Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Fastball!

Wow, I have been away for a while!!  There are some reasons (some more valid than others)

1. I got pretty sick (don't worry, not coronavirus!) for almost a week.
2. My printer/scanner went kaput
3. The 4th ended up being pretty fun, but took up a lot of my time

But hopefully I am back, even though I don't have a scanner yet.  I'll try to post about things that don't require my awful photography skills.  I have a bunch of incoming mail and new acquisitions to share, but you will be spared all that for a while.

What I would like to talk about today is how much fun I had while I was sick re-watching Fastball, the 2015 documentary of the great fastball pitchers in the history of baseball.  It's narrated by Kevin Costner, which is good and bad, but we'll get to that in a bit.

I imagine most of you have already seen the show, but if you haven't, it's currently available on the Tubi app if you have a Roku, or if you want to watch it on the net, this link will take you there.


The main crux of the movie is stated in the opening moments when a quote from 'Baseball Magazine':

"No subject has stirred more debate among baseball fans than the speed of the pitchers' fastballs.'

The quote is from 1912.

I guess the point is that this debate, who throws hardest, has been around as long as the game has been.  Not a big surprise!

The show goes on to spotlight some of the hardest throwers in history.  It's a bit of a who's who of fastball pitchers, and for the most part, the list is unsurprising.  But one of my favorite bits is when they spotlight Steve Dalkowski.  Now if you haven't seen the show and don't know who Steve Dalkowski is, I won't ruin it for you.  Go watch it!  Now!!  But I will say that I definitely wanted a Dalkowski rc after watching.
1963 Topps 496 RC Rookie Steve Dalkowski Orioles Vgex
Back in the 80's, I imagine a Steve Dalkowski rc was pretty close to a common card.  But with the internet and this documentary, it has become much pricier.  Take a look at recent ebay sales of the card.  OK, not astronomical, but the average, young fan might be a little confused why it commands a premium.  Hint: It's because of the fastball!  So if you have a spare Dalkowski rc, send it my way!

Oh yeah, I said I'd talk about Costner's narration.  Kevin Costner narrates a lot of stuff about baseball.  And he has been in a lot of movies about baseball.  He's almost the 'number one baseball actor'.  Probably.  And there is a reason for that.  He cares about the game, and that comes out in his narrations.  But since he has done so many, I found myself feeling like he was reusing the same old schtick sometimes.  At one point, I even thought he was going to start up one of the speeches from Field of Dreams!  So there you have it, it's good.  And bad.  Hopefully it won't detract from the show for you, just something I noticed.

My other favorite part of the show is at the end when the various methods for determining a fastball's speed are compared.  The idea is that the earlier methods were less precise than current methods. So the greats are compared using a system that accounts for the problems with earlier speed tests, and an all time fastball champion is crowned.  Is it perfect?  Probably not.  Is their methodology sound?  Couldn't tell you!

But I like the outcome.  Go check it out if you haven't seen it, and if you have, let me know what parts you liked best.

16 comments:

  1. I haven't seen it.

    But I vaguely remember an old-timer (Walter Johnson?) being timed with a speeding motorcycle. Like if the motorcycle's speedometer had it going 100 MPH and the ball got there first, etc.

    In The Rookie, he used a roadside speed detector. Not sure if he did that in real life though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is in the documentary and it wasn't Walter Johnson. Actual video, go watch it!

      Delete
  2. I was just thinking earlier today, "I haven't seen the Diamond King lately."

    Scanner outage is just about the most frustrating thing as a blogger. I absolutely hate it when mine isn't working/has quit.

    I think I saw "Fastball" on Netflix at one point. Don't remember if I finished it. Obviously it didn't leave much of an impression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! I just read something you wrote about how you like your collection to chronicle the history of baseball (or something kinda similar?). I feel the same way, and that's part of why I liked Fastball. It is interesting (and probably good) that not everyone sees things the same way.

      Delete
    2. It's also possible the content just disappeared from my brain as things often do at this age!

      Delete
  3. Good to see you and glad you're feeling better! I save my video time for the long winters. This is def something I'd enjoy watching!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see you're back, and I haven't ever seen that movie but at least heard of it. May have to check it out sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 'round these parts, that's a jack smith rookie card, not a steve dalkowski! thanks for the viewing tip, i will check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Maybe Smith is the real reason for the premium on that card. Dang fanatic Dodgers fans ruining it for everyone!!

      Delete
  6. Glad you're feeling better! I'll have to add that documentary to my watch list!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Never heard of the movie, but your post has me interested. I'll try to check it out after I sort some cards this morning... and before I take my afternoon nap.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Man, that sounds like a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah it was cool to learn about Dalkowski in that film. He passed away in April. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete