Sunday, July 12, 2020

One Book and Two Films about Baseball Pitches

Thankfully, public libraries provide access to e-books.  I searched the NYPL catalog under baseball and limited my search to e-books and perused my answer set.  I was attracted to the book shown above since it was written by Tyler Kepner, a sportswriter for the New York Times.  He spoke to the NYC chapter of SABR in January 2019.  The book traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball.

  The second chapter on fastballs made reference to Fastball, a documentary directed by Jonathan Hock and narrated by Kevin Costner.  It features interviews with Hall of Fame hitters and pitchers who talk about throwing and hitting the fastball.  It even showed deceased pitchers, Walter Johnson and Robert Feller who specialized in the fastball.  It was shown at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, but I was able to view it at  It was reviewed by Sheila O'Malley.

About 7 years ago I purchased a DVD called Knuckleball that featured Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey.  I don't think any major league pitchers have thrown the knuckleball since Wakefield and Dickey retired.  I found a review of it on DVD Talk.

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