What Is an Uncle Charlie In Baseball? [Explained]
An “Uncle Charlie” pitch is a baseball pitch that is sometimes referred to as such by announcers or players while watching baseball. In baseball, what exactly is an Uncle Charlie? A curveball is referred to as Uncle Charlie in some circles. Despite the fact that it may be used to describe any curveball, it is often reserved for pitchers who have a high-quality curveball. It is not known where the moniker “Uncle Charlie” came from. Let’s take a look at some of the likely roots of Uncle Charlie in baseball, as well as his current position in the game.
What Is an Uncle Charlie In Baseball?
When it comes to baseball, a curveball pitch is referred known as “Uncle Charlie” because of its shape. Its actual origins are now unclear. The application of the moniker Uncle Charlie in baseball may vary from person to person – for example, some may only use it in connection to a very good curveball, using the nickname almost as a show of respect for the pitcher’s ability to throw a good curveball in the first place. Others, on the other hand, will use the term Uncle Charlie in baseball to describe to any sort of curveball, regardless of whether it is an excellent curveball.
What Is A Curveball in Baseball?
In baseball, a curveball is a pitch that decelerates as it gets closer to the plate. Even though it has a tiny curve to it, the most significant breaking action occurs downhill when it is thrown correctly. Along with the slider, it is considered a form of “breaking ball” that a pitcher may throw in a certain situation. An inverted curveball is thrown by bringing both of one’s index fingers forward on the baseball as it is delivered, generating forward spin that causes the baseball to dive as it gets closer to home plate.
When the pitch gets half-way to the plate, it appears to be quite hittable, prompting the batter to begin firing his or her hands in preparation for the swing.
As a result, the curveball creates a significant number of swings and misses in baseball.
Origin of Uncle Charlie In Baseball
It is not known who coined the phrase “Uncle Charlie” to refer to a curveball, or why they used the term. There are, however, a few hypotheses as to why this is the case. A number of video game historians believe that the phrase originated with the use of CB radios in the 1970s. CB radio users referred to the Federal Communications Commission as “Uncle Charlie” at the time of its establishment. Apparently, because of the tenuous relationship between “Curveball” (CB) and CB Radio, the word “Uncle Charlie” was able to leap this tenuous connection and become widely known.
Curveballs are crafty pitches that confuse batters by tricking their eyes into thinking they are hitting a fastball.
In a similar vein, in some sectors of American society, uncles are portrayed as free, wise-cracking pranksters who get away with everything.
This character serves as the counterpoint (or curveball) to a severe, hard-nosed, no-fun father (fastball). Some feel that the term’s origins may be traced back to its association with American culture. No one, however, is certain as to where this phrase came from originally.
What Is A Lord Charles In Baseball?
The phrase “Lord Charles” is used to describe the curveball thrown by Dwight “Doc” Gooden. With 16 seasons in Major League Baseball under his belt, Dwight Gooden is widely regarded as possessing the nastiest curveball in all of sports history. To further depict the pitch’s total domination, in the 1980s, the moniker “Lord Charles” was given to it instead of “Uncle Charlie,” as it had been in previous years. Because of this history, the moniker “Lord Charles” has been synonymous with the most elite variations of a curveball in baseball circles since that time.
What Is A Hanging Curveball?
It is a failed curveball when it does not break down far enough and instead lingers (hangs) in the strike zone for the hitter to plow through. The fact that curveballs do not break sharply makes them extremely hittable deliveries. The velocity of a curveball is substantially lower than that of a fastball (or slider), making it a much more comfortable velocity for batters to respond to when they see it. As an added bonus, a failed curveball will not have a crisp diving action; rather, it will have a tiny, flat looping movement that hangs in the strike zone and does not mislead the batter.
Curveballs that linger in the strike zone are often thrown by pitchers who have not completed their delivery properly.
What Are the Different Versions of a Curveball?
In addition to the basic curveball, there are other varieties of the curveball that a pitcher may choose to employ instead due to their efficiency. All curveballs have a downward spiking motion that is relatively similar, but a pitcher may experiment with different grips until he finds one that he is comfortable with. In addition to the basic curveball, the following varieties of curveballs are available:
- With a spike grip, throw a curveball that is spiked. Dropped knuckles as a result of less rotation on the knuckle curveball A Slurve is a combination of a Slider and a Curveball
- It is a combination of a Slider and a Curveball.
