View Full Version : MIT teaching inner-city kids science...with baseball

08-02-2011, 06:55 PM
:tiphat: to MIT


08-03-2011, 09:44 AM
I can see it now - 2020 every MLB team employs a MIT grad to help their players with physics.

08-03-2011, 10:58 AM
Teaching kids science through baseball isn't anything new, althoughthis is an interesting program. The Physics of Baseball is actually a very accessible book written by a Yale professor, Robert Adair. It came out in mass market paperback, and there are a lot of cheap used copies available.

This year, an Australian physicist has come out with a much more technical book, The Physics of Baseball and Softball, which is being used as a physics textbook at some colleges and universities in the US, and it's expensive. (The physics of cricket is entirely different because you have a flat bat and a ball with an entirely different seam pattern.) Cross had written books about the physics of tennis, which were read by tennis players. Professional tennis players were more inclined to read about the physics of their sport because they have to earn their pay in competition. Shoeless Joe Jackson was said to say you don't have to know how to read to hit a baseball, and many professionals in major American team sports seem to hold this philosophy.

MIT has a long connection with baseball, of course. MIT Press published Percentage Baseball by Earnshaw Cook in 1964, which is considered the foundation for modern sabermetrics. He had been an engineer who consulted on the Manhattan Project.