September 20, 2010

Funny Baseball Story

I've been sitting on this one for a while and actually forgot about it until I told a friend about this the other day. I know we have a lot of Europeans on DC so I'll try to break it down a bit. Anyways this comes from our third game in the conference tournament my freshman year. Here's the boxscore for anyone interested. It was the second game of the day for us and we needed to win to stay alive.

Since it was the third game for both teams we were both on our number 3 starters. We had a pretty good one and we hadn't seen theirs during the season as they were pitching someone we hadn't seen before. One of my favorite things about being on a college team was reading the scouting reports. Since I had pretty much nothing to do until relievers were warming up I would generally always read the scouting reports posted on the wall. For their starting pitcher I remember it saying fastball sits at 85-87 along with a description of his breaking stuff.

We had a couple of players who were teammates with this kid over the summer that said they think he throws a little harder than that. So the kid is done with his warm up pitches and is throwing to our leadoff batter. He uncorks his first pitch and unleashes a fastball that's a lot faster than 87. He's throwing gas. My guess it was anywhere from 92-94 MPH. For those that don't know a 90 MPH fastball you have .2 seconds to just decide if you're going to swing, if you can't make up your mind in that amount of time you have no chance. Also, anything 90+ is basically just fastball out of the hand into the glove. It's just a quick blur and obviously not easy to hit.

So our leadoff batter, who is a an incredibly fiery competitor ends up striking out only seeing fastballs. He walks off the field and it's standard in baseball for other hitters to ask the leadoff hitter what kind of stuff he's got, does his fastball move, etc. So after not answering the first few questions someone asks him how hard he throws. He just lets out "A LOT HARDER THAN 87" and rips the scouting report down from the wall.

As you can tell from the boxscore that we did end up winning the game thanks to our starting pitcher and some clutch hitting. Their pitcher threw very well striking out 12 and only giving up 1 earned. I think of this story every once in a while and always get a chuckle out of it.


“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” Vince Lombardi

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