Uncle Charlie in Baseball: Are ThereOther Nicknames for A Curveball?
Curveballs are known by a variety of nicknames in baseball, in addition to Uncle Charlie. The following is a list of some of the different terms that have been used to describe it:
- When it spikes, it drops from 12 to 6 on a clock face, which is an allusion to its sudden plunge. Because a curveball descends like a hammer thrown end over end, the term “Hammer” or “Yellow Hammer” is used. In this case, the word Yakker is a soft allusion to a bird that has swooping movement. Hook– The form of the curve drop is reminiscent of the shape of a hook. Furthermore, because it has the potential to trick a batter into swinging at an unhittable pitch
- Because of its top spin, it is referred to as a spinner. A hanging curveball is referred to as a cement mixer in some circles. It spins, but it doesn’t seem to travel much downward
- A term used to describe the power of a curveball to make a batter appear dumb
- Knee Buckler Because the catcher indicates the pitch with two fingers, it is referred to as a deuce. Because of its bending action, it is referred to as a bender. Breaker– This is also related to the motion of the pitch. Breaker can also be used as a slider in some cases.
Does Every Pitcher Throw an Uncle Charlie in Baseball?
No. Any pitchers will substitute a slider for a curveball, or some other sort of breaking ball, in place of the latter. While a curveball has always been a popular pitch, a slider can be a very effective pitch when used correctly. When thrown with more velocity, sliders have a late break. Because the break occurs so late in the motion, a premium slider might appear to be a fastball when it is halfway to the plate. When the hitter recognizes that it is a slider, he or she has already committed himself to the pitch by firing their hands.
This is an extremely tough combination for a batter to battle against since they both seem quite identical halfway to the plate at the same time.
Other Baseball Information
For further baseball information, please see the articles listed below:
- The terms “1-2-3 double play,” “3-6-4 double play,” and “5-6-3 double play” are defined as follows: 1. Baseball Pitches are described in detail
- The duration of a baseball game
- The following is a list of stuff to bring to a baseball game: Baseball’s most significant positions are as follows: Is it possible to advance on a foul ball?
Controversy – Who Invented the Curveball?
The curveball is regarded to be one of the most prominent pitches a pitcher can throw in the game of baseball. The pitcher tosses the ball in such a way that it not only has a forward trajectory but also has a significant amount of spin, which is nothing short of a miracle of physics. A curveball, when delivered with the appropriate amount of spin and speed, may be tough to hit. When it comes to the genesis of this pitch, there is considerable disagreement.
Candy Cummings, a professional baseball player who was born in 1848 and played for a number of professional clubs, including the Cincinnati Reds, is credited with coining the phrase. More information on the origins of the curveball may be found here:
Candy Cummings Possibly Invents the Curveball
However, the National Baseball Hall of Fame does grant Candy Cummings credit for inventing the curveball, despite the fact that its origins are up for question. On April 22, 1876, he made his big league debut with the Hartford Dark Blues, a team that is still in existence today. Candy invented the curveball by analyzing the trajectory of a shell that was thrown against the wind, according to information provided on Baseball Almanac. ‘I thought what a fantastic thing it would be if I could make a baseball curve like that,’ Cummings has recalled of the experience.
While participating in baseball games with the other boys in his area, he began to experiment with throwing the ball in that manner.
Other People Part of the Controversy
Some people are hesitant to give Cummings credit, claiming that it was Phonney Martin who was the first to throw a professional curveball pitch, and that Cummings should instead be given credit. Long before photography and lighting progressed to the point where it could be objectively demonstrated to be a result of fluid dynamics, the noticeable drop of the curve ball was considered to be an optical illusion. Uncle Charlie, or Lord Charles, was one of the early monikers for the curveball, which was also used to refer to it.
It should come as no surprise that Harvard was the first to get hit by the curveball.
Until that point, baseball had been predominantly an offensive sport that benefited the batter or hitter.
