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What’s the Fastest Pitch Ever Thrown?



By Mike Silva ~ June 16th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Last night Kevin Burkhardt interviewed Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller during the ballgame. Feller is known to tell it like it is and tout his accomplishments, however I had to do a double take when he claimed he threw a pitch at 107.9 mph back in the mid forties. It got me thinking what the fastest pitch ever thrown in MLB history.

I am not baseball historian, but I did some quick research and found that Nolan Ryan’s fastball (100.9 mph) thrown on August 20th, 1974 is still considered tops by the Guinness Book of Records.

It would be hard to prove Feller’s account wrong. Record keeping in the pre computer days was spotty at best. His 107.9 mph claim was actually done during a demonstration and his highest in game speed was 104 mph.

What about the in stadium guns? The Baseball Almanac has recorded the following pitchers as reaching 100+ mph in a game:

Billy Wagner

Kerry Wood

Justin Verlander

Rafael Soriano

Dustin McGowan

Radhames Liz

Jonathan Broxton

Seth McClung

Brad Lidge

Ubaldo Jimenez

Jonathan Papelbon

Neftali Perez

Tim Lincecum

The Baseball Almanac also has observed speed which has Joel Zumaya throwing 104.8 during the 2006 playoffs. Also included on the list are Armando Benitez, Joba Chamberlain, Doc Gooden, and CC Sabathia.

My head is spinning trying to figure this out, but there is one thing I do know: all the names mentioned threw hard and probably hit 100 mph on the gun at one point, but I am unsure how accurate any of the stories or radar gun readings are.

Final thought: Is it even humanly possible to throw harder than 100mph without hurting your arm?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to What’s the Fastest Pitch Ever Thrown?

  1. FRY7

    How is it humanly possible to throw 90+ mph without killing your arm? There’s a reason we’re all not in the big leagues!

  2. Mike Silva

    But think about it! Isn’t there a limit that humans can throw a baseball without their arm falling apart? I almost remember reading about a threshold somewhere, but I am not doctor.

  3. RonOK

    Didn’t Stephen Strasberg throw 100 MPH in his MLB debut last week? And didn’t Bobby Parnell hit 100 MPH in a game against the Red Sox last year at Fenway?

  4. HyShai

    How about the immortal Met, Sidd Finch? 161 mph.

  5. Anonymous

    chapman just recently hit 105

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