Less than half a second — that's how long it takes for a fastball to travel from the pitcher's mound to the waiting batter. It's so quick, in fact, that one Yale physicist said it was "clearly impossible" for a baseball player to hit a barreling three-inch ball with a small stick. You can see why Ted Williams, the legendary slugger, called it the "hardest single feat in sports." But that's just what happens on baseball diamonds all over the world every single day. Even children can crack a line drive off a deftly thrown pitch.
How? Hidden superpowers, senses that every human has beyond the basic five. Those powers come into focus every time the batter lines up at home plate with the bat slung over his shoulder. He knows the exact position of his hands and legs, even though he can't see them. When the pitch leaves the pitcher's fingers, his practice-trained brain tells his tensed arms when and where to strike. At the same time, fluid in his ears rushes around to ensure that he keeps perfect balance as he spins his whole body into the swing.
Then, crack! The ball explodes off the bat and soars into the air.