Clipping:Unrestricted delivery; elimination of the foul balk

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Date Wednesday, December 5, 1883

The question of the pitcher's delivery of the ball, which has been productive, possibly, of more turmoil on the ball field than any one cause, has at last been taken up, and the League, at its meeting last week, definitely settled the much-mooted point for one season, at last. The “foul balk” clause of the by-laws, which was the penalty to be imposed by umpires in case a pitcher should break the rule by raising his hand too high when delivering the ball to the bat, has been virtually a dead letter since its introduction. It is a question whether this penalty was ever inflicted by an umpire in a professional game. The League did well to take cognizance of this fact, but whether the plan they have adopted will prove satisfactory remains to be seen. Next season in the League, to use a common expression, “everything goes,” in the way of pitching. A twirler will be allowed to pitch, jerk or toss the ball to the bat. He can have his hand as high as it suits him when in the act of pitching, and it will be useless for the hoodlums on the bleaching board to try and break up the twirlers of a rival team by their hoots and yells of “Keep your arm down,” Don't pull off your ear, there,” and other expressions of this kind. Under these conditions a swift overhand thrower, with a knowledge of the different curves, will be placed on the same basis as a straight-arm pitcher or an underhand thrower, and will possibly have the advantage of great speed at his command. This new style of delivery, which will be a novelty, will doubtless have quite a serious effect on heavy batting, as it will take some time for batsmen to get used to the overhand method of delivering balls. George Wright is quoted as saying this concession to pitchers will eventually ruin the game, and he would not be surprised if at the close of next season the League retraced its steps and put restrictions on the pitchers' delivery.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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