Does wind affect pitch velocity


#1

Does strong wind affect pitch velocity. Say if the wind is behind you would that make you throw harder? Just wondering what people think.


#2

I guess it would make a difference according which way the wind is blowing. I can tell you one thing: it certainly will affect the knuckleball. I’ve seen the knuckleball thrown in various wind conditions, and if there’s no wind at all the knuckler won’t do much of anything, whereas if the wind is blowing out from home plate and the pitch meets resistance, it’ll go crazy.
The wind blowing in from the outfield will certainly make things a lot easier for the fielders; they just have to make sure not to play too deep. Tommy Henrich, when he was playing right field for the Yankees, made it a point to get out to the park early and hit fungoes to the outfield and watch to see how the wind was behaving and how it would affect the batted ball. If the wind would change direction he would note that too, and so he would position himself accordingly.
You might want to ask Pustulio, the Master of the Knuckleball on these boards, about this business of wind conditions and the knuckler—he is, after all, our resident expert on these matters. 8)


#3

I don’t think it’s possible for the wind to give extra velocity on a pitch thrown. A pitch is only in the air for a very short period of time.

If you’re throwing say 80 MPH, is even a 25 MPH wind really going to push it faster? My guess is no.

Stu


#4

Well a 9-10 year old throwing 30-40 mph might get help but not much.

A knuckleball is most certainly helped by the wind, or hurt by the lack thereof. The ideal conditions are a violent wind going towards centerfield, blowing in the pitcher’s face, that makes the knuck just wobble and go all over the place, it’s a beautiful sight. Usually unless you really float one like 40 mph the ball will move in the opposite direction of the wind, so if it’s blowing to the pitcher’s right it will move more to the left. If there is no wind then you gotta chuck that thing pretty hard to get any wind resistence to make the wake behind the ball large enough to wag that ball around. If the wind is coming in from the outfield you may have a rough day with a knuck, unless you can get the surging action on it you have to rely on vertical movement.

That is why we in the knuckleball community say that drop and surging motions are more important than dance. Even though I’ve been told my knuck isn’t normally fluttering it’s forming like camel humps going up and down, that’s what umpires tell me anyways.

Wind can effect movement, not just on knuckleballs either, changeups can pick up some tail from wind resistence and a loopy curve can be effected too.