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Discussion: What may have \"ruined slow pitch\"?

Posted Discussion
Dec. 5, 2005
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
What may have "ruined slow pitch"?
Bats, Balls, & Temperate have all combined to caused safety concern in slow pitch softball.
If, the 26, 27, & 28 oz. bats were made illegal & players had to swing 29 to 32 oz. bats there would be less Home Runs & less bad bounces. When, did bats start to be produced that weighed less than 34 oz? ( Lighter bats can be swung faster & will create a higher B. B. S. A heavyer bat will have a slower bat speed. This will produce a lower Batted Ball Speed.) I have watched many young men hit H.R.'s in cold weather; their bats were 26 to 27 oz. Several of these young men weighed under 170 lbs. In the summer, these same younger player just did not hit many H.R.'s.
Balls r also, another factor. A softballs comp. is rated & tested @ 70 degrees. @ 100 degrees, a ball loses 180 lbs. of compression. @ 50 degrees, a ball gains 120 lbs. of compression. This is why a ball with a comp. of 500-525 is used in the summer & a 375-400 comp. ball is used in the winter time.
Bad bounces r caused in most cases by poorly or inproper maintained infields. This past month, I saw several bad bounces on one field.This same field has for over the last couple of yrs. gotten many players hurt. (Both young & old ball players.)This field is one reason why, one of the teams that I play on do not play @ this park or in league. This park is an ASA League.
LAST POINT: There have been several test that have been done by independent test' labs that have shown that most balls r 'hot'. Because a ball is 'hot', a legal bat will surpast the 1.2 B.B.S.
So, what do SENIORS real want?Safety? Hot balls? Great bats? or less scoring & a slow game?
Dec. 6, 2005
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
I think it was in the neighborhood of 1992-1994 the bats started to get lighter. I swung a Easton 38oz back then. Now 26-7oz.
Your correct on the effects temp has on balls. Effects some bats durability as well. Especially the older DeMarini's.
Dec. 6, 2005
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
don't know what you guys are thinking cause i've always used a light bat,starting in the 70's.heaviest bat i used was a 28 oz big orange by louisville.86 when the power cells came out i started using them at 26 oz.never did like a heavy bat.
Dec. 6, 2005
Mitch
Men's 50
68 posts
There are a huge number of factors that affect how far a batted ball will fly. All the way from the temperature at home plate up to and including how strong the batter is, how many times a week they workout, bat speed, bat temperature, ball speed, ball flight, pitched ball angle, temperature of the ball, the spin of the ball, the launch angle of the ball after being hit, the mass (weight) of the bat, the weight of the ball, etc. etc. etc. It would be very difficult to narrow down to any specific thing.
STONEMAN, you mentioned that a 29 to 32 oz bat would produce less home runs. I'm not sure that would be true. I read a study that was done with Roger Maris and the weight bat he used. I can't remember the exact weights of the bats they used for their tests but their tests showed that when Maris swung a heavier bat, he hit home runs 20 to 30 feet further than he did usung his lighter bat. The reason Maris stayed with the lighter bat is because he said he had better control with the lighter bat. Afterall, a home run is a home run rather it's a foot over the fence or 100 feet over the fence, it still counts the same. I use to swing a 38 oz. Bombat Meathead in my early years. now it's a 26 oz Synergy 2.
Besides, have you tried to find a bat that wieghts over 30 oz? I don't even know if they make them any more. If you swing a heavier bat at or close to your normal bat speed, you will hit the ball farther because the heavier bat has more mass behind it, therefore more energy. E=MV(2) or Energy equals Mass times Velocity squared. Again, if you can swing a heavier bat at or close to your normal bat speed, you will hit it farther.
Dec. 6, 2005
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Anderson still makes them to 32oz
Dec. 6, 2005
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
Stoneman, I do not think slowpitch is ruined. I agree with you a bunch that there is a lot of upside for a better game.
Bats and balls have made a big difference in how far a ball goes. One of the biggest factors is the batters attitude, he knows he is able to put the ball out of the park on a good swing. Therefore, batters take a better swing if they have an attitude than someone without an attitude.
As far as weight I use a 26 or 28 oz normally. If I have a chance to use a Ultra II my choice is 30 oz as the ball will go farther than if I swing a 28 oz. If you are hitting into a breeze the 30oz will still put the ball out of the park.
