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Physicist Analyzes A’s Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes’ Spectacular Throw To Home Plate

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Allen-Martin_BIO-HEAD Allen Martin
Allen Martin anchors the KPIX 5 newscasts each weeknight at 5 and 6 pm...
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OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Every now and then, the sports world gives us something that is truly hard to believe. A throw made by Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes during Tuesday night’s game has many people shaking their heads.

In the eighth inning, Cespedes made a spectacular throw from the left field line to home plate, cutting down Howie Kendrick of the Angels as he attempted to score.

As soon as it reached home plate, experts were crunching the numbers.

Alan M. Nathan, emeritus physics professor at the University of Illinois, researches the physics of baseball. Nathan started by using the game video to estimate how far the ball traveled, and how fast.

“So that would make the ball travel about 318 feet, in the air. Probably at somewhere certainly in excess of 95 miles an hour,” Nathan told KPIX 5.

More important that speed and distance, was accuracy, according to Nathan.

“He had one degree, less than one degree margin of error in any direction. Given that he had to rush that throw, that he threw it very hard, that is an amazing accuracy,” he said.

For another expert opinion, KPIX 5 visited the San Rafael Pacifics baseball team. Outfielders Charlie Stewart and Maikel Jova attempted to recreate Cespedes’ throw, albeit a little closer and with a running start. “It’s pretty impressive to say the least” Stewart said.

“It really was a strike. It truly is, truly is amazing,” Nathan said.

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