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who invented the slider in baseball

who invented the slider in baseball

who invented the slider in baseball

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who invented the slider in baseball
who invented the slider in baseball

George Blaeholder

was credited with using it with the St. Louis Browns in the 1920s, when the slider was known as a “nickel curve,” and George Uhle and Harry O’Neill have also been given credit for developing the pitch.

The slider: A concise history

I cannot testify to that, either.

There is no Eureka! moment for the slider, in large part because nobody really knows when, or even approximately when, the first slider was thrown.

In the literature the slider is generally attributed to one of two Georges (if not both): the aforementioned Blaeholder, and Uhle.

In 1936, John J. Ward wrote a Baseball Magazine article about Blaeholder titled,

“He Hurls the ‘Slide Ball.’ Reading the article, we realize there’s something of a problem with thinking about Blaeholder’s pet pitch as a “modern” slider. The problem? Ward calls it a fastball …

This sounds like the pitch that today we would call a cut fastball

and what players in Blaeholder’s time often called a “sailor” (though maybe they had a good reason for not calling Blaeholder’s pitch a sailor).

Speaking of the sailor, here’s what George Uhle, a contemporary of Blaeholder’s, said about his slider:

How the Evolution of the Cutter Has Changed the Game of Baseball

They say that the best pitch in baseball is and always will be a well-located fastball.


The best pitch in baseball is, in fact, a well-located cut fastball.

The scary part for hitters is that more and more pitchers are starting to come around to just how dangerous the cutter really is.

Everyone knows that the keeper of the best cutter in Major League Baseball history is none other than New York Yankees longtime closer Mariano Rivera.

His cutter is among the most devastating pitches ever thrown, and he forged a Hall of Fame career for himself by using it to shatter bats and get weak ground balls.

For a while there, Rivera was one of a select few pitchers who featured cutters in their repertoires

Over the last 10 years or so, that group has grown considerably. Pitchers who were already good to begin with have taken to throwing a cutter, and some pitchers have turned to the cutter to help save their careers.

The rise of the cutter was chronicled by Albert Chen in a story for Sports Illustrated that was published last June, and not a whole lot has changed over the past year. The cutter is still catching on, and major league hitters are still trying to solve the mystery of how to hit it.

So how did all of this happen? How has the cutter gone from being Mariano Rivera’s not-so-secret weapon to being the secret weapon of numerous pitchers around the league?

As is the case with baseball tales, it’s kind of a long story


Mariano Rivera may be the keeper of baseball’s most lethal cutter, but he didn’t invent the pitch itself. The cutter was around long before he broke into the major leagues back in the mid-1990s.

Chen’s story for SI claims that it is still unknown who invented the cut fastball. And indeed, the term itself has only been part of the baseball lexicon for 15 years or so. We can thank Rivera for that.

However, Chen’s story mentions a passage in The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers that referenced a description of a certain kind of fastball penned by former major leaguer Ethan Allen way back in the 1950s.

who invented the slider in baseball
who invented the slider in baseball

The Rise of the Slider in Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball is changing. The ground is moving beneath the feet of owners, players, writers and fans.

In some ways, these changes are obvious. They’ve defined the last few seasons and postseasons, and some changes that could be coming over the next year could do so even more plainly.

While many of these changes are easy for even casual fans and commentators

to observe and understand, others can be difficult to notice, let alone to fully appreciate. For instance, consider the relationship between the sinker and the slider.

In the decade-plus during which we’ve had detailed pitch classifications for virtually every pitch thrown in the majors, the four-seam fastball has been the most common offering every year.

For many of those years, it’s also been the case that the sinker (what some call a two-seam fastball) has been the second-most common.

Sinkers, well, sink more than four-seamers do, and in virtually all cases, they also move more laterally, in the direction of the pitcher’s throwing arm (so, for a righthander, further in on a right-handed batter), than do four-seamers.

Both of those properties make them pretty good at inducing ground balls, at least against the right batters, when located well.

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freedom provided by the cessation of coerced activities, particularly time free from disagreeable work or duties.

Leisure is universal. Under ordinary circumstances everyone experiences some of it, even if they may know it by another name.

who invented the slider in baseball
who invented the slider in baseball

In some parts of the world it has no name, being only agreeable residual activity in which people engage when not seeking their livelihood (working). Taking  is also an ancient practice. Both Aristotle and Plato discussed the virtues of what can be described as serious  . Indeed, it is clear that leisure is as old as humanity.’

Work, nonwork obligation, and leisure

One can examine life’s ordinary activities according to three domains: work, nonwork obligation, and leisure. Work is defined as activity that one must do: an obligation that, when met, results in one’s livelihood. Most people dislike work as an activity.

If they could find an appealing way of gaining that livelihood, they would be inclined to adopt it. Nonwork obligation is the domain of all those disliked activities one must do that are done outside the domain of work.

MLB Pitches Over the Past 100 Years

Major League Baseball has prided itself on delivering a timeless experience to generations of fans. Children, parents, and grandparents heading to the park to enjoy nine wholesome innings of play – all while chowing down on hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks – is a slice of Americana. (Though, the food has even started to change – hello “Burgerzzia” and “Irish Nachos.”)

While MLB fans have experienced culinary changes at the ballpark, the players have also seen changes over the years. Pitchers, much like parks’ food services teams, needed to spice up their game by inventing new pitches to stay ahead of batters. Over the past 100 years, from 1870 to 1970, pitchers invented several new ways to keep batters guessing as the ball whizzed by them and over the plate. As pitchers have found ways to put some extra mustard on their balls and strikes, fans and hitters both have enjoyed getting to ask, “Just what was that pitch?”

Curveballs and Screwballs: 1870s to 1880s

In the sports’ infancy, William Arthur Cummings, known as “Candy Cummings,” delivered baseball its first curveball.

He invented the pitch while tossing sea shells into the Atlantic Ocean and quickly applied efforts to perfect this new style of throwing.

Fans frequently debated whether the ball actually curved in the air, but researchers in the 21st century have proven that it does, in fact, curve.

Slider (baseball)

In baseball, a slider is a breaking ball pitch that tails laterally and down through the batter’s hitting zone; it is thrown with less speed than a fastball but greater than the pitcher’s curveball.


who invented the slider in baseball
who invented the slider in baseball

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