Electric Eyes Gauge Speed of Baseball (Sep, 1939)


Electric Eyes Gauge Speed of Baseball

How fast can a baseball player throw a ball? A portable machine that answers this question was tried out recently at Cleveland, Ohio. Hurled into a tunnel, the ball cuts across two light beams aimed at photo-electric cells, and a mechanism registers the speed by a light flashed onto a vertical scale. Bob Feller, Cleveland pitcher, threw a ball at the rate of about seventy-five miles an hour in a test with the machine.

  1. Blurgle says: April 23, 200810:59 pm

    I suppose it could be a modified trailer, but it sure isn’t as portable as the machines they have now.

  2. Casandro says: April 24, 200810:21 am

    Today they use radar for it. Much simpler, much smaller.

  3. StanFlouride says: April 24, 20081:02 pm

    Must have a handle on top that we can’t see.

    Only 75 mph for a Bob Feller fastball? Not very accurate if that’s what he was throwing one that day:
    From wikipedia:
    …when asked if he threw harder than any other pitcher ever, responded that at the end of his career players who had batted against him and also against Nolan Ryan had said Feller threw harder than Ryan. If that was the case, Feller threw over 100 mph. Although there is footage of Feller being clocked by army ordinance equipment (used to measure artillery shell velocity) and hitting 98.6. However, this took place in the later years of his career, and the machine used, like most of the machines at the time, measured the speed of the ball as it crossed the plate whereas now the speed is measured as it leaves the pitcher’s hand.

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