5 Baseball Terms that Sound Fake But Are Real
8 Baseball Phrases That May Appear Fake, But Are Actually Correct Sign in to leave comments on your favorite stories, take part in discussions in your community, and engage with your friends and other users. LOG IN WITH YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
- 8 Baseball Terms That May Appear Fake, But Are Actually Correct
One of the most unique aspects of baseball is that its supporters have created a culture around the game that is exceedingly difficult to leave and enter once established. One of the reasons for this is the unique and colorful terminology that is unmatched by any other sport on the planet. However, among the terminology, there are a few that, to the inexperienced eye, appear completely irrational or irrelevant to the game in question. Baseball fans, on the other hand, are more observant and have deciphered a number of strange-sounding expressions that are still regularly employed in today’s baseball scene.
1. Can of Corn
This is not a vegetable in any way. This is a word that refers to a low, lazy fly ball to the outfield that is simple to field. There are two plausible genesis tales for this phrase. To begin, in the nineteenth century, grocers would place canned corn on the top shelf and would have to tip them into their aprons to move them down the shelf.
Alternatively, it has been suggested that the outfield was formerly known as “The Cornfield,” and that the word originated from there. In any case, despite the fact that it appears to have nothing to do with baseball, this is one of the most widely recognized words in the game.
2. Cup of Coffee
Don’t get too excited, Seattleites; this has absolutely nothing to do with our caffeinated beverage of choice. Simply put, this phrase refers to a minor leaguer who gets called up to the majors for a short amount of time or for the entirety of a season. Some say that these athletes are only in the big leagues for a short period of time, just long enough to get a cup of coffee before being sent back down. One would believe that ordering a cup of coffee shouldn’t take more than a few days, but it’s possible that this word comes from the city of Seattle.
3. Golden Sombrero
I’m not even going to get into the possibility of racism being ingrained in this phrase. In baseball, this is a disparaging epithet used to describe a player who has struck out four times in a single game. The name “Hat Trick” was coined to refer to a three-strikeout game, which is derived from the term “Hat Trick.” They stated that they would want a larger hat for a four-strikeout game, and so the phrase “Golden Sombrero” was coined. It was only due of the big size of a sombrero that it came to be.
4. High Cheese
This is one of those expressions that, at least in my opinion, makes absolutely no sense at all. This term refers to a fastball that is thrown high and quickly. So, what exactly is it about cheese that makes people think of baseballs being hurled really quickly right in their faces?
5. Uncle Charlie
Uncle Charlie has nothing to do with baseball in any in shape or form. The word refers to a curve ball that has a spectacular break in it. While many pitchers are capable of throwing a curveball, only a select handful are capable of throwing an Uncle Charlie. The story’s origins are still a mystery, much like the story of the real Uncle Charlie.
6. Playing Doctor
While the meaning of this phrase might vary depending on a variety of conditions, in baseball, it has nothing to do with actual physicians or medical professionals. Doctoring the baseball is the term used to describe when a pitcher tamper with a ball, such as scuffing it or modifying it in any manner. It is because of this that pitchers who take part in this activity are referred to as “playing doctors.” I find it amusing because while doctors are generally trained to repair ailments, doctoring a baseball entails hurting and altering the object being treated.
In an effort to keep this PG, I’ll go right to the point of its significance. It refers to acting in a showy manner in order to appear cool in front of the crowd. This is most commonly used when a player flips his bat after hitting a home run in baseball. It is referred to as “pimping” the homer in baseball. This name, as well as the motion of bat-flipping, has generated a great deal of debate in Major League Baseball, but the fans appear to enjoy it.
8. Get on One’s Horse
While professional Horseback Baseball is still a long way from becoming well known in the United States, the phrase has nothing to do with horses in the traditional sense. Fielders who must cover significant distances in a short period of time in order to make an effective play are described as sprinters. This word refers to a fielder running as fast as they possibly can in order to make a play, similar to how riding a horse is fast. Baseball is a sport that almost anybody can participate in and enjoy, therefore it seems to reason that the language would only make sense to a small number of people who are familiar with it.
Once the language has been learned, the game expands to become much more than a simple gaming experience. This Content Has Been Reported This material has not been approved by Odyssey HQ and only reflects the views and opinions of the author who has not been compensated.
