How Would Baseball Be Different On Mars?

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How Would Baseball Be Different On Mars?

If humans colonize Mars, what will baseball games look like? First, let's assume by that time we'll have devices that will let us breathe and shield us from radiation without limiting our movement, so teams would be free to play outdoors just like they do on Earth. Martian gravity is roughly 40% of Earth's gravity, so the ball could fly higher and further. Records for the longest home run on this planet are around 500 feet, so the best Earthling batters could potentially send the ball hurtling 1,500 feet or more on the Red Planet. Games wouldn't be any fun if every pitch got a home run, so the back fence would need to be extended, requiring more outfielders to cover the larger field. The fence would also need to be raised: the lower gravity means players could jump higher to catch balls. Pitchers would have it the worst. Because the Martian atmosphere is 100 times thinner than Earth's, there'd be hardly any air resistance to guide the path of a curveball, so many pitches would be hard to predict. The good news is that a planet with no precipitation means no rain delays. But don't celebrate yet: Martian storms can kick up enough dust to limit visibility for months. Just hope they happen in the offseason.

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Key Facts to Know

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    On Mars, the atmosphere is thinner so there would be less air resistance on the ball. This would make curveballs very difficult. 1:59

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    Martian gravity is about 40% of Earth's gravity. This might mean the infield would need to be bigger. 5:25

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    If you extended the back of the field to account for longer home runs, that would enlarge the outfield's area, requiring more outfielders. 6:01

What's Inside a Baseball?

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What's Inside a Baseball?

Before baseballs became regulated, they varied from game to game. "Lively" balls had a solid rubber core and were bouncier. "Dead" balls were heavier and didn't fly as far. Home teams chose which ball to use during the game, and would select a ball that played to their strengths—a lively one if they had strong batters, a dead one if they were better in the outfield. Today, a single baseball may take a week to make, but in a Major League game, its lifespan is typically just a few pitches.

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Key Facts to Know

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    The core of a baseball is called "the pill," and consists of a sphere of cork inside rubber casing. 0:09

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    Layers of yarn inside a baseball allow it to retain its shape after being hit. 1:06

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    It takes one week to make a professional baseball. 2:44