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BearcatShane
03-09-2010, 12:25 AM
With all the Chapman hype I have a simple question, what is the fastest fastball ever clocked in a major league game? And what is the fastest fastball by a lefty?

fearofpopvol1
03-09-2010, 12:50 AM
Joel Zumaya
104.8 mph
10-10-2006
McAfee Coliseum

Surprisingly, more pitchers than you might think have hit 100. Nolan Ryan was the first to ever do it (100.9 in 1974). When you hit 101 though, that distinguishes you quite a bit...it's pretty elite. And 102 is even more elite. No one has ever hit 103 in a game before, but Mark Wohlers did hit 103 in spring training in 1995.

Oddly enough, Rob Dibble is 1 pitcher who has hit 101.

Blitz Dorsey
03-09-2010, 01:39 AM
The fastest pitch to ever hit a player in the face? Hmm, not sure about that one. ;-)

CTA513
03-09-2010, 01:49 AM
Joel Zumaya
104.8 mph
10-10-2006
McAfee Coliseum

Surprisingly, more pitchers than you might think have hit 100. Nolan Ryan was the first to ever do it (100.9 in 1974). When you hit 101 though, that distinguishes you quite a bit...it's pretty elite. And 102 is even more elite. No one has ever hit 103 in a game before, but Mark Wohlers did hit 103 in spring training in 1995.

Oddly enough, Rob Dibble is 1 pitcher who has hit 101.

Didn't Griffey hit a grand slam off that 104 mph pitch from Zumaya?

reds44
03-09-2010, 01:51 AM
Didn't Griffey hit a grand slam off that 104 mph pitch from Zumaya?
Yep. Somehow, his old bat caught up to it. Then we blew it and eventually lost on a Lopez throwing error.

Ron Madden
03-09-2010, 04:56 AM
I've been attending Reds home games since 1963, from what I've seen with my own eyes no Reds pitcher ever threw a baseball any harder than Jim Maloney. I can hardly wait to see Chapman pitch in person.

GAC
03-09-2010, 05:39 AM
I've been attending Reds home games since 1963, from what I've seen with my own eyes no Reds pitcher ever threw a baseball any harder than Jim Maloney. I can hardly wait to see Chapman pitch in person.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Jim_Maloney

Jim Maloney was one of the biggest pitching stars of the 1960s, winning 20 games twice and 134 overall in his career. His forte was the strikeout: he ranks #25 on the all-time list for strikeouts per nine innings. He was known as one of the hardest throwers of his time.

Maloney threw two no-hitters, both while with the Cincinnati Reds. The first, on August 19, 1965 at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, was a 10-inning affair. Despite not allowing a hit, Maloney was in trouble most of the game because of walks. His mound counterpart, Larry Jackson, held the Reds to just 1 run, and Maloney walked 10 batters. He also struck out 12, and threw a total of 187 pitches that day.

The second, on April 30, 1969 against the Houston Astros at Crosley Field, was a tidier effort. Maloney only walked five (and struck out 13). His glory was short-lived, however. The next day, the Astros' Don Wilson no hit the Reds, with an almost identical line (6 walks, 13 strikeouts).

All of those hard-thrown pitches took a toll on Maloney's arm, and he had lost all of his effectiveness by the time he reached 30. In 1970 and 1971, he was a combined 0-4 with the Reds and California Angels, with huge ERAs. Also complicating his performance in 1970 and 1971 was the fact that Maloney tore his achilles tendon in 1970, from which he never completely recovered.

cincinnati chili
03-09-2010, 06:45 AM
Joel Zumaya
104.8 mph
10-10-2006
McAfee Coliseum

Surprisingly, more pitchers than you might think have hit 100. Nolan Ryan was the first to ever do it (100.9 in 1974). When you hit 101 though, that distinguishes you quite a bit...it's pretty elite. And 102 is even more elite. No one has ever hit 103 in a game before, but Mark Wohlers did hit 103 in spring training in 1995.

Oddly enough, Rob Dibble is 1 pitcher who has hit 101.

I have no idea whether Joel Zumaya was capable of hitting 104, but I do know that MLB doesn't monitor the way that guns at major league ballparks are calibrated. I seem to recall watching a game on one of the fox sports affiliates where the gun on the TV was seven miles per hour slower than the one in the ballpark. The conventional wisdom here is that the ballparks 'juice' the guns so that the fans ooh and aah.

Long story short, take the mph readings at the ballpark with a grain of salt.

klw
03-09-2010, 07:40 AM
Surprisingly, more pitchers than you might think have hit 100. Nolan Ryan was the first to ever do it (100.9 in 1974). .

Nolan Ryan was not the first to do it. Just the first to do it when there were radar guns around.

blumj
03-09-2010, 07:49 AM
I have no idea whether Joel Zumaya was capable of hitting 104, but I do know that MLB doesn't monitor the way that guns at major league ballparks are calibrated. I seem to recall watching a game on one of the fox sports affiliates where the gun on the TV was seven miles per hour slower than the one in the ballpark. The conventional wisdom here is that the ballparks 'juice' the guns so that the fans ooh and aah.

Long story short, take the mph readings at the ballpark with a grain of salt.

Not just the ones at the park, and not just the ones on tv, there are slower and faster pitch f/x parks, too, and you might not even know when a particular system at a specific park has been altered.

klw
03-09-2010, 07:57 AM
Don't forget about the legend of Steve Dalkowski
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/delving-into-the-dalkowski-depths/
Here's a taste

“He was unbelievable. He threw a lot faster than Ryan. It’s hard to believe but he did,” asserted Earl Weaver, who watched Nolan Ryan pitch dozens of times, and managed Dalkowski.

Paul Blair, who batted against Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Sam McDowell, Vida Blue, Dick Radatz and Goose Gossage, said of Dalkowski, “He threw the hardest I ever saw.”

