In baseball, a 1.000 batting average is perfection. That’s why we say we’re “Batting a thousand” if we do everything right.
But a .300 batting average is considered exceptional. That means you can fail 70% of the time and you’re still one of the best.
And that’s why hitting a baseball is arguably the hardest thing to do in sports.
But why is it so hard? A writer for GetPocket.com broke it down.
Here’s the deal:
First, the speed of the pitch. The average fastball comes at you at more than 90 miles per hour . . . and it’s fired from less than 60 feet away. That gives the batter about 150 milliseconds to decide whether to swing.
On top of that, the ball is only in the hitting zone for less than 10 milliseconds. That’s the amount of time that the ball is in a spot where the batter can make contact.
On top of all this, you’ve got a round ball, and you’re trying to hit it solidly with a ROUNDED piece of wood. So, the margin of error for making solid contact is roughly half the width of your phone’s SIM card.
An engineering professor compared it to trying to hit a bullet with another bullet.
So, how do batters do that? The same professor says it’s not so much about how fast a batter can swing, as it is about how fast he can STOP HIMSELF from swinging at pitches he knows he’s not likely to hit.
Then comes the ability to identify pitches. Which, again, a batter has about 150 milliseconds to do. That’s something that comes with experience . . . but it STILL doesn’t make it easy.
One more piece of evidence that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in sports: MICHAEL JORDAN . . . considered one of the greatest athletes of all time . . . couldn’t do it.
As one physics professor put it . . . quote, “When I see the very limited number of human beings that can do what [MLB hitters] do, I’m just in awe.”