The Coolest Baseball GIF of All Time

Carson Cistulli’s infatuation with specific pitches and Jeff Sullivan’s desire to highlight the bizarre and hilarious have led to some great GIFs on FanGraphs over the last few years. But, today, I think we all have to acknowledge that the art form of the GIF has been perfected. Or, at least, has hit a new high. Because this is simply incredible.


A commenter on Lone Star Ball created this image, showing the difference in movement on Yu Darvish‘s pitches, and I can’t stop watching this. Mesmerizing is probably the best word I can use.

Thanks to Drew Sheppard — the guy has a webcomic, by the way, which deserves a plug just because of how great this GIF is for making this — for originally posting it to Lone Star Ball. I hope this inspires Drew (or others) to make more of these, though it might be that the Darvish one will never be topped. This feels like the Mona Lisa of GIFs.

Also, good luck to opposing hitters trying to hit Yu Darvish.

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

72 Responses to “The Coolest Baseball GIF of All Time”

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  1. t ball says:

    I think DShep had done this same thing with Darvish’s pitches at least once before, IIRC. It’s an incredible view of the variety of looks Darvish gives batters, better than any graph.

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    • Balthazar says:

      Yeah, this is a terrfic .gif by Lone Star Bell. Really nice to compare velocities amongst other things. The Batter’s late of the high fastball, doesn’t line up the cutter or whatever, and can’t read the breaking balls or change-up away at all. Yu’s arm slot is _perfectly identical_ and his release point identical for everything. There’s some different hand action as one would expect from releasing different grips, but it’s hard to imagine a hitter has time to read that. We’re seeing in a single viewing why Darvish was so highly thought of when the bidding was on for him. Good luck to Yu (so long as he keeps losing to my team)!

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  2. Paul says:

    BEST GIF EVER!!!!!!!!!

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  3. KCDaveInLA says:

    I think some pitchers GIF’s will be like the video of equivalent of playing Nickelback songs simultaneously (search YouTube for those..they’re hilarious).

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  4. Krog says:

    Making a kickstarter for a GIF museum.

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  5. Bluebird in Boulder says:

    I have a perfectly rational man-crush on Yu Darvish. *swoon*

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  6. Cauld says:

    If he throws 5 balls, I would think that opposing hitters would see an increasing in contact%, right?

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  7. Matt says:

    I just came.

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  8. sam says:

    Someone should make another of the one that chumped the ump last night. Right in the cup! Oi….

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  9. Tim says:

    Waiting for R.A. Dickey.

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  10. rotowizard says:

    The one that starts out real high and seems to end real low might be the greatest pitch ever thrown. I swear the break on it must have been at least 4 feet. Either that or this has created some sort of LSD trip to my eyes.

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  11. Greg says:

    I want to see this done with Dickey

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  12. elijah says:

    Man, Pujols swings and misses on all five balls thrown at him? What’s with him?

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  13. TKDC says:

    I think a cool one would be seeing Vlad or some of his free swinging peers hitting home runs on pitches in wildly different locations.

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  14. Neil says:

    This needs to be posted as a video so we can adjust the speed at which it plays and pause it. In other words, my complaint is that this is too awesome to take in at once.

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  15. chuckb says:

    It would be nice if someone would also identify the 4 pitches. Perhaps he does that over at LSB. Are they a slider, a curve, a 4-seamer, and a 2-seamer?

    Spectacular gif.

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    • Mojowo11 says:

      From the GIF’s creator: “Used 5 pitches from last night; a 97 mph 4 seam fastball, 96 mph 2 seam fastball, 85 mph slider, 78 mph slider with a different grip that is more vertical, and a 64 mph slow curve. He also throws a cutter and splitter/changeup regularly but I figured those would make it too messy.”

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  16. Coodle says:


    This gives me a deeper appreciation of MLB, including the Astros and Yuniesky Betancourt and Joey Votto. Physics, too.

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  17. Thomas says:

    Looks like the pitches are (from right to left): 2-seamer, 4-seamer, splitter, slider/hard curve, curve. Does that seem right?

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    • Thomas says:

      Just saw the post above with the pitch types… woops. I feel a little silly for thinking that curve was a splitter.

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  18. Cidron says:

    One motion and he got to a 3ball and 2 strike count !! That’s effeciency

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  19. funketown says:

    I’ll probably spend the next forty minutes or so watching this.

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  20. Hitler But Sadder says:

    I find myself just watching it and doing an awkward in-between laugh/cry that my grandmother does while watching her stories… Seriously though that arm slot doesn’t move.

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  21. mark says:

    The Angels hittersbatters would probably give Drew no credit whatsoever, because this is exactly how it looked to them all night.

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  22. Fabian says:

    And now Dave announced that the creator is joining Fangraphs. How much better does it get?

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  23. JD says:

    Pretty sure this kind of pitch is against the rules.

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  24. Ricardo says:


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  25. Kevin says:

    This has always been my fav…Martin Prado

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  26. TimothyS says:

    There needs to be one of Steve Lyons taking his pants off while dusting himself off.

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  27. Yoko Ono says:

    The GIF at the bottom of this page is definitely the best GIF ever:

    And as a bonus here is the You Tube version:

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  28. Jon L. says:

    Do it for Pedro!

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