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Atmosphere, Weather, and Baseball: How Much Farther Do Baseballs Really Fly at Denver's Coors Field?

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This article tests the widely held assumption that batted baseballs travel 10 percent farther in Denver than in major-league ballparks at sea level. An analysis of (1) National League fly-ball-distance data for 1995–1998, (2) the micrometeorology of Coors Field, and (3) weather dynamics along the Colorado front range shows that the assumed elevation enhancement of fly-ball distance has been greatly overestimated due to prevailing weather conditions in downtown Denver. We conclude that the record number of home runs at Coors Field must be attributed as much to the personnel of the Colorado Rockies team and the effects of mile-high elevation on the act of pitching a baseball as to the effect of low air density on fly-ball distance.
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Keywords: baseball; geography of sports; meteorology; urban climatology; urban geography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Colorado at Denver

Publication date: 01 November 2003

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