More than any sport, perhaps, baseball is a game of constant, brief exhilarations for its fans. The delivery of each pitch is preceded by a moment of anticipation and followed quickly upon by a flash of excitement or disappointment — the crack of a line drive, the thud of an infield pop-up, the swing of a bat followed by the snap of the catcher’s mitt around the ball followed by the pumping of the umpire’s hand/arm…
The “whiff” is the perfect example of baseball’s many tiny catharses, equally balanced with the pitcher’s mastery (of stuff or command or both) and the batter’s ineptitude. The fact that said balance could shift completely with the very next pitch might add to the exciting complexity of the game as a whole, but, in isolation, few occurrences in baseball match the whiff’s combination of the triumphant and the ephemeral. No single whiff — nor even a seasonal body of whiffs — indicates the effectiveness the associated hitter or pitcher, but it adds to our net enjoyment while watching a game, and to our understanding of they kind of player the hitter or pitcher is.
In honor of this minuscule yet orgasmic aspect of the game, please enjoy these so-called Leaderboards of Windiness.
The Windiest Hitters
Presently sorted by total number of Whiffs (qualified hitters only).
The Windiest Pitchers
Also sorted by total number of Whiffs (qualified pitchers only).