.

  1. Because the bat is stationary and there is no batter swinging it, Smith’s setup must accelerate the baseball to a speed that is a combination of the velocity of a major league pitch and the bat speed of a major league hitter: approximately 150 miles per hour.
  2. According to Smith, the stability provided by the sabot is essential for striking the sweet spot and precisely assessing the pop of a bat’s pop.
  3. According to Smith, “that arrestor plate has a really fascinating design,” which he describes as follows: The plate is supported by four pneumatic shocks, which help to cushion the impact of the sabot.
  4. “It’s a little like attempting to catch a baseball without a mitt,” says the author.
  5. The timing is recorded as the ball travels through each of the four screens.
  6. These speed data allow the researchers to determine what they refer to as the coefficient of restitution (or the restitution coefficient) (COR).
  7. A ball–bat collision occurs when the ball and the bat collide and the energy is shared by both of them.
  8. Hollow aluminum bats, on the other hand, have a greater COR than solid aluminum bats due of the “trampoline effect,” according to him.

Smith’s approach is so effective that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) utilizes it to manage bat performance criteria. However, for a new research, he and Nathan decided to put three of baseball’s most contentious misconceptions to the test.

Corked Bats

Even though corked bats are one of the most well-known forms of baseball cheating, according to the study, they may not be of much benefit: When Nathan and his colleagues tested corked bats, they discovered that, rather than increasing the trampoline effect, corking a wooden bat actually diminished it. The advantage of faster bat speed is offset by the disadvantage of a less effective collision, according to Nathan. “It does not result in a faster batted ball speed,” says the author. Furthermore, because the bat is lighter, balls struck with a corked bat do not travel as far, according to him.


When baseballs were flying out of the park in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was widespread conjecture that the balls, rather than the players, had been injected with drugs. Specifically, Nathan and Smith sought to test if current baseballs are genuinely more lively than the baseballs that were used decades ago. To do this, they shot two sets of balls, one from the 2004 season and one from the late 1970s, against a solid, flat steel plate and measured the COR of each pair of balls. As a result, what happened?


In the 1990s, Coors Field in Denver served as a starting point for several teams. The Colorado Rockies’ home stadium, Coors Field, set a major league record in 1999 by allowing 303 home runs in a single season. This was most likely caused in part by the stadium’s height, which meant that hit balls experienced reduced air resistance as a result of the elevation. As a result of being frustrated with their pitchers being beaten up in slugfest after slugfest, the Colorado Rockies began storing game baseballs in humidors in the hopes that the extra weight and bulk would cause the balls to land more rapidly on their respective ground surfaces.

That may not seem like much, but according to Nathan, it would result in an average reduction of 14 feet on fly balls, resulting in a 25 percent drop in the likelihood of a home run.

Split-Finger Sorcery?

As soon as he’s finished debunking some of baseball’s most popular hitting myths, Nathan plans to shift his focus to the sport of pitching. A split-finger fastball by New York Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia caught his attention lately as he was watching the team (even though he is a fan of the rival Boston Red Sox). “Given the way the ball is spinning, the ball breaks in a way that is contrary to our normal understanding of how it should shatter,” he explains. Despite the fact that the game has been played professionally for more than a century, there are still a number of mysteries that need to be investigated in the laboratory.

You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.

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