Dec. 6, 2005
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
MITCH: There r many factors that effects a balls flight: tight stich', weight & size of a ball, also, the kind of cover' that a ball has, cor & comp, temp', etc. Maris, McQuire, & Barry Bonds, were tested dur' diff' era's. It was found that a 41 oz bat hit a ball farther & a 31 oz bat help produce a faster bat speed. (Also, more H.R.'s were hit w/ the 'lighter ' 31 oz bat.) A bat that weighed 20 oz or so, produced the most bat speed, but, the M.O.I., was low, which produced less flight.
If, I recall correctly, the following players, B. Bonds swings a 35 oz bat & Mcquire swung a 33 oz bat. Baseball pros & softball am.'s r 2 worlds apart.
One point that I made, was that if, bats weighted 29 oz or more, there would more than likely be less H. R.'s , hit by the smaller players. (I am tried of listen' to umps complain about lite bats & hot balls.) I do not c many H. R.'s being hit w/ bats that weigh 29 oz or more. I play & practice w/ many younger men & most of these men r using 27 oz bats. I watched the Police World's H. R. Contest in Palm Springs earlier this fall & the top 5 men, used 27 oz bats.
CRUSHER: "RUINED"... Yrs ago, there were no H. R. limits; when a player hit a H. R., it was not a single or an out. The diff' organ' & most local leagues do not want to c H. R.'s or games that last over 1 hour. . This is why, there r very few C or B leagues. In Vegas, most leagues r D or D+. 1 to 2 H. R. 's & then the over the limit H. R. ends the inning.
My problem..... yes, I hit 40 H. R.'s last yr that were made into outs. This yr., I have 29 H. R.'s that were made into outs. (The teams that I played on were out of H.R.'s.)
If, players were 'made' to swing heavier bats, would there be more or less H.R.'s? Crusher-- if, u swing 30 oz bats, Miken, Easton, or Worth, would yer H.R. production go up or down?
QUESTION? Why, do most umps, league directors, & national groups limit H.R.'s in Major Plus? Why, in some assoc.' if, one goes over therir H.R. limit, not only is it an out, but, the other team gets, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 runs? I played in an event that my team went 5 H.R.'s over the limit & the other team was given 15 runs...... O, well, have fun!!!!!!!
Dec. 7, 2005
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
Stoneman, hello.
You ask if "if, u swing 30 oz bats, Miken, Easton, or Worth, would yer H.R. production go up or down?"....The answer is My HR's would go down!
I do not and have never played major plus, and my feelings on this is open up HR's to those guys or allow 5 to 7 an inning or delete the class and let those rated guys play where they want to.
Hey S-Man have a good day.
C
Dec. 13, 2005
T-REX
64 posts
Indeed the game is ruined,on all levels and ages.Remember when small towns had teams,everybody showed up to watch the games,it used to be as much social as it was competition.Home runs are a apart of the game,the bigger the hammer (bat weight) the bigger then nail (ball)you can drive,Hank Aaron swung a 40 or more ounce bat,it has nothing to do with bat speed,its not how fast you swing but when you swing,timing is everything.Todays bats are a joke because guys are hitting home runs that honestly unless the wind is blowing out a gale they should never even attempt to hit them,it often hurts there teams,though they'd never admit it.The bat problem is very simple,there's a huge amount of money being made,and lets be honest,many associations aren't above board,money is exchanging hands so bats won't be outlawed.Teams have always had bat sponsors,I remember playing against some of the great teams years ago,Richies,Steeles,the bats I got from them were not the bats they were swinging,its all about money.The welfare of the game is suffering not only here in Maryland but around the country.The only thing we can do is keep playing and hope that someday,the problem will correct itself,but its hard to do when nobody is listening...........
Dec. 13, 2005
bullet
Men's 55
137 posts
I believe we can blame it all on the bats.Come on why do 50 year old guys need to hit a ball 300 feet.I would love to see only single wall bats return.Maybe then we would see,who can really hit a ball.
Dec. 13, 2005
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
Bullet --
I can give you why 50+ yr old men needs to hit HR's.
It is fun, a blast, a rush. It is some of the reasons some guys still play softball. If HR's are cut out you may drop 15% of the teams that play tournaments. This could make some poor tournaments.
