# How fast was Ryan's pitch? Answer in units of m/s. The fastest recorded pitch in Major League Baseball was thrown by Nolan Ryan in 1974. If this pitch were thrown horizontally, the ball would fall 0.809 m (2.65 ft) by the time it reached home plate, 18.3 m (60 ft) away. The acceleration of gravity is 9.81 m/s^2. We can answer this question by looking at the acceleration in the y direction. After the ball leaves Nolan Ryan's hand, the only force acting on it is gravity, in the -y direction.

The equation for distance is d = vt + (1/2)gt^2, where v is the initial velocity of...

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We can answer this question by looking at the acceleration in the y direction. After the ball leaves Nolan Ryan's hand, the only force acting on it is gravity, in the -y direction.

The equation for distance is d = vt + (1/2)gt^2, where v is the initial velocity of the ball. Since the ball was thrown horizontally, there is no initial downward velocity component to the ball; v = 0.

We know the ball fell .809 m in the time t the ball took to arive at home plate.

.809 = (1/2)(9.81)t^2 --> .165 = t^2

t = 0.41 s

So the ball travelled 18.3 m horizontally in 0.41 s. v = 18.3/0.41 = 44.63 m/s or, 99.83 mph

Note that the official speed for Ryan's pitch is 100.1 mph, thrown in August 1974 at Anaheim Stadium.

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