When Mariano Rivera retires after the 2013 MLB season, his cutter will also leave the sport forever. All active players who have been victimized by it will rejoice, knowing that they've outlasted a near-unhittable pitch.
How does it compare to baseball's filthiest offerings ever? That's what we'll be ranking in the following slides.
Thanks to the evolution of pitch-tracking technology, it's now possible to determine which particular pitch is being thrown in any situation. Using that information, we can see precisely how unhittable a pitch is in terms of the batting average against it, and how often it results in contact, a home run or a strikeout.
These advances, unfortunately, didn't come along until the 21st century. Therefore, in creating this list, we needed to rely quite a bit on broader statistics and personal testimony.
You will hopefully find it enlightening, nonetheless.
*Stats provided by Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Updated through the games of Sept. 20, 2013.