Humidity Affecting the Flight of a Baseball

            Does humidity affect the flight of a baseball? How does it affect a baseball? The definition of humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the air. One might ask how this affects a baseball. A baseball will absorb water if it is dropped into water or a puddle making the ball heavier than the regulation five ounces. A ball player will notice the difference between a five ounce ball and a 12 ounce ball. During a humid day the air is lighter, this is caused by the water molecules replacing the heavier oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air. These conditions cause less drag when the ball is hit in the air. In higher elevations, such as Coors Field in Colorado, the air is thin causing this field to be known for being a “hitters stadium”. The humidity may be higher in Colorado but this increases the balls flight when being hit. When ball players play in such stadiums, Dodgers Stadium, the ball seems to “die” and the ball that was hit doesn’t go as far, making this stadium a “pitchers stadium”. In Los Angeles case there is less humidity so the air has more heavy nitrogen or oxygen molecules making the ball decrease in flight. At Dodgers Stadium the air is heavier and the ball doesn’t travel as far as it would in the thin air at Coors Field.

Humidity can be pitchers worst enemy and a batters best friend. Baseballs hit in higher humidity do in fact go further in when in flight.This image shows the averages of humidity of the United States. You can see that the humidity is higher in the Colorado region

You can see that the humidity is lower in the Colorado region compared to the Los Angeles region.

“Anytime you only score 10 runs in Coors Field, you’re struggling in hitting, whereas most other places that’s about average.”

Garrett Atkins

“Believe it or not, Dodger Stadium is among the worst venues in the league for doubles and triples. Historically, the Dodgers have based their franchise on their pitching, which relates well to their stadium.”

Andrew J. Kearney

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/570937-mlb-power-rankings-the-10-most-pitcher-friendly-parks-in-mlb#/articles/570937-mlb-power-rankings-the-10-most-pitcher-friendly-parks-in-mlb/page/8

http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/howfar3.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmH7nEznxzQ

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