Friday, August 12, 2016


I watched FASTBALL on Netflix and was fascinated with the history, but more importantly the use of math and science to determine who really threw the fastest pitch ever.

Points I found most interesting and transferable to my students is the idea that we need to compare apples to apples.

The way in which things are measured change over time.  In comparing we need to adjust or correct for differences in testing design.

This film does a great job of that.

Walter Johnson had his speed measured using this contraption:

Bob Feller was measured using this:

Nolan Ryan was measured with a radar gun:

Aroldis Chapman was measured by radar gun too:

The differences in the technology and testing methodology make it impossible to compare these pitchers given the results "as is".

To get the real answer, this situation needs to be MATHed.  And they do it in this film.  They do it in a way everyone can understand, not just math and science teachers.

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