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Friday, May 22, 2015

Keri: the History of the Eephus

That slow curve from El Duque that A-Rod launched into orbit was magnificent. But I wish I could have seen more of the true, 15-25 foot high eephus pitches.

If you ever want to watch 45 seconds of baseball magic, I direct you to this 1981 This Week in Baseball feature on Yankees relief pitcher Dave LaRoche. In the clip, LaRoche describes an at-bat against Brewers slugger Gorman Thomas: “Bob Lemon had just become the manager,” the veteran left-hander says. “He wanted to know if I wanted to put Gorman on, or what we wanted to do. And I said, ‘Well, how about if I just throw him my curveball?’”

Lemon had never seen LaRoche’s curveball in action. The skipper, and the 27,337 spectators at Yankee Stadium, was in for a treat. LaRoche’s curve was in fact a big ol’ blooper pitch. Unaccustomed to facing the pitch, Thomas swung hard, hitting a line-drive foul down the third-base line. Then came another one, this time ending with Thomas bunting the pitch foul. LaRoche tried to finish him with a fastball to the outside corner, but missed.

Then came another lob: A sloooow, high-arcing offering that went a good 15 feet in the air. To Thomas, the pitch had to look like a 24-ounce porterhouse, fat, juicy, and ready to be devoured. But to LaRoche, the pitch was a weapon, a tantalizer that could make a batter swing from his heels and come up with nothing but air. This was no ordinary curveball. This was “LaLob.”

If I were ever granted the power to become any type of pitcher, I’d want to become the greatest junkballer to ever live.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-12-2015

Page 32 of the Pittsburgh Press, May 12, 1915:

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: May 12, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, forkball, history, pitches

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-16-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 16, 1915:

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: April 16, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pitches

 

 

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