Last night, I was clocked throwing a plastic baseball 99 mph. That might not sound as impressive as New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman throwing a baseball 105 mph, but it was fast enough for me.
OK, I was also clocked throwing 7 mph and 23 mph, so there were clearly a few bad readings on my new radar gun, including the 99 mph reading. Most of my pitches were clocked in the low 60s, which isn’t that bad considering that I didn’t warm up and I haven’t pitched in about a year.
I’ve been looking to buy a radar gun for a while, and for years, readers have been e-mailing me asking how hard we throw. The truth is, I’ve always wondered the same thing. I could guess how fast, but I never knew for sure.
So last year, I started looking around for a radar gun, and quickly found the Jugs Guns. These are the best you can buy, but on my salary, they were way too expensive for me. Cheaper models, like the Bushnell radar guns got mixed reviews, especially for detecting speeds of small objects, such as baseballs. So I decided to check back a few months later.
This summer, I found the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar device, and it received really great reviews (some suspicious, but enough other, honest ones, for me to overlook those). It’s not perfect (based on the really low and really high readings that I got from it), but we just took it out of the box and used it, so with some practice using the device, maybe we can get better results. Plus, most results were accurate, and within a few mph of each other, so you’ll know the good readings from the occasional bad ones. I definitely recommend it.
Heavier balls like the Official Junk Ball, or taped-up balls were clocked at slightly higher speeds. So I’m guessing I can throw a real baseball faster than a plastic baseball. Surprisingly, there really wasn’t any difference between an official Wiffle Ball, and the Easton plastic training baseballs that we use.
Now, 61 mph is 61 mph, no matter what the distance from the mound to home plate is. It’s really not that fast. But you have far less time to react than Major Leaguers do. Keep in mind, in our first MLW season, we started out with the mound at 39 feet, but had to keep moving it in year after year because pitchers were getting shelled.
Based on the chart above, my 61 mph pitch gives a batter the same amount of time to react as an MLB pitcher that throws 111.8 mph, which is faster than Aroldis Chapman, or even Steve Nebraska!
Throwing hard is great. It’s even better when you can throw strikes. Just be careful. Throwing a practically weightless ball as hard as possible over time is probably a bad combination and could lead to injury. But if you’re already playing Wiffle Ball, it’s a lot of fun to see how fast you can throw using the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar.
Think you can beat my 61 mph? Buy the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar here, take a photo or video of you throwing a plastic baseball or Wiffle Ball and the radar gun, and send us the results. We’ll post them here.