The Blooper Pitch
In December 1941, Sewell was injured in a hunting accident, as he was shot with two loads of buckshot. The injury permanently damaged the big toe that Sewell pitched off, and he was required to re-engineer his pitching motion and delivery. The re-engineered pitching motion is what gave rise to Sewell's famous "blooper pitch."
Sewell threw the blooper pitch by holding onto the seam and flipping it off three fingers to get backspin. Sewell's blooper reached an arc of 25 feet. The first time Sewell threw the blooper in a game was in an exhibition match against the Detroit Tigers. Sewell described the reaction of the Detroit batter, Dick Wakefield: "He started to swing, he stopped, he started again, he stopped, and then he swung and missed it by a mile. I thought everybody was going to fall off the bench, they were laughing so hard." (Donald Honig, "Baseball When the Grass Was Real" (1975), p. 254)
Pittsburgh outfielder Maurice Van Robays named Sewell's blooper pitch the "Eephus pitch," saying, "Eephus ain't nothin' and that's what that ball is."
Read more about this topic: Rip Sewell
Famous quotes containing the word pitch:
“I dream that I have brought
To such a pitch my thought
That coming time can say,
He shadowed in a glass
What thing her body was.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)