Baseball's first curveball was thrown underhand and inspired by seashells

  • Published on Dec 1, 2018
  • In the early days of baseball, the role of the pitcher was more like that of a basketball ref at opening tip: get the action going and don't get cute. But as the sport grew and evolved, pitchers became a more strategic piece of the puzzle. And that led to the odd, long-disputed birth of one of baseball's best weapons: the first curveball.
    Written and produced by Mike Imhoff
    Shot and edited by Ryan Simmons
    Graphics by Philip Pasternak
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Comments • 139

  • Ryan Houk
    Ryan Houk 17 days ago

    Not for nothing, but I figured out how to throw a ninja star in a curve.
    ... this is not a useful skill and it took forever, but I am still proud

  • Twirlypen PSN
    Twirlypen PSN Month ago +2

    Goldsmith sounded like he whined a lot, at least according to that radio guy

  • Edward III
    Edward III Month ago

    Show him the curve!

  • BilthPositive
    BilthPositive Month ago

    This video should be called, "The Founding of Kershaw"

  • DemPinkNips
    DemPinkNips Month ago

    Candy Cummings sounds like a 21st century pornstar

  • Dkyguy1995
    Dkyguy1995 Month ago

    Ok so I figured this guyu was innovative to be able to throw a curveball but then he describes how he did it to the paper using essentially the same understanding we have today, that the ball follows the path of least resistance which is different than straightforward because the spin of the ball create pressure zones around the ball. It's called the magnus effect and apparently this amateur athelete was fully aware of it during the civil war

  • Daniel Crespo
    Daniel Crespo 2 months ago

    How about the 1st strictly kicker position in the NFL for the next vid?

  • ThatGuy Man
    ThatGuy Man 3 months ago

    Maybe baseball would be more interesting if there role was still just getting things started

  • TowwerN3
    TowwerN3 3 months ago

    Imhoff is the best presenter. Not John Bois. Don't @ me.

  • Onenerdvs
    Onenerdvs 4 months ago +2

    I just found this channel and Jon Bois yesterday. That means I have hundreds of hours of Jon Bois content and it's all fresh and new. Are you old timers jealous?

  • goober pea
    goober pea 5 months ago

    My uncle Charlie was the first

  • dat_gye_joe_daddy
    dat_gye_joe_daddy 5 months ago

    Stern and Goldsmith there some names you can trust

  • oelschlegel
    oelschlegel 5 months ago

    paid for by the army? no offense sb nation but that's weak. get a real sponsor.

  • Night's King
    Night's King 5 months ago

    With NY style were there ever strikes thrown (I mean pitched)?

  • Drestanto
    Drestanto 5 months ago

    There is no such thing as the inventor of curve ball. You can claim you're the first one to do it, but still, not an inventor
    Same thing as there is no such thing as the inventor of football (soccer)

  • harryRS729
    harryRS729 6 months ago

    Pitchers love them,
    Elbows hate them.

  • Adam Grasinger
    Adam Grasinger 6 months ago

    Wow that 14 year old boy has one hell of a beard. I guess they hit puberty early back in the civil war era.

  • Jacob Weldon
    Jacob Weldon 6 months ago

    What song is in the background??

  • ny9thzouave
    ny9thzouave 6 months ago

    To add to the confusion, Cummings is quoted as saying that Martin was throwing a kind of slow curve before him, but not like his curve ball. Martin also mentions that he experimented with the pitch while in the Union army during the Civil War on Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

  • C
    C 6 months ago

    Would have been cool to play with the gang in rdr2

  • Eli Hernandez
    Eli Hernandez 6 months ago +1

    Presented by the US Army. Yet, has a bunch of beta males goofing around.

    YAKYAKYAK 6 months ago

    Candy Cummings sounds like a thot lol

  • Exayevie
    Exayevie 6 months ago

    I have ALWAYS wondered this!

  • Tombomb615
    Tombomb615 6 months ago

    I watched the clip of Will pitching like 100 times. Will is a national treasure that should be preserved at all costs.

  • Lucien Hicks
    Lucien Hicks 6 months ago

    And baseball is still the most boring sport today. Good job, sb nation!

    SAM BRICKELL 6 months ago +6

    Jon Bois sucks.

    Sorry, just evening things out a bit.

  • Christopher Michaels
    Christopher Michaels 6 months ago

    Fredrick Goldsmith is my great great grandfather. This truly means so much to see this. My uncle John wrote a biography on him and how he had grown up with him in his later years of life. And did a wonderful job expressing details on how Fredrick was as a husband, father, and a fantastic baseball player. Thank you SB Nation!

