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What Is the Greatest MLB Pitch of All Time?

Mariano Rivera’s cutter, Walter Johnson’s fastball, Bob Gibson’s slider, Pedro Martínez’s [insert pitch here]—everything is on the table. Presenting a special ‘Baseball BBQ’ investigation into MLB history.

Ringer illustration

Baseball history is full of incredible pitchers making incredible pitches. But which pitch can truly be considered the GOAT? That’s what Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman sought to answer in a special investigative edition of Baseball BBQ.

By talking to current and former MLB players, scouts, coaches, and analysts alike, contenders began to emerge. For instance, here is what White Sox ace Lucas Giolito had to say about Bob Gibson’s slider: “He put together one of, if not the most, dominant season ever by a starting pitcher back in ’68, and it was so good that they changed the rules for everybody and they lowered the mound. I’m gonna say his slider was definitely a big part of that.”

And here is what former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs had to say about Billy Wagner’s fastball: “It was impossible to hit. You heard it like it was Wild Thing. He was 5-foot-10, little lefty, and blew the doors off every major leaguer he faced with one pitch.”

What were the most important factors in determining what makes a pitch great? How hard was it to compare pitches across eras? Most importantly, which pitch reigned supreme? Find out by coming along for the journey.

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