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Ron DeSantis claims Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan threw better fastballs than today’s pitchers

Ron DeSantis argues that Major League Baseball players of bygone times threw faster than today’s equivalents.

During a Friday night event in Grimes, Iowa, the Florida Governor and 2024 presidential candidate again discussed Iowa native Bob Feller when he contended that Feller and fellow fireballer Nolan Ryan had more heat on their throws than the whippersnappers of today.

“And they’ve actually since done a documentary on who has the fastest fastball. And, you know, now these guys go, and they’ll say they’re throwing 101 102. But those, those radar guns are juiced compared to what they were in the 1930s, 40s and 50s,” DeSantis contended.

“So, they said if you actually put somebody on the same plane, none of the pitchers now threw as hard as Bob Feller did back in his era or Nolan Ryan too; Nolan was the two, those are the two best.”

DeSantis also told a story about how Feller’s fastball was tested against a motorcycle and won.

“So, to time his pitches, they actually did a thing where they had a motorcycle going like 90 some miles an hour. And as soon as he threw, they timed the motorcycle to go, and he threw faster than the motorcycle. So, it was the fastest pitcher of his era.”

Feller pitched from 1936 to 1956, with an interregnum for World War II service between 1942 and 1944.

1946 was his best year in terms of two key stats. He had 26 wins and threw 346 strikeouts that postwar season.

DeSantis noted that Feller, upon enlisting in the Navy, insisted upon going to combat rather than entertaining the troops with his baseball skills. The Governor said Feller “came back a hero” after doing some “pretty significant things.”

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