For decades, baseball pitchers have been manipulating a baseball in its flight toward home plate in order to decrease the chances of the batter making contact with the ball. As a means of investigating the human body’s ability to overcome concepts of physics such as the magnus force and drag force, two separate pitches, the fastball and the curveball, were performed by a Cornell athlete and videotaped. To allow for a more complete analysis, each pitch type was recorded from four different camera angles. The pitcher’s throw towards home plate was broken down into six separate phases. Each phase of the pitcher’s throw was anatomically scrutinized against what research finds to be most efficient or most effective. Muscle groups used in each phase, in addition to their nervous innervations, are discussed as well as how they contribute to the throwing motion. Other elements such as mechanical levers of the body and common injuries and rehabilitation strategies, bone spurs, rotator cuff injuries, and Tommy John surgery for instance, are also discussed.
Jordan McPheron, ’10 New London, IA
Major: Kinesiology – Exercise Science Concentration
Sponsor: Jennifer Fagenbaum