Backyard Baseball Junk Ball History

Baseball History

Junk Ball Baseball History

Junk Ball combines physics and aerodynamics. Junk Ball plastic baseballs are designed to make it easy for anyone to throw major league pitches like curves, sliders, screwballs, even knuckleballs.


That's because Junk Ball baseballs apply scientific principles from both physics and aerodynamics to produce pitches you can throw that truly baffle a batter.


Baseball History

The first pitcher to throw a curve ball was Candy Cummings way back in the 1860's. Cummings discovered that by gripping the ball a certain way and twisting his wrist he could use the seams of the spinning baseball to move the ball in different directions towards the batter.


For almost 100 years fans of real baseball believed that curveballs, screwballs, sliders, etc. were optical illusions. It wasn't until the early 1950's that scientists were able to use strobe photography and wind tunnel tests to prove that baseballs really did curve. Of course, you didn't have to prove this to pitchers or batters!

What is a Junk Ball Pitch?

A junk ball pitch is a trick pitch and is usually thrown by pitchers who do not have an overpowering fastball or breaking curve ball. These pitchers throw a wide variety of pitches and mix up their pitches with an occasional fastball to keep hitters off balance.


From the time baseball was invented pitchers looked for advantages over hitters. Along with inventing new pitches, pitchers soon discovered that baseballs with scuffs, cuts, or nicks to their covers spun differently when throw towards home plate.


Some pitchers and even their catchers "cheated" by illegally scuffing or cutting one side of a baseball. Pitchers sharpened their belt buckles and catchers the buckles on their shin protectors. They would use the sharpened buckles to cut or nick the baseball. These players discovered that by cutting or scuffing one side of the ball they could disrupt the airflow around the ball. Air resistance is increased on the cut or scuffed side of the ball and this causes the ball to move in the opposite direction.


How Junk Ball Works --- The Bernoulli Principle

How does Junk Ball work? We're not really sure! But maybe this explanation will help you understand.


Real baseball pitchers make use of the stitches or seams of a baseball and a wide variety of throwing grips to put spin on the ball.


If a baseball were smooth it would always travel in a straight line towards the batter. Only the forces of gravity would have an effect and cause the ball to drop towards the ground as it approached home plate.


Baseballs have seams and these seams, plus a pitcher's throwing motion causes the ball to spin against the wind as it travels through the air.


There is a difference in the resistance of air around the ball and the ball moves in the direction of least resistance toward the direction it is spinning. Speed has an effect on the ball's movement. The slower the ball is thrown the more spin can be put on the ball and more spin equals more curve.

Hint: When you throw a Junk Ball, vary your speed. A slower pitch may make the ball curve even better.


Junk Ball Scuffmarks

Junk Ball's unique scuffmark design acts like the seams on a real baseball . . . only better! Just like pitcher's who cut baseballs, the scuffmarks do all the work. The air ring controls the flow of air through the ball. Open holes allow more air to pass through the ball and that slows the ball down. The scuffmarks create resistance through the air and that makes the ball spin. The combination of these two forces causes Junk Ball to curve, slide, or knuckle depending on how the ball is thrown.

Baseball History

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