Clipping:Descriptions of various pitches

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Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890

[from an interview of umpire George W. Barnum] Clarkson's best and most effective ball is his fast raise ball, which comes towards the batter perfectly straight, and, when within 15 or 20 feet of the plate its speed seems to increase, and it raises with a peculiar skip or jump. Another ball which is almost equally as effective, and many players consider it even more so, is his high drop ball. It is slow, and is delivered with a deliberate motion. When within five feet of the batter's head it drops across his breast and shoots over the plate. It is an exceedingly difficult ball to hit. When it is hit fair it goes into the air, and the only way a batter can strike it with any success is for the batsman to chop down on it. Not two batters out of ten, however, can accomplish that. Clarkson has also a slow ball, delivered with the same motion as his speedy ball.

Tim Keefe has the best slow ball of any pitcher in the profession. It deceives the best batters in the League. There is no difference in the delivery of that and his speedy ball. It leaves his hand apparently the same way, but it nears the plate so slowly that I have seen batters invite curvature of the spine in their frantic but fruitless endeavors to hit it. Tim also has an excellent drop, but Buffington has the best drop of any pitcher in the League. Clarkson, Keefe and Buffinton are unquestionably the heaviest pitchers in the League, and to that much of their success is due. One may have all the curves, yet not be a good pitcher.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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