Baseball is one of the jewels of American sports. Unlike certain American sports, baseball is popular in countries such as Japan and Cuba. It is a game steeped in tradition and incorporated into American sporting culture. Some of the game’s most significant and notable figures, such as Babe Ruth, have crossed the international landscape.
Although he started as a pitcher, Ruth, as we know, was an incredible all-around talent. However, for all his scintillating ability, he doesn’t feature in today’s list. When we examine the fastest pitches, it can be ambiguous. The numbers can vary wildly depending on the era and the equipment used to record the throw.
Modern Technology & Advances In Speed Guns
The modern-day equipment is more reliable than some of the older speed guns. Still, the fact remains that there can still be a few miles per hour difference, and that can make all the difference when we’re talking about elite-level baseball. Either way, we will explore some of the blistering triple-digit pitches that have taken place in the MLB over the last few decades.
Ultimately, the advancements in equipment and technology have helped baseball immensely. We could be here all day naming some of the advances big industries have witnessed due to the tech boom over the last two decades. For example, some MLB fans enjoy betting on the outcome of the game their watching to add a bit of spice to the action. This would have been a closed shop twenty years ago without the internet and modern technology, which has transformed the sports betting and casino industries.
However, it doesn’t matter if you want to play progressive jackpot games, virtual poker, or bet on your favorite team; you can do so immediately without leaving your home. Technology has created such a booming industry that already has a significant influence on other fields, including sports.
It’s not just the speed guns that fully use the latest technological innovations; MLB has utilized technology to assist at all levels of the game. Umpires can now use video technology to make fairer decisions, allowing fans more ways to watch their team.
Many can now stream games online from wherever they are and sit down and watch them at home. All of these vast developments would have been impossible without technology.
#3 Aroldis Chapman vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 106 mph
The amount of technique and core strength required to deliver a throw at 106 mph is mind-blowing. You just need to envisage the image of a car traveling at 106 mph to try and comprehend just how fast this scorcher was from Chapman just over a decade ago.
They don’t call the seven-time All-Star “The Cuban Missile” for nothing. At the time, he was sending in flamethrowers like this for the Cincinnati Reds but has since bounced between a few MLB teams.
#2 Bob Feller vs. Washington Senators, 107 mph in 1946
What’s so impressive about the legendary 107 mph pitch Bob Feller delivered back in 1946 is how long the record stood for. Pound-for-pound is probably the most remarkable pitch of all time, given how far ahead it was of all the other competition. It was the fastest pitch ever recorded, and on such basic equipment, some analysts and historians have even speculated that it could have been higher.
Bob is a Cleveland Indians legend who sadly passed away back in 2010. However, he set the blueprint for all the legendary pitchers who followed in his footsteps and was one of Nolan Ryan’s biggest inspirations.
#1 Nolan Ryan vs. Detroit Tigers, 108 mph in 1974
Back in 1974, the world was a different place. Professional athletes didn’t have the same levels of diets, nutrition, and sports science experiments we see today. Like Bob Feller, this is why The Ryan Express was so phenomenal. At the time, Nolan was arguably the best pitcher in the entire MLB, he has been widely regarded as one of the best since his retirement, but the mid-1970s is when he was firing on all cylinders, clocking triple-digit scores like it was nothing.
Some believe this speed was even higher, given that the technology was nowhere near as sophisticated 50 years ago. Either way, it still sits Ryan right at the top of this list, and it’s a record that hasn’t come close to being broken for half a Century. Of course, it’ll be bettered one day, but it could be another 50 years from now. Ryan carved his way into MLB folklore with his thunderbolt pitch, and nobody has been able to get close to this record since.