The statement in the text

The conclusion which science reaches is that the heavier the ball is, without increasing its size or decreasing its elasticity, the farther it will go after being struck with the bat.

My response

This is a bit of a tricky point, since there are two separate effects going on. First, a heavier ball cannot be hit as hard as a lighter ball (i.e., it will have a lower batted ball speed). However, for a given batted ball speed, the heavier ball will experience less deceleration due to air drag and therefore will carry farther. So there are two partially compensating effects with a heavy ball: lower BBS and better carry. Which effect wins out? The answer is not so obvious and requires a detailed calculation.

I did a calculation using a ball mass of 5.0 (the standard mass), 5.5, and 6.0 oz, as well as a typical wood bat, a pitch speed of 85 mph, and a bat speed of 70 mph. For the three balls, I find the batted ball speed is 101.0, 97.4, and 93.9, respectively, showing that the BBS does get progressively smaller as the mass of the ball increases. I then assumed each was launched at a 300 angle and computed the distance, finding 400, 396, and 388 ft, respectively. So, the bottom line is that the lighter ball will go farther, contradicting the statement of the author.

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