PDA

View Full Version : Spitball v. Knuckleball



terminator
11-27-2006, 06:28 PM
I was just thinking about things baseball could do to make the pitching more competitive without raising the mound or changing the distance to the mound so I was wondering . . .

I know baseball outlawed the spitball in 1920 as the result of Ray Chapman's death. I was just wondering whether the spitter is a lot more dangerous than the knuckleball. Was outlawing the spitter a reasonable reaction to the Chapman incident? Could the spitter be brought back safely to give the pitchers another tool in today's offensive environment? Or was the spitter too dangerous because it could be thrown at a higher speed (or with more movement) than the knuckleball?

George Anderson
11-27-2006, 06:42 PM
Are you sure the spitball was outlawed because of the Chapman incident? I'm thinking it was outlawed because it was not being used in the spirit of fair play.

However to answer your question no we should not allow the spitter anymore than we should allow players to take steroids or cork their bats or pitchers to scuff the baseball.

Johnny Footstool
11-27-2006, 06:48 PM
The Spitter was infinitely more dangerous. Edgy. Provocative. Wonderously irreverent.

:cool:

Seriously, knuckleballs are generally around 60-70 mph. Spitballs are basically wet fastballs, so they're a lot more dangerous.

westofyou
11-27-2006, 06:53 PM
The spitter was abolished because of

1. Low Offense

2. On the heels of the worldwide influenza epidemic it was deemed unsanitary

3. It had extended to encompass everything from shine baals to spitt balls to emery balls, it was in short out of control.

terminator
11-27-2006, 07:15 PM
Seriously, knuckleballs are generally around 60-70 mph. Spitballs are basically wet fastballs, so they're a lot more dangerous.
Hmmm, thanks.

I had read somewhere that the spitball ban was related to the Chapman death, but I guess that was just one more factor. I have a nice baseball photo book ("Baseball's Golden Age") with pictures by Conlon from the early 20th century that includes pictures of Chapman, Mays and the catcher (whose name escapes me).

TeamSelig
11-27-2006, 07:56 PM
What I would do to lower offense:

- Commish should persuade the umpires to expand their zone a little
- Raise the mound slightly
- Stick to the steroid testing except make it tougher, etc.

I don't think I'd bring back the spitball though.

Spitball
11-27-2006, 09:28 PM
Whoa! I was wondering who this Knuckleball poster was.

Jack Hamilton was a known spitballer when he came two inches from taking Tony Conigliaro's life with a pitch. Though Hamilton and his catcher denied it, the Red Sox insisted that the pitch was a spitball. I was listening to that game in 1967 and for the horror of that moment, I would vote against legalizing the pitch.

blumj
11-27-2006, 10:32 PM
Seriously, knuckleballs are generally around 60-70 mph. Spitballs are basically wet fastballs, so they're a lot more dangerous.
No joke, it gets really frustrating for Tim Wakefield sometimes because batters are always leaning in to try to get hit by a pitch, and even when it's really blatant, the umpires almost always give them the base.