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Fastball (2016)Fastball (2016)

This sports documentary wins the MVP for baseball nerdiness with its anecdotal and scientific analysis of how hard it is to hit a major league fast fastball.  And by fast, a pitch with "electricity" or "ride," they mean the difference between a mere 90 MPH pitch, which reaches home plate in 456 milliseconds, and the high heater at the magical 100 MPH, which is upon you in 396 milliseconds (about the time it takes to blink your eye).  The 50 millisecond difference means the latter pitch reaches you 4.5 feet faster, making it almost impossible for the brain to process visual stimuli fast enough to hit the ball.  As you would expect, the film interviews many of the great hitters and pitchers, along with a few pro scouts, sports columnists, and even a physicist (no, contrary to what the hitters think they see, the fastest fast balls do not rise).  The first pitcher to have his ball clocked was Walter Johnson in 1912 at 83.2 MPH.  Then there was "Bullet" Bob Feller in 1946 at 98.6.  The fastest-nastiest fastball ever?  That would be the left-handed Cuban Aroldis Chapman, at 105.1 MPH.  Unhittable.

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