Sunday, December 18, 2005

Great Hitters See Baseball as Bigger

Brian
New scientific evidence suggests that the better you are at hitting, the larger you perceive the ball to be:
After hitting a 565-foot home run, Mickey Mantle once said, "I just saw the ball as big as a grapefruit." During a slump, Joe "Ducky" Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals said he was "swinging at aspirins."

. . . .

After games at several softball fields in Charlottesville, Va., the researchers asked 47 players to pick from eight different-sized circles the one that best represented the size of the ball they had been trying to hit.

"Only people who hit .500 or above pointed at the big circle," said Jessica Witt, a cognitive psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia.
Link. I wonder whether it also helps to perceive your bat as a tennis racquet, the outfield wall as ten feet away, and your biceps as on steroids. I also wonder whether the same principle applies to football, because I bet it would help players to perceive themselves as Walter Payton in Tecmo Bowl on the old NES.


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Image credits: (1) Bumble Bee Man from The Simpsons, courtesy Last Exit to Springfield, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes; (2) Tecmo Bowl, courtesy Sport Planet, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

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