My grandpa was a pitcher in the big leagues. He pitched for three years before he got hurt, but he taught me everything I know about throwing a curveball. And now that you’re learning to throw one too, I want to tell you how it all started.
Of course, you probably already know what a curveball is. The idea is that as the ball is thrown, it spins on its axis at the same time that it’s thrown forwards on an arc-like trajectory so that by the time it reaches home plate, it breaks downwards sharply on the batter. The first person who invented this pitch is disputed – some say it was Fred Goldsmith of Harvard University in 1867, while others claim it was Candy Cummings of the Excelsior Club in Brooklyn, New York. In any case, it’s been a staple of pitching ever since.