16 random facts about baseball

This is an interesting infographic.  A lot of these bits of trivia I already knew, though some were new to me.  I do question the bit about Forbes Field — there seems to be a lot of debate over what actually qualifies for the title of “first field” in America.  First stadium might have been more accurate phrasing, though that’s probably debatable, too.


Infographic: The Physics that Propel a Baseball Pitch

Baseball is full of physics lessons, and I find that I enjoy learning them.  Here’s a good graphic on how a baseball makes its way from the mound to home plate.


Infographic: Why the knuckleball is so hard to hit

Here’s an informative infographic explaining the basic physics of the knuckleball.  I find the the information about the illusion of the pitch’s movement to be especially fascinating.


Baseball 101: Framing

Framing is the art of making a pitch that is near the strike zone appear to be a strike when it may not actually be one. A catcher, who can frame well, can be extremely helpful to a pitcher working the corners of the plate and has been particularly valuable in the major leagues.  The act of framing is a very subtle tactic, an action which occurs just as the catcher catches the ball.  Since no umpire is ever going to be fooled by a jerk of the glove to drag a pitch back to the strike zone, successful framing is a very slight action, almost indiscernible.

ESPN did this fascinating feature story, “You Got Framed,” discussing the value of a catcher who can turn a borderline pitch into a called strike.  The increase in strikeouts in the major leagues, they argue, is not merely due to the propensity of hitters to swing for the fences.  It also has to do with the increase in catchers who are successful at framing.

The act of framing isn’t foolproof, of course, and I’m sure that umpires do sometimes feel as Laz Diaz is comically depicted in this Onion article. “You catchers seem to think that I was born yesterday. Some of you even believe you can fool me by holding your glove there for an extra long time, as if to say, ‘See, I’m holding it here like this because it was a strike.’ Well, this umpire is not falling for that. Not today, not ever.”

Laz Diaz (The Onion)

Laz Diaz (The Onion)

The Infinite Baseball Fields of America

I love this image.  It reflects the idea that, technically, a ballpark does not end with the outfield wall, but rather that the foul lines extend to infinity.  With that in mind, there is very little of America that doesn’t actually belong to a Major League Baseball field.  You’ll also notice that no Major League Baseball field in the country reaches out to the west.  It’s an observation that makes this image go well with this one.

Click on the image below for a larger view.

Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab

Infographic: How baseball gloves are made

I feel like, in baseball, there tends to be a lot of focus on the composition of the bat and of the ball, but so little attention is paid to the glove.  And it’s a shame, really, because the baseball glove is one of the best parts of the game.  The way a well-made glove fits, the smell of the leather, the struggle to break in a new glove properly, how there are different types of gloves for the different positions…  Here’s an infographic describing the process of how these wonderful tools are made.  It’s fascinating how much of the process is still completed by hand.

Click on the image for a larger view.


Infographic: The Science of the Baseball Swing

How hard is it, really, to hit a Major League fastball?  This infographic by John Blanchard breaks it down for us.  It takes a mere four-tenths of a second for a 90-mph fastball to reach home plate, and in that time, a batter has to make a decision on whether to swing and how to swing.

Click on the image below for a larger view.