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Cyia
02-08-2012, 02:01 AM
Assuming you've got a killer pitching arm (maybe not Nolan Ryan, but major league bait), and it's not a wild pitch, but one meant to strike a person, how far away could the pitcher be from the intended target and still do enough damage to addle someone?

Drachen Jager
02-08-2012, 02:43 AM
We're talking a game setting where he's wearing a helmet or what? Is the guy getting hit paying attention? If he is, you'd have to be fairly close or he'd dodge.

PorterStarrByrd
02-08-2012, 02:49 AM
If you're talking about in a game he'd have a hard time hitting him anywhere farther then the pitching mound unless he is not looking.

I've been hit with line drives as an umpire that were going fasted than a pitcher can throw without being seriously hurt. Hit in just the right spot I suppose it could kill me at 100 feet or so. I'd really have a hard time believing it likely that even a pitcher could throw that accurately at that distance.


The common person would be experiencing a lucky shot if he he hit him in a critical spot so you could just as easily say it was going fast enough to knock him down at a distance of a little more than 100 feet, but not much more. That would be the limit of believability.

Hallen
02-08-2012, 03:15 AM
Enough damage to addle? 300 ft. if it hits them in the right spot on the head. This is assuming the person doesn't see the ball coming. Hitting the temple could possibly kill even at that range.

A pitched ball may leave the pitchers hand at 95mph, but by the time it gets to the plate, it's not moving nearly that fast. A pitch that hits a player in the head can kill if the helmet has fallen off or they hit something just right. But to just addle somebody, it depends on how long. It hurts. It hurts a lot even if it hits the helmet. You'd be down in agony for minutes even if your bell wasn't rung.

More details of the situation would help.

PorterStarrByrd
02-08-2012, 03:28 AM
Enough damage to addle? 300 ft. if it hits them in the right spot on the head. This is assuming the person doesn't see the ball coming. Hitting the temple could possibly kill even at that range.

A pitched ball may leave the pitchers hand at 95mph, but by the time it gets to the plate, it's not moving nearly that fast. A pitch that hits a player in the head can kill if the helmet has fallen off or they hit something just right. But to just addle somebody, it depends on how long. It hurts. It hurts a lot even if it hits the helmet. You'd be down in agony for minutes even if your bell wasn't rung.

More details of the situation would help.


honetly don't think a fy ball, which leaves the bat faster than the pitcher threw it could knock a guy down. Top level outfielders on return throws to the infield, much less that 300 feet, don't come in with enough left on them to hurt anyone.

A mathematician might prove me wrong but until then I'd find it purely contrived and fictional to read something telling me it did so. but then this is fiction, isn't it?
Where are the mythbusters when we need them :)

Phyllo
02-08-2012, 03:44 AM
honetly don't think a fy ball, which leaves the bat faster than the pitcher threw it could knock a guy down. Top level outfielders on return throws to the infield, much less that 300 feet, don't come in with enough left on them to hurt anyone.

A mathematician might prove me wrong but until then I'd find it purely contrived and fictional to read something telling me it did so. but then this is fiction, isn't it?
Where are the mythbusters when we need them :)

Years ago, a friend of mine was umpiring at third base in a game of 12-year olds. He was watching the runner when the left-fielder heaved the ball in from a hundred feet or more away. The ball hit my friend on the head (no helmet, obviously).

Result? A concussion.

So as the earlier post said, pretty well anyone without a helmet can be injured from quite a distance by even an easy toss. That's not to say everyone will -- but it allows you freedom as a writer to do what you want (if that's what you're looking for).

PorterStarrByrd
02-08-2012, 03:58 AM
not to argue (too strenuosly :) ) but I did predict injury at about that distance. His question was how far, not if. I've got over 25 years of umpiring in pro and college ball ... I might accept 150 to 200 feet but would still not think it any more than a very lucky throw to hit him where it hurt him seriously. Stinger ... damned right !!!

If I needed to put someone down, it wouldn't be with a baseball (or a rock) at distance.


again .. it is fiction ...

CEtchison
02-08-2012, 04:25 AM
There are some programs that encourage long-tossing as part of a rehabilitation program. Most often, pitchers are restricted to about 120 feet. Studies have shown players can easily throw upwards of 300 feet when long-tossing, but you'd have to question accuracy and velocity at that distance.

There are several MLB catchers with rocket arms and dead on accuracy that can throw down players attempting to steal second. The distance from home plate to second base is 127 feet.