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Woodrow Bechtelar IV posed the question. 4.2 out of 5 stars (51 votes) Its actual origins are now unclear. When it comes to baseball, the use of the moniker Uncle Charlie might vary from person to person – for example, some may only use it in connection to a very good curveball, using the nickname almost as a show of respect for the pitcher’s ability to throw a good curveball.
Why do they call it Uncle Charlie?
Uncle Charlie, or Lord Charles, was one of the early monikers for the curveball, which was also used to refer to it. In honor of Harvard President Charles Elliot, who was vocal in his opposition to the curveball and felt it to be cheating, this moniker was coined.
What is Adam Wainwright salary?
ST. LOUIS — In his deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2022 season, pitcher Adam Wainwright is guaranteed $17.5 million, which is more than quadruple his salary of $8 million this season. Not that it makes any difference, but the 40-year-old is also protected by a complete no-trade clause in the agreement published Friday.
What is Harrison Bader salary?
Contract that is currently in effect A one-year contract for $2,000,000 with the St. Louis Cardinals was signed by Harrison Bader on Monday. The contract includes a $2,000,000 guarantee as well as an annual average pay of $2,000,000. In 2021, Bader will get a base salary of $2,000,000 and a total salary of $2,000,000, for a total compensation of $2,000,000.
Who invented curveball?
Candy Cummings (October 18, 1848 – May 16, 1924) was an American professional baseball player who played for the New York Giants. He was a pitcher in the National Association and the National League, where he won two championships. In many circles, Cummings is credited with inventing the curveball. In 1939, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There were 36 questions that were connected.
Where did the term curveball come from?
This colloquial expression originated from baseball, where a pitcher tries to trick the hitter by throwing a curve ball with enough spin to cause it to veer away from its intended course and land on the ground. In the mid-1900s, the phrase was extended to include various types of surprises that were not always unpleasant.
Who was the first pitcher to throw 100 mph?
It is possible that unsourced information may be questioned and removed. Stephen Louis Dalkowski Jr. (June 3, 1939 – April 19, 2020), better known by his nickname Dalko, was an American left-handed pitcher who played in the Major Leagues. He was frequently referred to be the “fastest pitcher in baseball history,” and his fastball was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph (160 km/h).
Did Babe Ruth throw a curveball?
In his early years as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth was known for curling his tongue in the corner of his mouth after throwing a curveball, a behavior that he was compelled to quit when enough batters became aware of it.
Why do they say can of corn in baseball?
Corn in a can. A fly ball to the outfield that was shot high and simple to grab.
The expression is thought to have originated in the nineteenth century and to refer to an old-time grocer’s way of lowering canned goods from a high shelf. It’s also a phrase that refers to anything that isn’t really difficult.
Does Nolan Arenado have a child?
A year after their wedding, Lydia, the couple welcomed their first child into their family. Eight months ago, when they found out they were having their second child, they decided on two possible names: Everlee or Easton, the latter of which was inspired by baseball equipment that Justin had used as a youngster growing up.
Who were the original 8 MLB teams?
With eight founding members, the National League was formed in 1886. The Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves), Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Cincinnati Reds), Hartford Dark Blue s, Louisville Grays s, Mutual of New York s, Philadelphia Athletics s, and St. Louis Brown Stockings sprang up in 1887.
Who’s the oldest NBA player 2020?
Udonis Haslem, who is currently 41 years old, is the oldest active player in the league. His first NBA game came during the 2003–04 campaign, and he is currently in his 18th season with the team. Haslem is the only player who was born before 1984 who is still in the NBA and under contract with a franchise, as of this writing.
Which is older Wrigley vs Fenway?
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois. Wrigley Field first opened its doors in 1914, making it the second-oldest current Major League Baseball stadium behind Fenway Park. Chicago’s Wrigley Field was the latest major league ballpark to be illuminated, with the Cubs not allowing night games to be played at Wrigley until 1988.
How old is Yadi?
The St. Louis Cardinals catcher, who is 39 years old, made the statement on Wednesday, a day after signing a one-year deal with the team for the 2022 season. “It’s difficult to maintain a high level of competition in this game,” Molina said.
