Frequently, when recalling past events, the protagonists themselves make the worst witnesses. Through the years people just don't remember well and then fill in the gaps. With every recollection they tend to embellish the story, adding or subtracting details to make them more o less dramatic, spectacular, difficult, etc., depending on their demeanor. We, humans do that: it's our nature. I will mention two cases I have found here in baseball fever.

In a thread on Bob Turley, he was reported as saying that his nickname “Bullet” was not because he threw harder than anybody else in his time, but because when he was clocked in Baltimore in 1954 with a device used to time bullets, Tom Meany, covering the event for Look Magazine, coined the term and it stuck. Bob is modest. The fact is that on May 24, 1954 Time Magazine published an article on Turley called : As fast as Feller's? comparing their speeds. So he was, indeed considered by some the fastest, or at least one the fastest of his time. So much for the reason. And for when, well, I've found a column named Gibberish, written by C.M. Gibbs in the Baltimore Sun, dated on Dec 19, 1953 where the young and promising “Bullet” Bob Turley was mentioned. So, sure enough, when Turley was clocked in Baltimore the following year -if, indeed, he was clocked that year-, he was already known as “Bullet” Bob.

Another case is the aforementioned Bob Feller. In an interview for the Baseball Digest in 1976 Feller recalled that in 1939, in Cleveland Municipal Stadium , “I threw into the one they had [the measuring device], point blank as hard as I could and clocked 139 mph.” The number is probably right, but not the units. Since that device measured speed in feet per second, the right speed of this otherwise undocumented throw should have been around 94.77 mph. Coincidentally the same speed Atley Donald was recorded on such device. He also reports in his book “Bob Feller's Little Black Book of Baseball Wisdom” that he was clocked at 107.9 mph when he was tested in Washington in 1946, figure that has been repeated in some threads here. That event is well documented and the fact is that he was clocked at 98,6 mph, however, since that measure was taken at home plate, some estimates assume that throw to have been released at 107.9 mph. In discharge of Feller's memory, he probably had been aware of those estimates by the time he co-wrote his book and therefore were those the figures he preferred to report.

Now, it is not that we, as protagonists, never tell the truth. We all recall the facts as we honestly remember them, the problem is we can't trust only our memories, because we tend to make things up. So if we are to report events as they happened, we can not trust anybody's recollections. We have to look for what other witnesses wrote at the time.

I'm trying to reconstruct all clocking intents since that of Walter Johnson and “Nap” Rucker in 1912 up to that of Nolan Ryan in 1974. Basically reports written by witnesses. Not interviews, not hearsay, unless they can help me to trace actual witnesses. Through the internet I have collected an important deal of documented facts, but I feel I have already depleted the internet, the open resources I mean. I'm missing, for example, a transcript of the article that Tom Meany supposedly wrote for Look Magazine on Bob Turley's clocking. Also, I don't have much detail on the tests carried out in Miami, in 1960. If somebody cares about this subject, please contact me to share information.