Who threw the slowest pitch in MLB history? - Fan Arch

Who threw the slowest pitch in MLB history?

Who threw the slowest pitch in MLB history?

In the world of Major League Baseball (MLB), one of the most intriguing aspects for fans and players alike is the variety of pitches that pitchers can throw, including the infamous eephus pitch. An eephus pitch is a very high-arching off-speed pitch with an incredibly low velocity, often catching the hitter off-guard. The slowest recorded eephus pitch in MLB history was thrown by utility player Brock Holt during a relief appearance for the Texas Rangers on August 7, 2021. This particular eephus pitch registered the slowest MLB pitch for a called strike since at least 2008, clocking in at an astonishingly slow 31.1 miles per hour (50.1 km/h).

The Eephus Pitch

The eephus pitch is a rare and deceptive pitch characterized by its unusual, high-arching trajectory and extremely low velocity. It is considered a trick pitch, as it moves in slow motion compared to traditional baseball pitches, which typically range from 70 to 100 miles per hour (110 to 160 km/h). The eephus pitch can appear to be moving as slow as 35 mph (56 km/h) and is often likened to a slow-pitch softball delivery.

Origin of the Eephus Pitch

The invention of the eephus pitch is attributed to Rip Sewell of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1940s. However, historians John Thorn and John Holway suggest that the first pitcher to throw a big blooper pitch was Bill Phillips, who played in the National League on and off from 1890 through 1903. The pitch then lay dormant for nearly 40 years until Sewell resurrected it. According to manager Frankie Frisch, the pitch was named by outfielder Maurice Van Robays, who described it as "'Eephus ain't nothing, and it ain't gonna be nothing".

Notable Pitchers Known for Using the Eephus Pitch

Several pitchers throughout MLB history have been known to employ the eephus pitch, including Fernando Abad, Al McBean, Luis Tiant, Pedro Borbón, Yu Darvish, and many others. Each pitcher may have had their own variation of the eephus pitch, often with unique nicknames such as the "super changeup," the "McBean ball," the "Fossum Flip," and the "folly floater".

The eephus pitch remains a fascinating and rare phenomenon in the world of baseball, captivating fans and players with its deceptive and slow-moving nature. Brock Holt's record-breaking slow eephus pitch in 2021 serves as a testament to the enduring intrigue and surprise that this unique pitch continues to bring to the game of baseball.


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