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The unexpected role weather plays in America's favorite pastime

There's the sun in the outfielders' eyes and the occasional rain delay, but there's also air density and the impact it has on the ball

MACON, Ga. — Baseball has long been billed as America’s favorite past-time. Whether it's the Macon Bacon or the Atlanta Braves, weather affects every single baseball game. 

It’s not just in the ways you might normally think of, like the sun getting in the outfielder’s eyes, a scattered storm moving over the area, fog causing some issues, or even hot temperatures making it unbearable on the diamond.

There is one more factor that combines moisture in the atmosphere and the temperature -- air density. Air density will affect how far the ball will travel. 

When it’s warm and humid, the ball will go further than if it was hit with the same force in a cooler and drier environment.

Let’s look at an example... if the ball is hit in Macon, with higher humidity and a low elevation, then the ball is going to travel further than if it was hit with the same exact force in Denver with lower humidity an a higher elevation.

When it's cooler and drier, the ball will not go as far.

Now why is this all relevant? Well, my alma mater the Mississippi State Bulldogs are playing in the College World Series Wednesday night and the weather is going to be a lot like how it is in the southeast. 

Temperatures in the mid 80s, cooling off into the 70s with dew points roughly in the 60s. So, in Omaha, Nebraska, the ball won’t travel as far as it does in the southeast, but hopefully it will travel just far enough to bring Mississippi State its first national title.


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