Three S&T faculty helped strike down claims that “juiced” baseballs were the cause of a spike in Major League home run hits in 1987. Dr. Lee Bain and Dr. V.A. Samaranayake in mathematics and statistics, along with Dr. Terry Lenhoff in mechanical engineering, were hired as independent testers. Bain and Lenhoff brought to the project more than a dozen years of testing baseballs for the National and American Leagues and several manufacturers to ensure rigid specifications were met. The team’s testing methods included “pitching” baseballs with a cannon as well as taking measurements and conducting statistical analysis.
Their findings? There was no foul play. The baseballs all met major-league standards. When juicing speculation resurfaced in 1994, the S&T research was cited in USA Today, causing one writer to call the rumors “ball-oney.”
Now that’s a win for the home team!
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