Definition of Uncle Charlie
When this man delivers his Uncle Charlie, there isn’t a left-handed hitter in the league who can get on base. / kl tr li/nounBaseballSlang.curveball: There isn’t a left-handed hitter in the league who can get on base when this guy delivers his Uncle Charlie. EVALUATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF AFFECT AND EFFECT VERSUS AFFECT! In effect, this exam will determine whether or not you possess the necessary abilities to distinguish between the terms “affect” and “effect.” Despite the wet weather, I was in high spirits on the day of my graduation celebrations.
Origin ofUncle Charlie
first documented in 1930–35; origins are unknown
Words nearbyUncle Charlie
Unclassy,uncle,unclean,uncleanly,unclear, The names Uncle Charlie, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle-ji, Uncle Remus, Uncle Sam, and Uncle Sam Jr. TomDictionary.com Unabridged Random House, Inc. 2022, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc.
How to useUncle Charliein a sentence
- Every member of the Charlie Hebdo team had a family, friends, and loved ones
- They were human beings who worked for a living. Charlie made fun of my faith and culture, and I died protecting his freedom to do so
- Charlie made fun of my faith and culture
- As soon as the tragedy occurred, Parisians banded together to demonstrate that they were not scared and that they were Charlie Hebdo. Each and every person who claims that Charlie Hebdo was provoked is making the same fundamental mistake.
- To put it another way, the freedom of expression demonstrated by the people at Charlie Hebdo was not virtuous—at least not until there was a dead count
- Her uncle was finally awakened by the notes of the syren, who then summoned Miss Hood, who argued that it was too late
- She was told by her uncle that the Dragoons and the 60th would have to teach these impudent rebels a lesson that they desperately needed. He couldn’t bear the thought of telling his Uncle David about his horrible predicament, nor could he bear the thought of killing himself or defying Longcluse’s wrath
- He couldn’t bear it at all. Uncle David comes out, looking brown and healthy after his northern excursion
- Uncle David nodded and waved his hand as he entered the door, giving them a farewell smile over his shoulder
Urban Dictionary: Uncle Charlie
In baseball, a curveball is referred to by another name. Originunknown. Among Sandy Koufax’s many accomplishments are his freezing batters with Uncle Charlie. Tyler R. wrote on July 24, 2005 Get yourself an Uncle Charlie mug. Has your dog ever pleaded with you for more food? Uncle Charlie’s definition is when your pet consumes himself to fat or till his tummy becomes large and round (or both). ” Manyour dogs are overweight!” Yeah, he continued pleading for more food, so UncleCharliedhimself. bysaltlord 22nd of May, 2018 Get the Uncle Charlie mug to gift or receive a hand-jobover pair of pants or clothing.
- Yo mang!
- You went out with that chick last night, didn’t you?
- Arnold: Take advantage of the Uncle Charlie mug.
- JakeHarper, his nephew, is usually the one who refers to him as such.
- Jake: Can you tell me what she wants?
- Jake: Can you tell me what you want?
- and neither of us can stand the sight of me.
- This is a version of a charliehorse in that it is aimed at the tip of the urethra or the end of the rectum, resulting in the uncomfortable sensation of having your genitals invaded by your creepy uncle.
- “guy, why are you walking so funny””i got a buttache””wtf?
- VICTOR SIX IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU.
- Get a theuncle charlie mug for your friend Zora.
byTerri April 22, 2004FlagGet theuncle Charlie mug while you still can. Next Last »12 months
Uncle Charlie « The Word Detective
Whoosh Greetings, Word Detective: Throughout my 53 years on this planet, I have been a lifelong baseball fan. While watching a baseball game, I overheard the commentators discussing a pitch known as “Uncle Charlie.” I was intrigued. However, having never played baseball myself, I was astonished to discover that I was completely unaware of what sort of pitch it was, let alone the origin of the word itself. I’m hoping you won’t throw me a curve ball and instead send me a response “down the pipe”!
Despite the fact that I’ll take a swing at it, I cannot guarantee that I’ll land a hit.
The fact that I was born with a congenital lack of depth perception served as a ticket to the obscurity of the outfield, where I lived in constant fear of fly balls.
You’re going about it the incorrect way.
Specifically, it’s the revised and vastly expandedDickson Baseball Dictionary (3rd Edition), which was first published to widespread acclaim in 1989 and has since grown to include more than 10,000 definitions as well as more than 250 photographs, many of which were previously unpublished, and is now in its third edition.
