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Fastest Pitch Ever Recorded

  1. Sep 26, 2010 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2010 #2


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    Too bad it wasn't a strike.
  4. Sep 26, 2010 #3
    This guys gonna top that number in the next couple of years. The fact that he is only a rookie is astounding!
  5. Sep 27, 2010 #4
    What I find rather incredible (meaning I don't believe it) is the 120 mph velocity credited to men's underhanded fast-pitch softball by the Guiness Book of World Records for many years. Phooey! According to my sources, it's Eddie Feigner, at 104 mph.

    I used to pitch in Little League, and years later (after radar guns were invented) my best pitch was a measly 63 mph.

    I was a good hitter, though. Just no power. Even today I can go to the batting cage and connect with more than half the 95 mph balls. It hurts like heck, though, and amounts to little more than bunting, so I stick with the 60 mph setting. :)
  6. Sep 27, 2010 #5
    My BS-meter hits a 10 on this one. Underhand pitches go slower than overhand. The MLB is a collection of the greatest ball players on the planet. And im supposed to believe that some guy was able to go 15 mph faster than the fastest pitch of ALL TIME while he was throwing UNDERHAND! No way
  7. Sep 27, 2010 #6
    105 is the fastest ever? I thought it would have been a little higher. Players have thrown over 100 mph for a long time. Why has the speed in pitches progressed so little?
  8. Sep 28, 2010 #7


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    There's two ways to measure faster pitch speeds: wait for the world to develop faster pitchers or move the measurement point.

    The radars in most stadiums have reached some semblance of a standard where most measure pitch speed 50 feet from home plate. In the past, most people didn't see much point in measuring the speed of each pitch and flashing the speed on the scoreboard. Measuring a pitcher's speed with a radar was a special gimmick usually done to measure the speed of a pitcher everyone already knew was fast. In other words, the speed of past pitchers wasn't measured as often as the speed of today's pitchers are. There was little standardization to the measurements in any event.

    Nolan Ryan's famous 100.9 mph pitch was measured 10 feet from home plate (not the 50 feet from home plate that has become somewhat of a standard).

    Bob Feller was measured at 98.6 mph at home plate by a device normally used to test the speed of field artillery.

    The speed of a baseball slows by almost 2 mph every 10 feet (depends on the rotation of the ball, how high the ball was released above the ground, etc, so you can only estimate how pitches measured at different points compare).

    So, the speed of major league pitchers has probably progressed even less than you might think. Or maybe quite a bit. It was rare for pitchers' speed to be measured in the early days of baseball, but occasionally a few were measured at various ballistics testing facilities (Remington's lab for testing bullets, West Point's ballistic lab, etc). They used various systems that were different than the system used in today's ballparks and different from the Doppler radar guns used in the 70's to near present day. Walter Johnson, considered one of the hardest throwers ever topped out at 83.1 mph measured 75 feet away from where he threw the ball (about 15 feet behind home plate, had there been a home plate, which would be somewhere around 95 mph using today's 50 foot standard). Topping 90 was always very rare, but the tests were always in an environment far different (no pitching mound, etc) and the pitcher actually had to get the ball in the measuring device in order for the speed to be measured. There's really no way to compare the early day measurements to modern day measurements.

    Today, I think every major league park uses MLB's Enhanced Gameday measuring system. Speeds are measured by video instead of by Doppler, so the speed displayed could be maximum speed (the 50 feet away from home plate standard), speed of the ball across home plate (which would be minimum speed) or the average speed. Just about all stadiums display maximum speed, which is obviously the more impressive number.

    For Doppler measurements, the radar gun is aimed at a spot between home plate and the pitcher's mound, and the speed is measured when the ball passes through the radar gun's beam. You can pick any spot between the mound and home plate, so unless the spot the gun was aimed at was documented and the angle between the gun and pitch were determined (as Nolan Ryan's was), then the speed is hard to compare to measurements of other pitchers taken at other times at other locations.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
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