Softball is fun.
Dec. 13, 2005
xdog
5 posts
Softball has always been fun, even when only the biggest and best among us were hittin em out. Todays bats have dramatically taken the game away from the glove. Whether you think that is good or bad it is a fact. Yessiree, more homerun hitters and who needs a SS with range?
Dec. 13, 2005
xdog
5 posts
Softball has always been fun, even when only the biggest and best among us were hittin em out. Todays bats have dramatically taken the game away from the glove. Whether you think that is good or bad it is a fact. Yessiree, more homerun hitters and who needs a SS with range?
Dec. 16, 2005
T-REX
64 posts
I am 6ft67in and an in shape 272lbs....single wall bats and home runs weren't a problem when I was younger nor are they now,me miss hitting a middle shot with an ultra....now theres a problem!!!!
Dec. 16, 2005
Wes
Men's 65
312 posts
I'm for everyone using a WOOD bat
Wes
Dec. 18, 2005
Proudtex40
57 posts
T-REX: 272 lbs? Hey I thought you were down to 265 lbs? Guess that Ocean City sea food is getting to you. : - ) Merry Christmas ole buddy.
Steve Shannon
Dec. 18, 2005
Proudtex40
57 posts
T-REX: 272 lbs? Hey I thought you were down to 265 lbs? Guess that Ocean City sea food is getting to you. : - ) Merry Christmas ole buddy.
Steve Shannon
Dec. 19, 2005
T-REX
64 posts
hey steve...that extra 7 lbs is winter weight!!! How ya doing my friend I p[lanned on calling you before the holidays and will glad to see your still alive and kicking,oh and hows that bike? talk to you soon,ya ready to play ball or what?
Dec. 26, 2005
biggeorge
Men's 60
25 posts
I know this may come as surprise but hot wet air is the least dense and therefore softballs travel much better at ALL times, no exceptions. It's physics. Cold dry air is the most dense. Thats why pl;ayers used to put the Bombats in dry ice to condense the molecules.
Dec. 27, 2005
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Right you are, BigGeorge, about air densities and ball travel as most of learned up here in the Pacific Northwest but may not remember from our 8th science class from Ms. Brooks. In simple terms, density is the mass of anything - including air - divided by the volume it occupies. The air's density depends on its temperature, its pressure and how much water vapor is in the air. The molecules of nitrogen, oxygen and other gases that make up air are moving around at incredible speeds, colliding with each other and all other objects. The higher the temperature, the faster the molecules are moving. As the air is heated, the molecules speed up, which means they push harder against their surroundings.

Also taking from my Meteorology 101 class @ the University of Washington circa 1965; variables such as: altitude, humidity, temperature and wind, can all affect the distance a ball travels during a game. When the great slo-pitch home run hitter Mike Macenko was asked, ýwhat was the most important factor of all the things that could be taken into consideration in hitting a home run like: grip, swing plane, bat speed, bat material, physical size etc.ţ; he did not hesitate in saying ýCONDITIONSţ my friend, ýCONDITIONSţ!!

However, there are many other important factors to consider when hitting a softball for great distance than just the airÝs density on a given day such as:
1. Altitude playing at:
A high altitude area like Coors field in Colorado is known as a hitter's park because of fewer air molecules per air parcel unit volume measure. This is because the high altitude (usually over 5,000 feet above sea level) means thinner air so curve balls curve less because they depend on friction of the atmosphere to change direction. Well-hit balls carry further because there is less air resistance as noted above.
2. Wind direction:
A nice tail wind is also a good thing for ball carry and vice-versa. Remember, the higher you can launch a ball with wind assistance the more prodigious the home run shot will be!
3. Ambient Temp:
A 375lbs compression ball @ 92 degrees can lose as much as 100-150 lbs of compression and vice-versa @ 52 degrees may go up to nearly 500 lbs equivalency. I noticed this in St. George in the cool mornings ball leaving the yard and then in the hot afternoons the ball dying @ the warning tracks.
4. Bats that are hollow:
Our aluminum bats and especially some of the composite bats will actually compress when striking a high compression ball (or one that is lower compression but is cold) thereby producing a ýtrampolineţ effect sending more energy back to the ball to make it carry even further!
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