Instead of a compilation of slang, this is an authoritative historical dictionary—the closest thing to the Oxford English Dictionary that a sport has ever produced—and it is available for purchase.
Everything from the term “fungo” (a ball hit in fielding practice) to the phrase “can of corn” (a fly ball that is easily caught) to the phrase “down the pipe” (a fast pitch that travels through the middle of the strike zone) is intertwined with the history of baseball and the plethora of colorful slang that has sprung up to describe it.
- Such crusades seldom succeed, and we are especially fortunate that this one did not succeed.
- ‘Uncle Charlie’ was first mentioned in print in 1935, according to Dickson, in a column written by Walter Winchell for the Havana Evening Telegram.
- The words “Uncle Charlie” themselves, however, according to Dickson, are onomatopoetically reminiscent of a curve ball, probably with the calming “Uncle” evoking the initially bland path of the ball and the explosive “ch” of “Charlie” conjuring the moment when the ball swerves out of reach.
- I did some digging and discovered that Charles Graham, the owner of the San Francisco Seals minor league team in the 1920s, was known to players and fans of the era as “Uncle Charlie,” so it’s possible that there is a link.
Lord Charles, the superlative version of “Uncle Charlie,” was invented in 1984 as a compliment to New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden’s curveball, which was believed to be in a different league than the typical “Uncle Charlie.”
St. Louis Cardinals Can Thank Uncle Charlie For Adam Wainwright’s Sustained Success
In the second inning of the Cardinals’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on September 10, 2018, Adam Wainwright, 50, of the St. Louis Cardinals, raises his hat in celebration after earning his 1,600th career strikeout. (Image courtesy of Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images.) Photographs courtesy of Getty Images When it comes to pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, it seems like Adam Wainwright has been doing it for an eternity. This is due to the fact that he has. In fact, he is still one of the few remaining Major League Baseball players who is older than me, which is a pleasant surprise.
- In this case, reminding them that they, too, will be that age one day will make the content creators on TikTok’s platform’s head burst.
- Wainwright had a strong first half, with a 3.58 earned run average over 105.2 innings pitched.
- With a 2.93 FIP in the second half of the season and an ERA of less than 3 in only one month since June, his peripherals back up his impressive showing on the mound.
- All of us are familiar with Adam Wainwright’s most effective weapon at this moment in time.
- It appears like Wainwright is also acutely aware of this, as he has relied largely on his curveball throughout the season thus far.
- The problem with the 2020 data is that it was easy to disregard it since it came from a tiny sample size.
In particular, Adam Wainwright’s use of the curveball.
The other fascinating twist regarding Wainwright’s curveball is that he had thrown it on average a full mph slower than he had in any complete season previously.
Wainwright is now ranked 25th in the league in Barrels per Batted Ball Event, however he has achieved this ranking by amassing the most batted ball events of any of the top 25 pitchers in that metric thus far this season.
Additionally, it would appear that the decrease in velocity of Wainwright’s curveball has contributed to the success of the pitch as well.
As a result, his curveball has been significantly more successful during the past two seasons compared to when it was thrown at a greater velocity.
Savant in the Game of Baseball Furthermore, because Wainwright throws every ball from the same relative release position, it is extremely difficult to predict his pitches while he is pitching.
Adam Wainwright had a trademark moment during his rookie season when he froze Carlos Beltran with a knee-buckling curveball to end the 2006 National League Championship Series in game 7.
In any case, Adam Wainwright’s curveball has allowed him to leave an indelible mark on his final years with the St. Louis Cardinals, and if things continue at this pace, he may be able to pitch for the team for another season.
The History Behind Baseball’s Weirdest Pitch
If you were to divide pitches into two categories, you’d select “fastball” and “other,” which are the two most common. Pitching is made more fascinating by the presence of the “other.” If the ball was always hit straight down the middle, pitchers would essentially be mere bureaucrats, their sole purpose being to service the batters. As the name indicates, they were once exactly what they claimed to be. Consider the sport of horseshoe pitching: you’re making an underhanded toss to a precise place.
- Batters had the option of specifying whether they wanted the pitch to be high or low for 20 years, from 1867 to 1886.
- If pitchers had not found their ability to have overwhelming influence over the game, baseball may have continued as a test of hitting, running, and fielding abilities.
