We live in a cosmic universe. For those of you who don’t know what that means, look at it this way: chaos. Round rocks that explode everywhere colliding into other rocks create a level of unpredictability, just like baseball. A man standing on a hill throwing a rock going at (basically) the speed of light at a man standing on a plate trying to hit it with a stick gives baseball a cosmic sex appeal. For those of you who are not baseball fans, Fastball is a documentary film that will provide you with a new admiration for our nation’s past time.
The logline states:
“Scientists and baseball great analyze what a batter faces when a pitcher hurls a fastball, which takes less than half a second to reach home plate.”
First of all, Kevin Costner narrates this documentary. For those of you who are not familiar with Kevin Costner, he is “The Ball Player of Cinema.” He has appeared in such classics like Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For the Love of the Game and he even played a retired player in The Upside of Anger. All classics.
Hearing some of the greatest hitters talk about their experiences facing the game’s most intimidating pitchers who throw over 100 mph is worth a watch regardless if you are a baseball fan or not. My favorite part of the film is learning how mentally tough being a pitcher is. Fastball has excellent insight from pitchers from today and yesteryear explaining how they use their greatest weapon in different ways.
Imagine being all alone on a mound and it is just you and the batter. Everyone else is basically just dust in the wind at this point. I never pitched while I played baseball, but as a hitter, I’d always imagine being in a dark room with the pitcher. Just me and a piece of meat that I had to hit. I would look that pitcher right in the eye and try to fry him every time and oh baby, I’d be sizzling. What surprised me the most was to hear Hall of Fame baseball players talk about how scared they were of facing sure pitcher’s fastballs, even though they knew the heater was coming.
I was baffled by this.
This film goes beyond baseball. Fastball transcends into the ultimate question of “What if”? That question bleeds into romanticism, the idea of subjectivity-inspiration, and the primacy of an individual.
Fastball makes me think and asks that very question. What if Babe Ruth faced Justin Verlander? What if David Price faced Wade Boggs or Carl Yastrzemski? Sandy Koufax versus Ichiro? Ted Williams versus Walter Johnson or even Aroldis Chapman? What if we all tried world peace for a chance preventing all of these mass murders, shootings, genocide, war and all of that negativity in the world that is happening now? What if Kevin Costner ran for President? What if we all just put our guns down and did something positive, like playing baseball?
Sounds crazy but, what if?
Like I said, this film goes beyond baseball, and I am only saying that because it is a cosmic game and we live in a cosmic universe. This is a beautiful lesson that you are going to learn while you watch this film and it is fantastic!If you don’t understand my theory of baseball and the cosmos, then watch this film and create your theory and let me know because nothing is more romantic than that; and how can you not be romantic about baseball?
The Cat of Cinema