Aroldis Chapman and the 15 Fastest Pitches Ever Recorded

Brandon McClintock@@BMcClintock_BSNCorrespondent IApril 20, 2011

Aroldis Chapman and the 15 Fastest Pitches Ever Recorded

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 10:  Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Reds 10-8
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Monday night Aroldis Chapman reached back and threw a pitch to Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates. The pitch wound up being high and tight, not a location necessarily to be proud of, and yet he received a standing ovation.

    Why the standing ovation, you may ask? The stadium radar reading displayed a velocity of 106 MPH, a speed that has only been topped twice since baseball started recording pitch velocities.

    So who else goes down in history for having a rocket for an arm?


Robb Nen: 102 MPH

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    7 Oct 1997: Pitcher Rob Nen (left) and infielder Craig Counsell of the Florida Marlins celebrate during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Marlins won the game, 5-3.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In 1997 Rob Nen recorded a velocity of 102 MPH. Nen was closing games for the Florida Marlins in 1997 when he recorded this historic pitch.

Armando Benitez: 102 MPH

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    FLUSHING, NY - JULY 14: Armando Benitez of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 14, 2002 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York.  The Mets beat the Phillies 4-2.  (Photo By Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    In 2002 Armando Benitez matched Rob Nen's impressive pitch speed with a 102 MPH fastball of his own. Also like Nen, he was pitching in the closer's role for the Mets at the time of the pitch.

Randy Johnson: 102 MPH

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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 5:  Pitcher Randy Johnson #51 the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers against the San Francisco Giants during the game at SBC Park on September 5, 2004 in San Francisco, California. The Giants won 4-1.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Ima
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    It's not surprising that Randy Johnson recorded a pitch of 102 MPH, but what is surprising is that this was the fastest pitch recorded of Johnson's career and it came at age 40.

    Johnson's blazing pitch was recorded in 2004 while he was starting for the Arizona Diamonbacks.

Bobby Jenks: 102 MPH

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 26:  Closing pitcher Bobby Jenks #45 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after winning Game Four of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 26, 2005 in Houston, Texas. The Chi
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Another closer with a 102 MPH fastball? Yep, Bobby Jenks also reached this speed while closing a game for the White Sox in 2005.

Brad Lidge: 102 MPH

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    NEW YORK - JULY 23:  Brad Lidge #54 of the Houston Astros pitches in the 9th inning against the New York Mets on July 23, 2006 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Astors defeated the Mets 8-4.  (Photo b
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    According to the TV-radar, Brad Lidge adds another closer to the ranks of 102 MPH fastball throwers.

    Lidge's top throw came in 2006 while closing out a game for the Astros.

Matt Lindstrom: 102 MPH

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    MIAMI - JULY 1:  Pitcher Matt Lindstrom #22 of the Florida Marlins pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Dolphin Stadium July 1, 2007 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Braves 6-5 in ten innings.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    10 seasons apart, the Marlins get another flame thrower in Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom reached 102 MPH on the stadium radar gun in 2007 for Florida.

Justin Verlander: 102 MPH

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    SEATTLE - JULY 15:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners on July 15, 2007 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Tigers won 11-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    This list wouldn't be complete without Justin Verlander.

    Verlander is our final pitcher to reach 102 MPH even. He reached this speed in 2007 as a starter for the Detroit Tigers.

Brian Wilson: 102.2 MPH

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 30:  Brian Wilson #38 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on August 30, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Sorry Giant fans, Wilson threw his fastest pitch prior to the beard days, so the picture must reflect that. Perhaps that beard is holding his velocity back a little? No, probably not...

    Anyway, Wilson reached 102.2 MPH closing out a game for the Giants in 2009.

Jonathan Broxton: 102.6 MPH

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Jonathan Broxton #51 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game Two of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 16, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Jonathan Broxton is yet another hard throwing closer to reach above the triple digit readings on the radar guns.

    Broxton recorded a 102.6 MPH reading back in 2009 as the closer for the Dodgers.

Mark Wohlers: 103 MPH

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Okay, so Wohlers wasn't celebrating his radar gun reading in this picture, but he should have been!

    He breaks our string of 102-readings with an even 103 MPH in 1995 while closing games for the Atlanta Braves.

Joel Zumaya: 104.8 MPH

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    ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 26:  Relief pitcher Joel Zumaya #54 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Four of the 2006 World Series on October 26, 2006 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Tigers 5
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Joel Zumaya was the hardest thrower in the game during the 2006 season. His 104.8 MPH pitch while closing for the Tigers is proof of that, and one of the fastest pitches EVER recorded in a pro-game.

    To think, the Tigers had Zumaya and Verlander that season... Well, they did go to the World Series in '06, those hard throwers definitely contributed.

Aroldis Chapman: 105.1 MPH

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    CINCINNATI - OCTOBER 10: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the 9th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game 3 of the NLDS at Great American Ball Park on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Phillies defeated the Reds 2
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Talk about making your mark as a rookie! Aroldis Chapman reached 105.1 on the gun last season in his rookie season with the Reds while pitching out of the bullpen.

    Something tells me it's not the last we see of Chapman.

Aroldis Chapman: 106 MPH

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 10:  Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Reds 10-8.  (Phot
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    See, told you we'd be seeing Chapman again.

    Just this past week Chapman lit up the stadium radar gun at 106 MPH. I'm making a point of getting to a Reds game this season to see this kid in person, that's for sure.

    (For the record, the TV-reading had his pitch at 105 MPH, and the pitchF/X reading was actually 102.4 MPH... 106 MPH just sounds more impressive though, so I'm leaving it there, but even a 102.4 MPH reading would have made this list)

Bob Feller: 107.6 MPH

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    Alright, now we're talking, we have a Hall of Famer, something for the active players on this list to aspire to.

    Bob Feller reached 107.6 MPH back in 1946 with the Cleveland Indians. Feller's pitch would stand as the fastest recorded for 28 seasons before any pitcher would pass him and take over the #1 ranking for fastest pitch ever thrown.

Nolan Ryan: 108.1 MPH

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    And the winner is.... Nolan Ryan with a 108.1 MPH reading according to the doppler laser radar readings that were used in 1974.

    The Ryan Express was really bringing the heat that night in 1974, throwing the fastest pitch ever recorded in a Major League Baseball game.

    Just one of a long list of accomplishments in his historic career.

    Something for Aroldis Chapman and any future flame throwers to aspire to.


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