A near-identical statement came from Cal Ripken Sr., who caught Dalkowski and whose professional career as a player, manager and coach spanned five decades. He observed Ryan, J.R. Richard, Dwight Gooden, Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson: “Steve Dalkowski was the hardest thrower I ever saw.”

Dan
03-09-2010, 08:18 AM
Aren't you guys forgetting Sidd Finch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidd_Finch)'s 168 mph fastball?

Always Red
03-09-2010, 08:18 AM
Bob Feller still claims, to this day, that he was clocked throwing 107.8 mph, in 1946. If I remember correctly, he was also clocked by the Army at just under 100.

919191
03-09-2010, 09:03 AM
Unfortunately the technology does not yet exist to clock Jim Coombs' fastball.

klw
03-09-2010, 09:20 AM
Here is a Bill James piece where he breaks down the best fastballs by 5 year period through the modern history of baseball and the types of fastballs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=1822135&type=story

BCubb2003
03-09-2010, 09:42 AM
Unfortunately the technology does not yet exist to clock Jim Coombs' fastball.

Albert Einstein did some work in this area, if I recall.

RANDY IN INDY
03-09-2010, 09:48 AM
Bob Feller still claims, to this day, that he was clocked throwing 107.8 mph, in 1946. If I remember correctly, he was also clocked by the Army at just under 100.

Bob Feller really likes himself. Not a favorite of mine when it comes to the old timers.

Chip R
03-09-2010, 09:52 AM
Bob Feller really likes himself. Not a favorite of mine when it comes to the old timers.


He, like myself, is an Ohio transplant from Iowa and I call him Bitter Bob Feller.

MississippiRed
03-09-2010, 10:32 AM
Here is a Bill James piece where he breaks down the best fastballs by 5 year period through the modern history of baseball and the types of fastballs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=1822135&type=story

Thanks for this link, KLW. I really enjoyed this article.

bucksfan2
03-09-2010, 11:33 AM
I was watching the Astro's no hit of the Yankees in which the Stros used about 6 pitchers. In the 9th inning Billy Wagner came into close the game. The announcers made a comment about how Wanger will uncork his first pitch. That pitch clocked in at 102. Probably the fastest pitch I have ever seen live.

macro
03-09-2010, 11:43 AM
Aren't you guys forgetting Sidd Finch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidd_Finch)'s 168 mph fastball?

Man, you beat me to it! :laugh:

I'll never forget sitting in the library reading that article and wondering what the heck was going on.

Always Red
03-09-2010, 02:28 PM
He, like myself, is an Ohio transplant from Iowa and I call him Bitter Bob Feller.

LOL- from "Rapid Robert" to "Bitter Bob"-all in one lifetime! :D

dougdirt
03-09-2010, 02:42 PM
Not just the ones at the park, and not just the ones on tv, there are slower and faster pitch f/x parks, too, and you might not even know when a particular system at a specific park has been altered.

We do know when a PFX system is off. Maybe not at the exact time the pitch is thrown, but by the time the game is over we usually know.

dougdirt
03-09-2010, 02:44 PM
Bob Feller still claims, to this day, that he was clocked throwing 107.8 mph, in 1946. If I remember correctly, he was also clocked by the Army at just under 100.

Throwing that fast is believed to be impossible by biomechanic experts. When Feller was clocked by the army it was said to be 98.9 MPH as it crossed home plate. That suggests he was throwing 107 MPH (so maybe the stories are actually the same) given where we measure the ball now. Sorry, but I don't buy that for a second.

Rojo
03-09-2010, 02:52 PM
Unfortunately the technology does not yet exist to clock Jim Coombs' fastball.

Could he throw one so hard that Jim Coombs couldn't hit it? Yep....trippy.

Chip R
03-09-2010, 02:53 PM
This may sound like a stupid question but I wonder if anyone has ever made a pitching machine - much like an Iron Mike - that is built just to throw as fast as possible? Not to throw to hitters but just to see how fast a machine can throw a baseball without using any kind of propulsion but it's own.

nate
03-09-2010, 03:31 PM
This may sound like a stupid question but I wonder if anyone has ever made a pitching machine - much like an Iron Mike - that is built just to throw as fast as possible? Not to throw to hitters but just to see how fast a machine can throw a baseball without using any kind of propulsion but it's own.

The Mythbusters did.

Chip R
03-09-2010, 09:54 PM
The Mythbusters did.

How did that turn out?

bucksfan
03-09-2010, 10:33 PM
Didn't Griffey hit a grand slam off that 104 mph pitch from Zumaya?

I was there. Comerica was a wild place to watch a ballgame that night! Junior's HR was one of the highlights out of all the games I have seen in person.

GADawg
03-09-2010, 11:35 PM
Bob Feller really likes himself. Not a favorite of mine when it comes to the old timers.

wow you aren't kidding....that guy is freakin' annoying

nate
03-10-2010, 10:34 AM
How did that turn out?

The ball went really fast!

I think they were trying to see a baseball would tear itself apart if thrown or hit fast enough.

Mythbusters baseball results here (http://mythbustersresults.com/episode83)!

klw
03-10-2010, 10:43 AM
A baseball’s stitches can tear and the hide of the baseball will fall off if the baseball is thrown fast enough and hit hard enough.

busted
The Mythbusters modified their cork bat rig to fire the baseball at much higher speeds. It fired the ball at a static bat with speeds over 200mph, which is twice as fast as the fastest pitch ever recorded. However, the ball remained intact. The Mythbusters then fired the cannon at maximum power. The hide of the ball did come off, but the ball was fired at about 437mph, four times faster than any human could pitch.http://mythbustersresults.com/episode83

Only 437 mph? Coombs' changeup is 437 mph.