So Dan Uggla had a hit streak end at 33 games and I think that’s amazing. Listen, say this about baseball but of the 12 hardest throws in the history of baseball, 10 have been thrown in the last decade. Almost every major league roster has a guy that can throw 99 or 100mph. Nolan Ryan was one of the only guys who could do it in the late 70’s and early 80’s and then like 2 other guys in the sport that could do it. So to go out – in 2011, with guys all over the sport, fresh arms who are throwing 99 or 100mph – you can face a guy throwing 102mph in the 7th inning and to have a 33 game hitting streak…is amazing!
If you go back and look at the history of the velocity of pitching, you can make a very good argument that about every 20 years, velocity increases by about 5mph. In the 70’s the Cincinnati Red (my dad’s favourite team growing up) were the dominant team. They had one guy who could throw in the 90’s Don Gullet and then it was a bunch of Fred Normans and Jack Billingham’s throwing at like 86mph – and this was a dominant team (google “The Big Red Machine”).
You can make an argument that every 20 years; we gain about 5mph of velocity from a pitcher – which is why I’ve always questioned Babe Ruth. You can look at the numbers and make a very reasonable argument, that Babe Ruth faced guys throwing 83mph…tops! But Dan Uggla – think about baseball, Dan Uggla, baseball today is the best players in the world. Babe Ruth faced the best white guys from the United States next to a train station. So to go 33 games, hitting safely, when guys are habitually throwing 98, 99 and 100mph – that is utterly amazing to me. That’s why baseball to often looks to its past, like what was Babe Ruth facing? No split finger, it wasn’t a world game, it was guys next to train stations over and over and over again.