So my best guess, accounting for accuracy and enough velocity to ring someone's bell, would be somewhere between 125 and 150 feet.

Cyia
02-08-2012, 05:17 AM
Okay, more details:

Thrower: High school senior, practiced pitcher

Target: hit from behind/blindsided, no helmet, in pursuit of someone else.

Setting: baseball diamond, after dark, but well lit by overhead lights.

If the pitcher were to throw a ball with the intent to stop someone chasing another person, how far inside the space between infield and outfield would the target have to be?

PorterStarrByrd
02-08-2012, 05:25 AM
Hell ...

Target going away from him, unpredictable head position. (normal HS pitchers don't throw any harder than anyone else on the team, just have slightly better control) Catcher would would probably have a better shot.

I doubt he could do much damage any farther than 75 to 100 ft at best. Even then, he's not going do much more than distract him and piss him off. 50 feet and luck for anything meaningful.

CEtchison
02-08-2012, 08:27 AM
Catcher would would probably have a better shot.
This exactly. One of my favorite MLB players was moved to catcher as kid because he threw so much harder than the rest of his teammates and his coaches feared he'd kill someone if they allowed him to pitch.


With that scenario, I'd have the pitcher hit the moving target in the chest or back. Now if your pitcher also happened to be a quarterback, I would say he'd have a better chance at a headshot since they're accustomed to hitting moving targets.

If you're wanting an impressive number, something where the rest of the student body goes "Damn, did you see that?" I'd go with PortorStarrByrd's estimates. It is fiction after all. If you're wanting the pitcher to be close enough to do damage to this person, I'd make it 50 feet or so.

Cyia
02-08-2012, 08:45 AM
Hitting the guy in the back would work. He's really only trying to knock him off his feet.

The scenario is that "Victim" is out running the school track. (It's a live-in school, but a bit more complicated than that.) Victim sees "Chaser" looming nearby, realizes there's no one else close, and charges off toward the only place that's going to have people, which is the ball diamond because "Pitcher" likes to practice there when no one is around.

When Victim leaves the track, hoping that the guy isn't really anything but someone lurking around, Chaser follows.

Victim runs screaming for help. Pitcher turns to see what's going on, realizes that Victim's being chased by this guy as they cut through the ball field and tries to at least trip him so Victim can get away (and him, too, as he has no desire to stay out there with Chaser).

A solid hit to the back could make him stumble.

An alternative scenario would be for there to be a pitching machine for batting practice, which I would assume makes for a more accurate delivery system if turned the right way.

PorterStarrByrd
02-08-2012, 09:12 PM
Probably wouldn't make him stumble or anything but he might change is mind about who was chasing.

It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to aim a pitching machine so it throws mostly strikes ... :)

Hallen
02-09-2012, 12:12 AM
A baseball loses about 1mph for every 7 feet it flies. That's an estimate for a pitched ball heading towards home plate, but should basically apply to a ball thrown from the outfield. It's all about gravity and air friction. So, a thrown ball from the left field wall to home plate is still going to be going 50mph when it hits. 145 grams of baseball hitting you at 50mph in the temple is going to do damage. A concussion at the minimum.

A pitcher with good control throwing a ball to hit a guy running directly away from him is going to be about a 1 in 5 chance of a hit in my estimation. It's going to be hard to hit him. If he's running perpendicular to the pitcher, then the chances of hitting him goes way down. If the guy is within 50 feet, and the pitcher gets lucky enough to hit him in the head, then the guy is going to feel it. He'd probably hit the ground.

Silver King
02-09-2012, 07:14 AM
...A pitcher with good control throwing a ball to hit a guy running directly away from him is going to be about a 1 in 5 chance of a hit in my estimation. It's going to be hard to hit him. If he's running perpendicular to the pitcher, then the chances of hitting him goes way down...
I was thinking along those same lines while reading this thread. Even if the pitcher fired a handgun, let alone a baseball, it would be difficult to strike a moving target (unless the victim was quite close).

The nice thing about fiction, though, is that anything can happen and be made believable when in the hands of a good writer.

Cyia
02-09-2012, 10:50 PM
Just to clarify - it's a diagonal line the guy's running, so at one point, he'll be closer to the pitcher (likely around 2nd base).

And for those inquiring, no, this is not a "meet cute" between the pitcher and victim. O-o