That’s the time it takes for a baseball traveling through space at 100 miles per hour to travel the 60 feet 6 inches from a major league baseball mound to home plate. On average, the human eye takes between 100 and 400 milliseconds to blink. You know that saying “in the blink of an eye”? don’t even think about it, or you’re going to give a horrible snort on the fastest pitches in the history of the American pastime. mlb hitters have a tough job, but pitchers have an even tougher job.
Reading: Who threw the fastest pitch
As baseball works to repair its image after baseball players injected themselves during the steroid craze of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the game is getting faster and more explosive the old-fashioned way : hard work. We’re seeing more and more powerful pitchers taking the reins and turning on the triple-digit scoreboard radar guns, and it’s not just happening during the mlb game.
In June 2020, Chicago Cubs recruit Luke Little was recorded throwing 105 miles per hour. he was 19 years old at the time, a minor league pitcher not yet close to making his major league debut.
Although unofficial, the 6-foot-8 southpaw came close to what the Guinness World Record considers to be the fastest pitch ever recorded.
- 1 fastest pitch ever: aroldis chapman’s 106 mph heater
- 2 nolan ryan’s “108.5 mph” fastball legend
- 3 steve dalkowski was the craze of baseball before ricky vaughn came along
- 4 The fastest pitches in statcast history belong to two men
- 5 more: the longest home run in history went so deep it fooled the cameraman
fastest pitch ever: aroldis chapman’s 106 mph heater
On September 24, 2010, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman, a native of Cuba, threw a 105.1 mph fastball, as measured by statcast, in a game against the San Diego parents, which is recognized as the Guinness World Record for the fastest throw in history.
statcast now recognizes that 105.8 mph pitch, which is the fastest pitch thrown since he started logging speeds in 2008.
now with the new york yankees, the cuban southpaw is arguably the hardest pitcher in mlb history, clocking over 100 miles per hour every night. Despite how hard Chapman throws, his top speed record isn’t even close to the fastest in baseball history.
nolan ryan’s “108.5 mph” fastball legend
The documentary “fastball” dove into the intricacies of throwing some stinky cheese. among the film’s investigations was a research mission of the fastest heater ever recorded. according to the movie, the fastest pitch ever recorded actually belongs to longtime mlb ace and all-time mlb strikeout leader nolan ryan, who once threw his wicked four seams at 108.5 miles per hour.
the game haus cited that ryan’s fastest fastball on August 20, 1974 was actually recorded at 100.9. (Even wilder is that he came in the ninth inning of an 11-inning complete loss). However, the infrared radar used that day recorded his fastball at a different point in its flight compared to today’s technology, so Ryan’s adjusted ball speed on the fastball was actually 108.5 miles per hour. .
Ryan, whose long MLB career saw him set numerous pitching records, was known for backing up hitters and occasionally punching them in the face. His fastball brought the advent of radar technology to the majors.
so, there are stories of guys like bob feller. “The Van Meter Heater” played 18 MLB seasons for the Cleveland Indians and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. An associated newspaper article found in the Baseball Almanac cites the when feller claimed he threw 107.9 mph in a demo in 1946. while the technology back then was a far cry from what it is today, icons like feller and walter johnson had their throw speeds tracked on different occasions in the early 20th century using rudimentary technology.
walter johnson was recorded in 1917 throwing 134 feet per second, which translates to approximately 91.4 miles per hour.
steve dalkowski was the craze of baseball before ricky vaughn came along
Also, former baltimore orioles pitcher steve dalkowski was a renowned fireball thrower, however his extreme speed ended up costing him a career in mlb as he never could find decent enough control of his throws.
The Associated Press (via the Baseball Almanac) explained how that technology worked in the past:
“The new gauge, which gives an immediate reading that engineers say compares to standard laboratory gauge accuracy, is built into a trailer. It is dropped into a two-foot-square hole. Right inside is a set of photoelectric tubes and five feet back is another set. The device measures the speed of the ball between the two points and displays it on a scale facing the pitcher.”
Today, the pitchf/x system installed in every major league ballpark uses two cameras to track the speed and trajectory of every pitch thrown by the game’s toughest pitchers, from its precise point of launch until the moment the ball passes home plate.
Let’s go ahead and say that modern technology gets the final vote in the “fastest launch ever” debate.
The fastest pitches in statcast history belong to two men
related: take on a 100 mph fastball with the classic “nolan ryan cam”
Flamethrower Joel Zumaya, who helped Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers to the 2006 World Series, once threw a 104.8 mph pitch.
tennessee volunteer pitcher ben joyce recently hit triple digits, throwing a 104 mph pitch, becoming one of the fastest pitchers to take the mound in a college baseball game.
former atlanta braves closer mark wohlers came out of the bullpen and once hit 103 on the radar. Arizona Diamondbacks Randy Johnson’s fastest pitch came when he was 40, tipping the scales at 102 mph.
Also, former Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton topped 102 mph. good luck to any umpire trying to keep track of those pitches.
however, not all hard pitches are good. Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers homered on Chapman’s 103 mph fastball in 2018, the fastest pitch to result in a home run in the statistical era.
There are tons of 100 mph fastballs that baseball fans have seen, especially in recent years. But today’s toughest heat race is a two-man show.
Using data compiled by mlb.com, these are the next fastest recorded major league baseball pitches, not including chapman’s 105.8 mph heater.
- 1. aroldis chapman – 105.7 (July 18, 2016)
- 2. aroldis chapman – 105.4 (July 18, 2016)
- 3. aroldis chapman – 105.2 (July 22, 2016)
- 4. aroldis chapman – 105.1 (three times)
- 5. jordan hicks – 105.0 (twice)
- 6. aroldis chapman – 105.0 (July 23, 2016)
- 7. aroldis chapman – 104.8 (four times)
- 8. aroldis chapman – 104.7 (July 18, 2016)
- 9. aroldis chapman – 104.6 (September 19, 2016)
- 10. aroldis chapman – 104.5 (September 28, 2016)
hicks, a young reliever from st. Louis Cardinals missed much of the 2019 season after Tommy John surgery in June. Before going down, he threw 21 pitches over 103 miles per hour that season. hicks’ sinker became one of the most feared pitches in baseball as a rookie. he has since morphed into a starting pitcher and hasn’t hit these numbers since.
One thing’s for sure, put me in this heat on a baseball field and I’ll freeze faster than hot water on a cold day.