ScreenHunter_146 May. 24 17.08

If there were ever going to be some kind of cheesy, baseball-themed horror movie, we’re almost certain the mechanical antagonist would be this Shizuoka Prefecture pitching machine – the world’s fastest at a pitching speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) – which would probably be depicted firing a fastball directly through the torso of some cocky coed.

Record-setting and somewhat terrifying? You bet we had to go and take a shot at hitting one of those blazingly fast pitches. Well, like, not us. We’re too young and handsome to die. We sent one of our Japanese-language writers, instead.


At the Shizuoka Prefecture Mihagino Batting Center, our writer agreed to take a shot swinging at a pitch thrown out by the center’s (heavily advertised) “World’s Fastest Pitching Machine” (sadly, they haven’t given the machine a punny nickname, which it clearly deserves).

Before we get into details about our writer Takashi’s trip, we’ll take a second to remind you that Major League Baseball’s fastest pitch on record is apparently 105 mph, pitched by Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. The Mihagino Batting Center’s fastest machine pitches almost 40 mph faster than that; over double the speed limit on most American highways.


So who better to take a stab at this terrifyingly fast pitching machine than a shlumpy writer who played a little baseball in high school!

Looking at the below video of the pitching machine in question is actually flinch-inducing. Of all the jump scares in all the horror movies and video games I’ve seen, nothing has really quite made me flinch in my seat more than seeing this mechanical monstrosity suddenly rip a 143-mile-per-hour scorcher.

Our writer who agreed to take on the monumental task of attempting to hit one of these lightning fast pitches says he prepared by copying the upper body weight lifting routine of a famous Japanese slugger. Slotting in the 250 yen necessary for a go with the world’s fastest pitching machine, he did his best to mimic the stance of his favorite baseball player and steeled his will as the machine wound up…




Inevitably, the pitch went straight past our man before he could even react. He describes the ball going by in the blink of an eye; so fast that even attempting to bunt a pitch that fast seemed like a tall order. Of course, hitting a 143 mph fastball was completely out of the reach of our (thankfully unharmed) reporter, but he took a snap of a Wall of Fame featuring photos and names of everyone who has managed to sneak a hit – plus an even more prestigious group who actually struck a home run.


Win or lose, our writer was presented with a commemorative “You Did your Best!” card for his effort, although something tells us that’s not going to be enough to even get a spot as bat boy on a major Japanese team.


Photos: RocketNews24


[ Read in Japanese ]