The Chicago Cubs lost Sunday’s game to the New York Yankees, 18-4.
As you would probably imagine by seeing the score, the Cubs at one point sent a position player to complete the last few outs instead of burning their bullpen depth on a game with such a lopsided score.
That player was first baseman Frank Schwindel.
Schwindel retired an inning, but not before allowing a long home run to the Yankees’ backup catcher, Kyle Higashioka.
Higashioka homered on a pitch that was thrown at 35.1 mph.
It was the slowest pitch ever to get hit for a home run in the history of the game.
JJ Cooper, the editor in chief for Baseball America, wonders if it’s possible to throw a slower pitch than that one that actually reaches the plate.
“Physicists (@pobguy?) can better speak to this than I can but I believe to get a 35 mph pitch to reach the plate requires a pretty significant parabola. Eephus or it’s not reaching the plate. Hard to throw much slower than this,” Cooper tweeted.
Physicists (@pobguy?) can better speak to this than I can but I believe to get a 35 mph pitch to reach the plate requires a pretty significant parabola. Eephus or it's not reaching the plate. Hard to throw much slower than this. https://t.co/FFa95sBgth
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 13, 2022
Can A Person Throw A Slower Pitch?
The person Cooper tagged on his tweet is Alan Nathan, a physics professor.
He said in the replies that the minimum release speed would be about 28 mph, which is actually not much slower than the pitch Schwindel threw on Sunday.
As it turns out, physics and baseball go hand in hand, and this is yet another example of that.
So, to solve the question at hand: can you throw slower than that?
Well, yes, but not by much.
In any case, Schwindel made some history with his slow pitch, one that Higashioka punished and sent to the left field stands.