Blown Away by Fastball

This Sunday my wife was out shopping with her friends, so after the Angels got swept by the Houston Astros, I decided to take advantage of my remaining free time by watching a film I had noticed a few days ago on Netflix’s new releases page.  It is called Fastball, and I can not recommend it enough.  If you like baseball, if you enjoy science, and if you are an Angel fan, viewing this film is absolutely essential.

The film explores the enduring popularity of the power pitch and uses physics to explain some of the mysteries associated with it.  The film also examines the popular stopping points in the history of the fastball in segments on Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Steve Dalkowski, Nolan Ryan, Craig Kimbrel, and Aroldis Chapman.  Along the way, several of the masters of the pitch, like Gibson, Ryan, Goose Gossage, Justin Verlander, and David Price explain what they can about it, and on the flip side, the film also offers the perspective of some of the greatest hitters in the game, like Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Derek Jeter as they explain what it means to stand in the box and face the fiercest fastballs in the game.

And for Angel fans, in addition to the great, not-to-be-missed segment on Nolan Ryan, there also is a moment in the film set aside for Troy Percival as well.