Hitting a Baseball Hardest Thing in Sports?

I have been playing baseball since I was young and unlike most people I didn’t quit after Little League. As I’ve gotten older I have tried to convince countless people that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in the world. My argument is simple, there is less than a second to decide not only whether or not its over a small home plate, but also the speed, which can be anywhere from 70-100 mph. Lastly, you have to figure out from seam rotation and release point how the ball will move and at what speed followed by swinging a round bat at a round ball. But somehow people still disagree, the point of this is to eliminate any argument. 

Look at any sport in the world , you need a specific body type, even some of the more uncommon ones. In sports such as rugby and football is a sport based on size, if you are big you can be a lineman in the NFL, of course it requires some athletic ability too, as do all of the following examples. In the NBA over 76% of NBA players are above 6 feet tall, the average height for a man is 5’10”. Also,

Let’s take a look at the epicenter of height-discrimination: The NBA

  • 42% of American males are 5’9 or shorter. And yet, 0.45% of NBA players fall into this category.
  • 80% of American males are under 6 feet tall. And yet, only 3.5% of NBA players can say the time.
  • 99.9% of American males are 6’4 or shorter. And yet, the average height in the NBA is still 6’7.

Based on these stats, the vast majority of sports require a certain body type. In Horse Racing, the riders have to be small so they do not weigh down the horse. However, in baseball anyone can play, from 5’6″ All-Star 2B Jose Altuve to 6’10” Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer, Randy Johnson. Players of any height can partake and it requires a certain skill to hit the ball and is not based on anything but skill.

However there is a very good argument for boxing as well according to ESPN.com. Boxing is being called “pound for pound the hardest sport.” The ESPN panel of experts clearly disagree with me and based off of their chart baseball is actually the 9th hardest sport. However according to http://www.axonpotential.com hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports.

Hitting a baseball is the most difficult thing to do in sports according to some, and not others, having played baseball I am still going to say hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do, despite what ESPN says, because as everyone has learned in the past with quotes like “If [Jimmy Clausen] is not a successful starting quarterback in the NFL, I’m done. That’s it. I’m out. No, Jimmy Clausen isn’t successful and no, Mel Kiper Jr. did not quit. So as you can see ESPN is not always right, despite what some statistics say, hitting the baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports… or is it?




5 thoughts on “Hitting a Baseball Hardest Thing in Sports?

  1. Kaitlin A Kemmerer

    I’m going to have to agree with Ryan on this post. I have decent natural athletic ability, but when my dad tried to teach me how to golf I was a mess. I spent my life playing tennis and baseball with friends, so my hand-eye coordination is good. All the skill and technique it takes into hitting a golf ball the proper way takes a lot of skill and ability. Golf is often overlooked as a difficult sport because of its relaxed nature, however it is definitely one of the most difficult I have ever tried. Here’s an article I read on Golfsmith awhile back about the proper way to hit a golf ball.

  2. William Spencer Hershon

    I’m going to have to disagree with both you and Ryan. I give all sports the respect they deserve but in no discussion will I ever cede the fact that hitting a baseball is the toughest thing in sports. For that matter neither is hitting a golf ball. Hockey is the toughest sport. It is just a fact. Hockey is one of few sports that takes place off of actual earth. Being able to balance on a blade that is just 1/8 of an inch thick on a surface that is intentionally slippery with little friction is extremely difficult. But put aside the actual movements of the game and you still have to have the hand eye coordination to react to shots (which can reach a speed of 108mph) and passes which have an average speed of 50-60mph. Add that to the fact that 5 other guys are attempting to hit you and you now have the toughest sport in the world.

  3. Richard Michael Francis

    Im going to say I disagree. How come hockey wasn’t included on your list of difficult sports? As tough as standing still with traction shoes and trying to make contact with a ball coming at you may be, did you ever consider the difficulty of flying across ice on 1/8 in blades at 20 mph per hour while using your coordination to the best of your ability to move a 3 in puck with a 6 foot stick into a net with only a 35% opening (that can be covered up instantly since goaltenders can in fact move) while having five other players coming at you at an average speed of 20 miles per hour with 6 foot sticks trying to take your head off? You may still think hitting a baseball is harder but heres where these numbers came from as well as a list ranking baseball 9th on the “Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rankings List”.


  4. Gregory Joseph Macqueen

    Very interesting article, Alex. Like you, I have played baseball all my life ever since I could walk, and I agree that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. There are facts to prove it and an article published by USA today ranked it as the #1 hardest thing to do in sports.

    As you get older and the competition improves, you quickly learn how difficult it is to make contact with a ball traveling towards you at 90+ mph from 60feet away. A study performed on fantasybaseballdugout.com reported that when an MLB pitcher is throwing 90mph a batter has approximately .424 of a second to react before the ball passes by them. As if hitting a 90mph fastball isn’t hard enough there are other guys out there such as reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman who has reached speeds of nearly 106mph. In Fantasybaseballdugout’s study they calculated that in this case a better would have a miniscule .362 of a second to react to that pitch. Not to mention that you actually have to come in contact with the ball for it to count.

    I have played many sports throughout my lifetime including basketball, golf, soccer, football etc., and although they are all difficult in their own right, nothing else compares to attempting to hit a small leather ball traveling towards you at 90+ mph.


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