Dr. Lawrence Rocks, an LIU Chemistry professor who authored “The Energy Crisis” in 1972 and worked with Congress to create the Department of Energy, teamed up with St. Louis Cardinals’ shortstop Paul DeJong to do a laboratory experiment.
They were looking to prove the theory that baseballs fly further the warmer they are. What had until now been an unproven old wives’ tale was given serious treatment by the world-renowned scientist and MLB star with a degree in biochemistry.
“As you decrease temperature, you get less bounce, like an automobile tire on a very cold day – it’s a little more brittle. As you increase temperature, the elastomers get a little mushy; you get less bounce,” Rocks told CBS News.
The findings of the experiment show that the baseball’s bounce does indeed increase with temperature – but only up to a point. Around 80 degrees, it starts to decline – resulting in a bell curve for a graph showing temperature on the X axis and bounce height on the Y axis, according to CBS News.