# The Baseball Conundrum

July 30th, 2014 by Math Tricks | Filed under Brain Teasers.

Here is a brain teaser that has taken several forms in the past, but I remember it as a baseball-themed enigma. Think about it carefully. You may think that your answer is a logical deduction, but it may very well be wrong. Also, if you do come across a store that charges such high prices, you may want to consider shopping elsewhere! So, anyway, the problem is:

**If a baseball and baseball bat cost $110, and the baseball bat costs $100 more than the baseball, how much does the baseball cost?**

The answer and explanation are below, but if you want a hint as to how to solve this puzzle, try to use a little bit of algebra in your reasoning – and try to solve it by using pen and paper!

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**Answer and Explanation**

The cost of the baseball is $5.00.

How did I solve this problem? I wrote it out so that I can visually see what is going on (I can’t see it in my mind very well because it is clouded with such unsavory thoughts!):

ball + bat = 110

bat = 100 + ball

by substitution:

ball + 100 + ball = 110

Rearranging:

ball + ball + 100 = 110

2 balls + 100 = 110

2 balls = 110 – 100

2 balls = 10

And so:

1 ball = $5

So the real question here is, what is so special about the bat that would justify a price of $105?!!

Tags: baseball, brain teaser, puzzle

Where did the second ball come from?

My question is why does this question wind up here when the answer is so simple. This site has some questions that just melt my brain

David, that is just some applied algebra that was used to derive the answer. There are not two balls in the example, but the algebra a substitution method that equated: bat = 100 + ball.

If you go line by line carefully, you will see how this method helps you solve the question.

Hi Will,

This is a classic problem that many are confused by; it is a great example on how algebra can be employed to solve it.

Tricky!!