Originally Posted by chicoruiz
Mordecai Brown -Didn't get started till he was 26 but still won 239 games; pitched successfully in semi-pro games into his 50s.
Happy 135th! Most here know, but for those who don't... he suffered two separate injuries to his right hand. The first and most famous trauma came when he was feeding material into the farm's feed chopper. He slipped and his hand was mangled by the knives, severing much of his index finger and damaging the others. A doctor repaired the rest of his hand as best he could. While it was still healing, the injury was further aggravated by a fall he took, which broke several finger bones. They were not re-set properly, especially the middle finger, and he kept quiet about this clumsy accident until he was well into adulthood.
He learned to pitch, as many children did, by aiming rocks at knotholes on the barn wall and other wooden surfaces. Over time, with constant practice, he developed great control. As a "bonus", the manner in which he had to grip the ball (see photo) resulted in an unusual amount of spin. This allowed him to throw an effective curve ball, and a deceptive fast ball and change-up. The extra topspin made it difficult for batters to connect solidly. In short, he "threw ground balls", and was exceptionally effective