Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Scot Gould

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© 2021 Natalie R Z Dale


In June 2021, Major League Baseball cracked down on the use of foreign substances by pitchers on the ball (Castrovince, 2021a). It is believed the sticky substances give the pitchers an unfair advantage over batters since they increase spin rate, consequently, through the Magnus Effect, creating more movement or “break” in the pitch, making it harder to hit. There are existing gaps in empirical research on this topic, thus the goal of this project was to determine the effect the banned substances have on the spin rate and related break of the pitches. By using pitch tracking technology, two types of pitches were tested with three substances in addition to the null. Comparing the pitch types with the spin rate of each added substance, this project focused on the relationship between the consequential increased spin rate due to “sticky stuff” and the associated break. The data collected showed that while sticky substances did increase the spin rate, it did not necessarily increase the break of the pitch. Further research could be conducted on spin efficiency to explain inconsistencies.

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