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Do-Overs…

There are errors, and there are mistakes. An error is something that just somehow slips through — a missing two-letter word, a comma where a semicolon should have been, that sort of stuff — and they happen to everybody. You just shake your head and say, “We’ll get ’em next time.”A mistake, on the other hand, is something so obvious that you just can’t believe you did that. Makes you want to find every bookstore in the country and pull the books off the shelves. Most of what follows fall under the heading of “mistakes” ….

This page last updated March 28, 2010.

Ewell Blackwell’s Eephus
Ewell Blackwell? Yes, according to my entry for the “Eephus” pitch on
Page 14. The problem, of course, is that Rip Sewell invented the
Eephus, as we correctly note on Pages 11 (entry for “Blooper”) and Page
381 (Sewell’s entry in Pitch Census). The problem is that “Sewell”
sounds a lot like “Ewell,” and my brain keeps getting them mixed up.
Anyway, the two references to Blackwell in the Eephus entry are meant
to be Sewell instead.

Allie Reynolds’s Fastball
On Page 30, Allie Reynolds is listed as having the sixth-best and
the tenth-best fastball in the game. That was a production error, we
think (or hope). Originally, Bill had minor-leaguer Bob Chesnes in the
No. 10 slot.

Mario Soto
The entry for Mario Soto (Page 390) is woefully inadequate. It’s one of
the many things I kept meaning to fix, and one of the few things that I
never got around to actually fixing. Anyway, here is roughly what
Soto’s entry should have looked like (and will if we ever
publish another edition of the book)…Pitch Selection: 1. Circle Change 2.
Fastball (90-95)
3. Slider (occasional, more in 1985)
Sources: The Scouting Report (1985 and 1986 editions); and belowDescription: “Both his fastball and change-up are thrown with an
identical three-quarters motion. As National League hitters are all too
aware, there is no tip-off as to what pitch is coming. They are faced
with either a good moving fastball or the change, which drops
dramatically.”
Source: The Scouting Report: 1986; same source says that Soto’s
change-up is described as “devastating,” “awesome,” and “unbelievable.”Tim McCarver: “I call his change a palmball. Without this pitch he
would be a .500 pitcher, but with it, he’s deadly. No lefthanded hitter
is safe. He holds the ball, not with his fingers, but back in his palm
with his thumb and index finger looped to the side of the ball.
Deception comes with the whipping arm motion which leads a hitter to
lunge at the pitch, thinking that it might be a fastball.”
Source: The Scouting Report: 1983

Bobby Tiefenauer, Ron Tompkins, Todd
Frohwirth, Steve Olin

Toward the back of the book, Bill and I offer two lists. Mine is
major-league knuckleball pitchers, and Bill’s is major-league submarine
pitchers. Somehow, both of us managed to miss some obvious names
(obvious especially because two of the missing do have entries earlier
in the book).Specifically, Page 441 should include a note about knuckleballer Bobby
Tiefenauer, and Page 445 should include references to submariners Ron
Tompkins, Todd
Frohwirth, and Steve Olin. Our apologies to all three pitchers and
their loved ones. Also, there’s good evidence that Bruce Dal Canton (1967-1977) should be
included on the list of knuckleballers. For more about Dal Canton, see
his entry on this page. All that said, I’m happy with the list of 70 knuckleball pitchers in
the book. With the exception of Tiefenauer (who, again, is
listed as a knuckleballer earlier in the book) and Dal Canton, I’ve not
yet heard about anybody that I completely missed. I do suspect there
are still a few mystery knuckleballers, but they’re probably guys who
pitched just a few innings in the major leagues. I’d love to hear about
them, though, along with any minor-league knuckleballers that aren’t
among the 13 listed in the book.

The Great Joe Harris vs. The Immortal Jack Nabors
On Page 235, we — okay, Bill — wrote, “Joe Harris had a major league
record of 3 wins, 30 losses–I believe the worst record in major-league
history, 25 or more decisions.”Close but no cigar. The worst record, 25 or more decisions, is Bob
Nabors’s 1-25 (0-1 with the Athletics in 1915, 0-20 in 1916, 0-0 in
1917). Harris does have the worst winning percentage among pitchers
with at least 30 decisions.(Thanks to Brian Disco Snell for the correction.)

Pedro Borbon Jr.
On page 139 he’s listed as a right-handed pitcher. He was, of course, a
lefty.

John Candelaria
On page 155 we misspelled his last name.