October 3, 2020 at 10:55 am #143645UConn CardModeratorPaid - Annual
MLB network is showing Gibby’s 17-K performance at 1:30 pm EST today, Oct 3rdOctober 7, 2020 at 11:56 am #143915RatsbuddyParticipantFree
I am just wondering. How hard was Gibson throwing in this Game #1 back in 1968? 90? 95?
And typically how hard did Gibson throw on average? Did his fastball average 90+ over his career?
r/Esteemed RatOctober 7, 2020 at 2:30 pm #143916
Good question, Esteemed one. The speed guns were not around in Gibby’s prime.
There is a retrosimba article about Gibson where he is quoted as saying he could consistently throw his fastball in the mid 90s. In saying that I would think Gibby knows how hard he threw, and is comparing to pitches he saw in modern times that were mid 90s. Not scientific, but probably accurate.
A couple of personal recollections. I have an old cassette tape of the KMOX broadcast of a 1962 Cards-Giants game; Gibson vs Marichal. There is a point in the game where you can hear the cathcer’s mitt pop consistently, and Harry Caray goes, “….boy, Gibson is really throwing hard.”
Back in 1972, I was a teenager and this buddy of mine’s father arranged a trip to St. Louis for us to see some games. A couple of games were against the Phillies, and back then at the old stadium the bullpens were down the lines in foul territory. Steve Carlton pitched for the Phillies in one of the games, and our seats were just up from the bullpen. We arrived early and walked down to the railing and watched Carlton warm up. For most of his warmup he was throwing hard, but nothing that seemed overwhelming. I thought I could probably get around on Carlton in fact. But then he ended his session where he cut loose on maybe five or six pitches, and I had never seen anything like that.
Seeing guys throw today when I have had a chance to be pretty close, there is no doubt Carlton was hitting close to 100 on those final warm up tosses back in August 1972. I would think Gibby threw just as hard a few years earlier to that.
October 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm #143934
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by bicyclemike.
One would think that modern technology could rather easily reveal how fast pitchers threw back in prehistoric (pre-radar gun) times. I bet a guy like a young Nolan Ryan touched 100 mph in his sleep. And the Esteemed Rat probably wasn’t far off with his 95 mph guesstimate as to Gibby’s speed. Being the master of effective chin music, Gibby didn’t need to bring it in triple digits to dazzle.
Wonderful little story about Steve Carlton, BicycleMike! Some things you just don’t forget. When I was a little shaver, I sat out in the cheap seats for many Brewer games at Milwaukee County Stadium. I’d spend the entire game razzing the opposing team’s outfielders and their relievers warming up out in the pen. I was so young that I had no problem getting away with it. I could be relentless with some of the more cocky players. Luis Tiant of Boston was always very quiet out in the pen. It seemed nothing I said could faze him. I remember like it was yesterday this time when he was out throwing in the pen and then was summoned in the game. He finally took note of me and jogged right over to the railing where I was standing…..he took the ball out of the glove while staring me smack dab in the eyes…..my excitement level at this point was thru the roof…..he motioned like he was going to flip me the ball, but then quickly turned around while laughing….boy I’ll never forget that awful little laugh of his, with the ball still in his possession and headed in to pitch.October 7, 2020 at 7:19 pm #143939
That’s a great story about your moment with Luis Tiant, Pugs! As you said, you never forget those personal experiences.
There is a real good documentary about the legendary fastball pitchers, which I think is called (surprisingly) “Fastball”. I caught it on either the Tubi app, which we get on Roku, or maybe it is on Prime.
It tries to determine who the fastest pitcher of all time was. It goes into the test that was setup back in Walter Johnson’s time, where a device was built to start the clock when the ball went by the first device, and stop when it went through the second plane. The video still exists of that test.
Then of course there is the famous Bob Feller motorcycle test.
Bottom line, it was determined Walter Johnson’s pitch in that test was 93 MPH I believe, Feller was around 100. But Nolan Ryan was the fastest of all hitting something like 107. And of course Ryan kept it going through his mid 40s. So Ryan is conspired the fastest of all time by the guys who put the documentary together. Others might come close, but not as consistently nor for as long as Ryan.October 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm #143940
Would love to find “Fastball”, BicycleMike. It really doesn’t surprise me that Ryan touched 107. The cubbies had a reliever….oh maybe about 15 years ago, who could really bring the mustard too. I can’t think of his name, but he might come in at #2 on that all-time speedball list. I recall him getting into a fight with a Cincy player……matter of fact I think he kicked the Reds player keester, with relative ease. Quickly getting back to Tiant, he had kind of a funky delivery, to which I had a field day razzing him. He never once spoke a word to anyone while he was warming up out in the pen…..maybe he spoke no English?October 7, 2020 at 11:36 pm #143962oldcardsfanParticipantFree
As one who saw Gibson pitch many times I’d guess his fastball was upper 90’s occasionally 100MPH.
Part of the reason he was feared, and he was so successful, is that he threw faster than just about anyone else in MLB.October 8, 2020 at 12:18 am #143967gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
Are you referring to Kyle Farnsworth? He was a hard throwing Cub bullpen guy from several years ago.October 8, 2020 at 7:05 am #143971
That’s the guy. Thanks Scotty! I wonder what he was clocked at? And speaking of “clocked”, Farnsworth really tattooed that Cincy player in that physical altercation. That Reds player fared about as well as Robin Ventura did in his frighteningly lame fight vs Nolan Ryan. And isn’t that every young man’s fear? Getting the tar beat out of you in front of others, which is especially brutal to baseball players, getting beat up in front of tens of thousands. Certainly in baseball history some player had to have performed worse than Ventura in his brawl ……but I can’t think of one.October 8, 2020 at 8:37 am #143982gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
It wasn’t a fight but Ray Fosse getting plowed over by Pete Rose in the 1970 All Star Game comes to my mind.October 8, 2020 at 5:28 pm #144049
That “Fastball” documentary talks about the legendary Steve Dalkowski, who supposedly threw the fastest ball ever. I think I have heard tell he might have been able to bring it in the 110s! They even have a segment with the aging Dalkowski talking about his legacy.
Unfortunately for Steve, just when it looked like he had tamed his control problems, and was going to be on the Orioles opening day roster in 1963, he hurt his arm and never got to pitch in the big leagues.October 8, 2020 at 9:22 pm #144054stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
Viva el Birdos just did a study on Gibby’s fastball today.October 9, 2020 at 5:05 pm #144111
Real interesting test on Gibson’s fastball in game one of the ‘68 series. Him dialing it up to around 95 MPH on average meets the logic test.
It is also well known that pitchers back then would back off some when they felt they could, as starters especially were expected to go as long as they could and had to pace themselves at times.
One thing to keep in mind too, is in that test Gibby was 32 years old. In that 1962 broadcast I have where Harry Caray comments about how hard Gibson is throwing, I wonder if he touched 100 a time or two that night? He would have been 26 – right around his athletic prime.
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