You would never believe it unless you saw it. Aroldis Chapman, relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, in the bottom of the 8th inning against the Brewer’s Rickey Weeks, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, threw four pitches. Three of them were strikes. The real story was that the first pitch was 100 miles per hour; the second was 100 mph and a bit outside. The third pitch was 99 mph and the fourth, to strike out Weeks, was 101 miles per hour.
101 miles per hours.
This is not an April Fool’s joke. This was no Sidd Finch. This wasn’t fiction written by Plimpton. This was actually done on May 9, 2012 at 2:15PM (CST). It was a Wednesday to remember. The 24-year-old Cuban native on the final batter of the inning just threw cheese at the batter. Think of it. If you thought about swinging, the ball was already by you at 100 mph.
Chapman was born in Cuba. He defected in July 2009 before the start of the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. To make him eligible to play in the major leagues, he established residence in the Principality of Andorra, making him a free agent allowing him to be signed by any Major League team. In September, 2010, he became the only pitcher in the history of major league baseball to throw the fastest pitch ever recorded. On that Friday evening in San Diego, as a Cincinnati Red, he fired one 105 mph. But I didn’t see it with my own eyes. Perhaps in a former life I was from Missouri like Willard Vandiver.
This year, in 14 and two-thirds of an inning, he has struck out 25 batters, Weeks being the last of two in the only inning he faced them in the game.
When all is said and done, I saw a guy throw a baseball 101 miles per hour in a game…for a strike and an out.
That is more than cheese. It is pure smoke.