For years I've yelled at players who have slid into 1st base in an effort to beat the throw. I'd been taught and it seemed to make sense that running through the base was the best way to beat a throw. BP recently did a chat with Dr. Alan Nathan a Physics Professor working in the Nuclear Physics Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Nathan is not just any Physicist but is the chairman of the Science and Baseball committee of SABR. In the conversation one of his nuggets of information was to comment that he felt sliding into 1st base is the best option in a close play because "The essential physics is that by sliding with outstretched arms, the batter reaches the bag before his center of gravity reaches it, whereas those two times more or less coincide when running through the bag."
I'm not sure I'm convinced but I won't be so quick to vocalize my displeasure the next time Jeff Kent slides into 1st base.
If you have access to BP here is the Link to the complete interview.