Major League Baseball started tracking pitches in 2008. Since then, we’ve been able to learn a lot more about the balls pitchers throw.

Fastballs were one of them. We could go from vaguely fastballs to knowing how fast they were. In the past, Walter Johnson, the king of fastballs,메이저사이트 was known as the “Big Train” because his fastball sounded like a train passing by when he threw it. However, there was a lot of speculation about what his velocity was (88 to 91 mph is the average). Unlike then, we now know exactly how hard a pitcher throws.

The first pitcher in Major League Baseball history to hit 100 mph was Nolan Ryan. Ryan threw 100.9 mph against the Detroit Tigers on August 20, 1974. This was when speed guns first appeared. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Ryan became the “fastest man to throw a baseball in the world.

At the time, the velocity was measured when the ball landed 10 feet in front of home plate. Professor Alan Nathan, who applies physics to baseball, has found that “if a pitcher throws a 100-mph ball, the velocity decreases by 9 to 10 percent past a distance of 55 to 58 feet” (the distance between the mound and home plate is 60 feet, 6 inches).

In other words, Ryan’s fastball would have been faster with modern equipment. The 108 mph claimed by some is unlikely, but theoretically possible. For reference, the 2010 Pitch/FX system measured velocity about 50 feet from home plate, while current statcasts measure velocity immediately after the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. Behind the rise in pitchers’ velocity, there have also been technological advances.

The first pitcher to hit 100 mph since 2008 was Javier Chamberlain. Chamberlain, who debuted for the New York Yankees in 2007, was a highly prized prospect. He was projected to be the next Roger Clemens as a starter and Mariano Rivera as a reliever. Chamberlain, of course, became neither Clemens nor Rivera, but he did become the first pitcher to throw 100 miles since pitch tracking began on April 6, 2008, when he threw 100.2 miles.

But Chamberlain didn’t make his mark as a 100-mph pitcher; that honor went to Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya. Zumaya burst onto the scene in 2006 and threw 234 100-mph pitches that year, before the advent of pitch tracking. Three of them were 104 mph, a major league record. While teammate Justin Verlander won the 2006 Rookie of the Year award, it was Zumaya who turned heads with his fastball.

While Verlander is still going strong, Zumaya’s career was cut short almost as quickly as his fastball. Injuries plagued him from 2007 onward, and he last pitched in the major leagues in 2010. “Everyone asks me how to throw fast, but I want to give them the advice they really need: you have to take care of your body,” Jumaya later said.

Jumaya lasted only three seasons in the pitch-tracking era. And even then, injuries kept him from pitching many games. From 2008-10, Jumaya pitched just 92.2 innings in a total of 81 games, but no one could match him in terms of control.

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