Rangers’ catcher-turned-reliever might have thrown the worst pitch in MLB history
The pitch was so bad it didn’t register on the radar gun. It was so bad the pitcher who threw it looked back at the ball flying over the fence with the same facial expression one would use to react to a lame dad joke. Not mad, just disappointed.
Rangers backup catcher Tim Federowicz, in to pitch the ninth inning of a blowout, might have thrown the worst pitch in baseball history. His lob to the plate was smacked out of the park by Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly, the final blow of a 19-4 drubbing. Federowicz actually managed to retire three of the next five4 hitters without surrendering another run.
But that didn’t save him from the meatball of all meatballs he put on a platter for Kelly.
Here’s the thing: Federowicz hit 77.4 mph with the last pitch of the inning, according to Statcast, which means he had it in him to throw at a semi-respectable speed. Either he was wasn’t fully warmed up when he came in (probable), he was rusty on the mound (if he’d ever been there in his life) or he simply didn’t care very much about the inning’s outcome.
Was it the worst ever attempt, though? Hard to say given the lack of video on the 1900 Boston Beaneaters and similar teams lost to history.
But it was certainly one of the easiest pitches to hit we can recall, even in an era of position players pitching more frequently.
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