What is an Eephus in Baseball?

In the world of baseball, we learn a new thing every day. Today, one of the things you will know more about is the Eephus pitch. So, what is an Eephus pitch? It’s a slow-speed, high-arcing throw that spins a lot and physically breaks the rules of regular pitching and is often considered illegal even though it isn’t. 

The word “eephus” comes from Hebrew, and it means “nothing” or “zero.” This is accurate because the Eephus is surprising, unpredictable, and confusing. Players like Rip Sewell and Matsuzaka Daisuke made the Eephus famous with their cool moves on the field. 

Who Threw The First Eephus?

Rip Sewell was a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1930s and 1940s. He was the first person to use the Eephus pitch in a match. In the 1946 MLB All-Star Game, he faced Ted Williams and threw an eephus pitch, which led to their victory and is a big moment in the history of baseball. 

Sewell tricked even the best batters with a pitch that seemed to do magic mid-air. Pitchers throw the Eephus pitch from a lower arm angle, making it even more confusing for batters. The Eephus surprises the batter and makes them swing at the wrong time. People still talk about the Eephus pitch today because it’s unlike any other. 

This technique shows us that baseball is not always about being fast or strong. It is also about being tricky and surprising. Even though it’s not used all the time, when a pitcher throws an eephus, it cheers the crowd up and makes the game more fun. The eephus pitch has changed over the years as pitchers try new things with the spin or how they throw it. But no matter what, the ephus is still risky, meaning pitchers must be smart and pick the right time to use it.

Use of Eephus in Baseball 

In 2009, Matsuzaka Daisuke, a Japanese pitcher, threw a slow looping pitch quite like the eephus pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He helped Japan win that tournament and showed that the Eephus was not only a trick in American baseball but an art to be mastered. 

It might not happen often, but when it does, it’s like a small party in the game. The eephus pitch is not just a move on the field; it’s a feeling that makes baseball special. To master the Eephus pitch, one must first learn to be tactful as a pitcher. For example, if your repertoire has an Eephus as your primary or special pitch, you are giving away your trump card for the batter to anticipate. 

Here is a quick tutorial on how to properly throw an Eephus:

  1. Grip & Stance:

Hold the baseball with a standard grip, like a four-seam fastball grip. Your fingers should be across the seams for better control. Stand on the pitching rubber in your usual pitching stance. Make sure your grip is comfortable and feels natural.

  1. Lower Arm Angle:

One key element of the eephus pitch is the release from a lower arm angle that allows the ball to be more precisely controlled and given a spin as you throw, which overhead throws lack.

  1. Backspin:

Apply a significant amount of backspin to the ball by flicking your wrist just before you launch the ball, and this makes the pitch way more difficult for the batter to hit, especially with the slow speed.

Conclusion for What is an Eephus in Baseball

In our discussion on the eephus pitch, we talked about the nature of an eephus pitch. From its origins with pitchers like Rip Sewell to its occasional use in modern play, the eephus pitch is more than just a slow, high-arching throw—a symbol of thinking used in baseball. Whether it is a strategy of everyday pitchers or global sensational players like Matsuzaka Daisuke, the eephus pitch resonates as a memorable aspect of baseball’s narrative. We also discussed the proper way to throw an eephus pitch, especially the throwing angle and ball grip. We hope this article did justice to the marvel of a technique that is an Eephus pitch.


When is the eephus pitch typically used in a baseball game?

Pitchers must choose specific situations, such as a full count or with runners in scoring position when using this technique. Its success relies on surprising the batter, so using it too frequently can diminish its effectiveness as batters may start to anticipate the slow pitch.

What is the origin of the term “eephus” in baseball?

The term “eephus” is believed to have Hebrew origins, meaning “nothing” or “zero.” This reflects the surprising and unconventional nature of the eephus pitch that defies expectations and catches batters off guard

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