- The term “curveball” was coined long before cameras and websites could categorize every pitch into a specific form.
- It was essentially everything that wasn’t a fastball that was referred to as the “other.” During my study on the history of curveballs in the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, I was startled by the number of people who claimed to have invented the pitch.
- Billy Dee was credited for inventing the curveball in 1881, according to the newspaper.
- He says he practices and practices until “I soon was able to loop the old apple without advantage of the torn seam.” This sounds great, but what exactly is it?
- At Cooperstown, there are a plethora of such anecdotes stored in the archives and historical texts.
There’s even an ancient Ivy League controversy from the 1870s about who was the first to curve: Charles Avery of Yale or Joseph Mann of Princeton?
What could be more distinctly American than this?
Mann, on the other hand, confesses that he was influenced by a movie he saw one day at Princeton called Candy Cummings.
Are you still perplexed?
It should always be this simple to learn about history.
because it is.
Cummings is almost a founding member of the Hall of Fame, having been inducted into the Hall with the fourth class of honorees in 1939.
What could be more distinctly American than this?
We were intrigued by the physics of it and worked with it for at least an hour and a half.
Cummings was born in Ware, Massachusetts, in 1848, and according to various stories, he was a member of the old Massachusetts game before relocating to Brooklyn in 1870.
Pitchers in Massachusetts were authorized to throw overhand in the 1850s, which made it simpler to throw curveballs since they were more consistent.
“But when he moved to Brooklyn and began playing the “New York game,” the delivery restrictions made the pitch seem impossible.” Morris wrote that the pitch was “impossible” because of the delivery restrictions.
Both his lonely tenacity in honing the pitch, despite derision from his friends, and the physical toll imposed by the delivery limits of the day were underlined by Cummings in his speech.
According to Cummings, in an undated interview released after his career, “the arm also had to be held towards the side and the delivery had to be delivered with a perpendicular swing.” “It was a difficult strain to follow these directions because the wrist and second finger had to do all of the job.” I had a tendency to whip the ball away from me, which caused my wrist bone to get out of place on a number of occasions.
- A supporter was had to be worn on my wrist for the whole of one season as a result of this strain.” In 1864, Cummings moved from Brooklyn to attend a boarding school in Fulton, New York.
- From there, he was recruited to the Excelsior Club as a junior member, both in terms of age and size: he would grow to reach 5 feet 9 inches tall and weigh a maximum of 120 pounds before leaving the club.
- because it is.
- He demonstrated that pitchers of various sizes might thrive by relying on movement and deception rather than solely on their strength.
- Cummings began to demonstrate this in 1867, when the Excelsiors defeated the Harvard Crimson in a game at Harvard.
- The fact that I had created a ball curve was something I wanted to scream out to everyone; it was too fantastic to keep to myself.
- Every time I was successful, I couldn’t hold myself from breaking out into a joyful dance out of pure excitement.
When the ball started at the hitter’s body and caused him to leap before bending into the strike zone, the umpire ruled that it was a ball and called the batter out.
‘By the time it got to the batter, it was too far away,’ he explained.
Cummings was a pitcher for the New York Mutuals of the National Association by the time he was 23 years old.
Cummings started 55 of the Mutuals’ 56 games, pitching 497 innings and allowing 604 hits for a 33-20 record and a 3.01 earned run average.
Cummings pitched for the Hartford Dark Blues during the inaugural season of the National League in 1876, going 16-8.
Bobby Mathews, a curious contemporary, would go on to achieve greater success in the future.
Mathews’ example would be followed by generations of pitchers who would notice something interesting, study it, and make it their own.
“Then he began to use it in matches, striking men out in a way that no one but Cummings had ever done before, and in a short time he was known as one of the most effective pitchers in the field.” That was the first of three consecutive 30-win seasons by Mathews for the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association.
- Assuming that you believed in it at all.* For decades after Cummings’s last pitch, many people doubted the very notion that a ball could curve.
- A favorite exercise for skeptics was to challenge a pitcher to prove his powers by bending a ball around a series of poles.
- “The majority of college professors really believe that the curve ball was as impossible as the transmutation of gold from potato skins,” said a man named Ben Dodson, in the Syracuse Herald in 1910.
