Love Letters From Pronk: The Pitching Ninja, Rob Friedman
Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, sometimes touching, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: The best account on Twitter, the Pitching Ninja himself, Rob Friedman.
Dear Mr. Ninja,
I came to Twitter about 3 years ago. I didn't want to get yet another social media account. Especially on a platform that was notorious for it's nasty political content. But I had some friends who wanted me on, so I gave in, saying I'd give it a month. Then I came across your account. It was cool to see pitchers stuff, in slow motion, different angles, all that good stuff.
But, I got hooked on stuff like this:
So simple, yet so perfectly telling about what major league pitching actually is like. Overlaying pitches on top of each other is one of those so simple yet great inventions, you'd wonder why it wasn't done sooner. How did ESPN or MLB network not really do that before you did? Seeing fastballs overlaid with curves, all of a sudden it makes crystal clear why major league pitching is so hard to hit. I always understood that hitters could time out fastballs. And while I understood that keeping hitters off balance with off speed and breaking pitches was the way to miss bats, your gifs took me to the next level. Never again could I criticize major league hitting, because even if one pitch is hittable, you need to guess what's coming.
I love your overlays. It helps me understand the different types of pitches, as well as appreciate the really good stuff. Again, it's such a simple idea, but completely genius. It helps fans of all different levels take the next step. But overlays aren't the only thing you do. There's windups, motions, highlights, pitchers from the past, among many other things I can't remember. You are an encyclopedia of pitching knowledge. A teacher. A database. A museum. More than just a ninja.
You also have a fantastic sense of clever referential humor:
When I discovered your account, I was on Twitter to stay. It has been a great follow, for years. You do magnificent work. And it goes far beyond the gifs. Your efforts on the Flatground app have touched many lives, bringing exposure to those who might have had none otherwise. While your account might have began as a bit of a novelty, you've evolved and brought light to the world.
You are super cool and awesome. We all wish we were as cool and awesome as you.