WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A thrown 98-mile per hour fastball carries nearly the same kinetic energy as a .22 bullet fired from a target pistol, WUSA9's Scott Broom demonstrated Tuesday.
Gun enthusiasts use a measure called foot-pounds to describe energy. A Ruger target pistol firing .22 caliber long rife ammunition carries about 98 ft/lbs of energy.
A 98-mph fastball thrown by a major-leaguer comes in at about 90 ft/lbs. Being hit by either is potentially life threatening, especially if the blow is to the head.
A player being targeted has a mere four-tenths of a second to react from the time a thrown fastball leaves a pitcher's hand until it crosses the plate.
Intentionally throwing a 98-mph fastball at a baseball player is clearly potentially life threatening,
Baseball has a long history of serious injuries caused by so-called "bean ball" pitches.
Only one player had died.
In 1920 Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was struck in the head by pitcher Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Chapman died in a hospital 12-hours later.