- Radbourn—whose “pitching deity; dapper gent” persona would one day make him a Twitter sensation—was an early hero of the National League.
- The professors, safe to say, had a lot of misplaced confidence when they arranged their poles and dared Radbourn to throw curves to his catcher, Barney Gilligan.
- “It turned with a beautiful inward bend and passed behind the pole just in front of Gilligan—an inshoot, and a corker.
- Then, standing inside the upper part of the pole- zone, he threw out-shoots that went forty feet dead on a line, and swung out of the arcade.” It was a mainstay of baseball discussion that the curveball simply could be an optical illusion.
- When it came to pitches, Radbourn threw a broad variety of what would today be classed as curveballs, changeups, sinkers, screwballs, and the like.
According to him, it was a “great exhibition” that “put an end to the debate regarding curve throwing forever.” “However, because they didn’t think about publicity back then, there was no reporter on hand, and the story remains only in the recollections of those who witnessed it.” It’s a real shame.
- As a minor leaguer, Erskine received a tip from a rival manager, Jack Onslow, who informed him that the manner he tucked his curveball into his hand indicated that he was telegraphing the pitch.
- The circumstances were important because the team was eligible for a $25 standing bonus for a shutout.
- In the middle of the game, I had a little meeting with myself on the mound and tossed the rosin bag: ‘You made a commitment that you weren’t going to go back to the old curve; stick to it,’ and I got the side out without allowing that run to score.
- On October 3, 1951, he was warming up in the bottom of the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds with Ralph Branca, with the pennant game against the Giants on the line and the pennant at risk.
- He preferred the curveball and would remark of the slider, with disgust, “They slide into the ballpark and slide out of the baseball park.” Dressen, on the other hand, picked Branca when Sukeforth claimed that Erskine was bouncing his curve.
- ‘I like to think it was a curveball I threw in the Polo Grounds bullpen,’ says the pitcher.
- Even though we’ll never know how Thomson would have dealt with Erskine’s curve, the Giants were known for stealing signs, so it’s possible he would have hit that as well.
- “When television first came on the scene in the late 1940s, there was a show called Omnibus on which Burgess Meredith served as the emcee,” Erskine explains.
- The goal was to record us throwing a curveball in order to establish or deny whether or not a ball genuinely curved in flight.
In any case, when I warmed up, the director of this picture appeared behind me and said, ‘I don’t know what I’m looking for here since I don’t know anything about baseball.” Could you please throw me a couple of curveballs so that I can get a better look at what I’m trying to film?’ So with this scuffed-up baseball I threw an overhand curveball and it broke huge.
‘There isn’t a doubt about it!'” So they turned on the show, Preacher threw from the left side of the screen and I, of course, threw from the right side, and then they utilized this dotted line that was placed on the footage in some mysterious way.
With the middle finger applied pressure to the curveball, leading the wrist, and assisting in tight rotation, Erskine explained how he learned to throw curveballs as a child.
“When I was in the minor leagues, I had the opportunity to meet Mordecai Brown, who was one of the best pitchers of all time,” Erskine recalls.
“He was a true gentleman, usually dressed in a shirt and tie.
Nonetheless, we were fascinated by his conversation with us, and he was eager to demonstrate his hand and tell us about how he learned to pitch without using his first finger or even his first knuckle.
His second finger was transformed into his first finger.
While helping his brother cut feed for the horses on their uncle’s farm near Nyesville, Indiana, Mordecai’s right hand accidentally slid into the feed chopper.
Every finger was damaged as a result of the accident, and a doctor had to amputate the index finger below the second joint.
Mordecai lost his equilibrium and banged his hand against the tub’s bottom, shattering six bones in the process.
Brown’s curveball was impossible to duplicate.
It runs as straight as a pulled string up to the plate, then darts down the field like a snake to its hole just as the batter strikes at it.
In those two seasons, he won all three of his World Series games, giving no earned runs over the course of 20 innings to lead the Cubs to consecutive World Series victories.
In the words of K: A HISTORY OF BASEBALL IN TEN PITCHES Tyler Kepner contributed to this article. The publisher, DOUBLEDAY, has granted permission for this use. Tyler Kepner has copyright protection for the year 2019.