Posted in Spectavius Sports
In one corner, we have Rip Sewell. In the other corner, we have Nolan Ryan. There is, perhaps, no greater difference between pitching strategies in baseball history than these two hurlers. Sewell, who made a string of All-Star appearances in the 1940's, was known by a pitch he invented: the eephus. Wikipedia tells me that Sewell began throwing the eephus -- or the “blooper pitch,” as Sewell deemed it -- after being shot in the foot during a hunting accident, requiring him to completely reengineer his pitching motion. He tossed the inaugural eephus in a spring training game whereupon Sewell described the batter, "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.”
Nolan Ryan, on the other hand, is known for his unrelenting, blistering fastball that he would throw as hard as he could as often as he wanted. I don’t think I have to describe his pitching strategy to you, just as long as you’re familiar with this.
Sewell and Ryan are long gone, but there are multitudes of pitching strategies in today’s game honed by sensational athletes and obese 40-year-olds alike. I’m here to introduce you to three very different ways three very different pitchers excel at getting batters out.