With so much emphasis on the fastball in today’s game, there is a new documentary out that tries to answer the question of who was the fastest of all-time simply called Fastball. Scouts are looking for kids these days that throw in the mid to high 90s. Bullpens are built with guys that all throw near triple digits. It has simply become a game built on power arms.
The film Fastball does a good job at not only taking a look at the new guys in the game who throw hard. Guys like Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Justin Verlander, David Price and others are looked at and talked to about what it is like to throw hard. But what I liked about the movie was how the film went back in time to discuss the guys that came before the new breed of flamethrowers.
Man for man I do not think there is any doubt that the guys of today throw harder on average than any other time in the game’s history. However, there were guys like Goose Gossage, Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, and Nolan Ryan that threw just as, or possibly even harder.
The most interesting thing that they did was some of the video and science behind it all. They compare a 92mph fastball with a 100mph fastball which is an interesting thing to see. If they were both released at the same time, by the time the 100mph pitch reaches the plate, the 92mph pitch still has 4.5 feet to travel. That may not seem like much, but it is a huge difference when hitting.
The film does some scientific calculations based on some old data to determine who exactly is the fastest of all-time. Aroldis Chapman has thrown the fastest recorded pitch at 105mph, but is that the fastest ever? I won’t reveal who they say the fastest of all-time is because I really think you should see the film. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, or Netflix.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.