How Do Outfielders Catch Baseballs?

This popped up in my Google Reader this morning. It’s just an abstract, but the short answer is that no one really knows. Yup, no one actually knows how human beings are able to predict the landing spot of baseballs in the outfield while running around trying to get under them. It’s pretty clear that we can do it — Daniel Murphy aside — but no one’s 100% sure how, and our brains are complicated.

If you’re really curious about how scientists think we can catch fly balls, this (science heavy) article has what I think is the most widely accepted answer, but it’s science heavy even for me.

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2 responses to “How Do Outfielders Catch Baseballs?

  1. Fascinating stuff. I remember little league and how some days in practice I was a pure vacuum out in the outfield, and then some days I was misjudging everything in sight. I don’t know how these guys do it and make it look so easy – and I guess no one really does for that matter.

    • Patrick Flood

      I have similar memories from little league. I spent a lot of time in the outfield — mostly because I wasn’t particularly good — but by the time I was 12 or 13, I had become quite proficient at catching fly balls. But I would still have those days where I couldn’t catch anything in the air.

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