  • Harrison Caldwell
    Harrison Caldwell 6 months ago +2

    The first touchdown celebration

    • SB Nation
      SB Nation  6 months ago

      Your wish is my command:

  • Aangs112
    Aangs112 6 months ago

    interesting that sb nation just posted "fighting in the age of loneliness" which was decidely anti-US army yet they're sponsored by them lol

  • Da snake 19
    Da snake 19 6 months ago

    i would say the first 3 pointer but nah. how about the 1st/ progression of dribble moves and ankle breakers

  • possumverde
    possumverde 6 months ago

    If the curve it around the pole demonstration was actually real, dude invented the slider not the curve

  • Hermes Bouza
    Hermes Bouza 6 months ago +3

    SB Nation: Alright! Time to get those sweet Bois/Biederman clicks!
    Also SB Nation: Alright! Time to get those sweet US Army dollars!

  • deezynar
    deezynar 6 months ago +1

    So many people commenting here are worried that they might succumb to join the United States army because they were exposed to an advertisement. Breath easy, you don't need to worry. The army tests for intelligence and they won't take anyone who scores as low as you are on I.Q.

  • 1 3
    1 3 6 months ago +1

    I wish more of my “defense” tax dollars went to sbnation and not blowing up civilians for corporate interest!! Motherfunk the army..sweet vid- you should do a first game debate on Elysian field vs. Cooperstown

  • Jacob Byers
    Jacob Byers 6 months ago

    Can you please do a rewind on Hideo Nomo's Coors no-hitter???

  • Joyce Blackmon
    Joyce Blackmon 6 months ago

    Nicknames have changed drastically we had a pitcher for another HS team tht we called cake because thts what he threw, he had decent speed 85-86mph but it was always right over the plate so it just like taking bp. Someone being called candy i figure would mean bout the same thing today

  • ktat01
    ktat01 6 months ago +2

    Reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons when they made a boy band and were singing songs subliminally tricking kids to enter the Air Force..

  • King Dead
    King Dead 6 months ago

    Sgt Felix Biederman wants you to bomb impoverished brown children in the desert for Raytheon stock options

  • Candy Banks
    Candy Banks 6 months ago

    Sounds like another Tessa/Marconi story. Sometimes a thing gets invented twice but sepeately. I don't think it's despare-worthy. Cool video!😎

  • MboySwag04
    MboySwag04 6 months ago +4

    Army really trying to recruit .

  • FishyFLCL
    FishyFLCL 6 months ago

    Didnt Fighting in the Age of loneliness lambasted the us for fighting a war that was not needed. Now there is an army sponsor on this video? HUH???

  • Erik Lerström
    Erik Lerström 6 months ago

    Candy Cummings? hahahha that sounds different in 2018

  • Statutory Grape
    Statutory Grape 6 months ago +40

    My favorite team was the Brooklyn Excelsiors. I hated the New York Mutuals. I also despise the Staten Island Haberdashers, and the Newark Ninnies. My mom was Rochester Rapscallions fan who were rivals to the Portsmouth Picaroons during the Pennysworth Chesterfieldshire era.

    • justmetal227
      justmetal227 Month ago +1

      Statutory Grape woah that’s a mouthful

    • Erik Lerström
      Erik Lerström 6 months ago +5

      I was always a sucker for the Baltimore Babbadillians. My favorite player was Gus "Big Johnson" Swearnson-Wallis, or maybe John "Lil Gus" Johnson... cant decide. I also loved the Portford Pomeranians, but come on! haha you know how it is, I couldnt root for them, could I!

  • Bill young
    Bill young 6 months ago

    The first slap shot please

  • dsriggs
    dsriggs 6 months ago +2


  • rocketsfall
    rocketsfall 6 months ago

    /finish Fighting In The Age Of Loneliness
    /watch this thinking it'll cheer you up after watching that mostly depressing thing
    /finish this and shoot self because life is thankless and unfair unless you're Nate Diaz

  • XLNemo
    XLNemo 6 months ago +1

    the army? lol

  • Robert Wallis
    Robert Wallis 6 months ago +1

    I just wanted to say thanks SBNation for taking the U.S. Army’s money and using it to create interesting content on a global platform for viewers around the planet to enjoy, everywhere, for everyone.

  • gravityvertigo13579
    gravityvertigo13579 6 months ago +1

    Def not gonna continue watching Army shills lmao hope this is the only video they're sponsoring

  • andres lopez
    andres lopez 6 months ago

    I’m sorry the WHAT rules?!

  • Da snake 19
    Da snake 19 6 months ago +1

    first use of the textbook modern basketball jumpshot form
    or first use of the bank shot

    • Da snake 19
      Da snake 19 6 months ago +1

      @Erik Lerström are you fr dawg. like i get it its a stretch i was just trynna get creative like tf. i mean they did the mafucking first dunk like theyre magicians. also the backboard wasnt originally a part of basketball smh.

    • Erik Lerström
      Erik Lerström 6 months ago

      @Da snake 19 ... a _bank_ shot?

      ... sorry...

    • Da snake 19
      Da snake 19 6 months ago +1

      @Erik Lerström fax but its worth a shot

    • Erik Lerström
      Erik Lerström 6 months ago +1

      Sadly, I doubt there are records for those...

  • Terry Dactyl
    Terry Dactyl 6 months ago

    Oil Can Boyd for Hall of Fame

  • Kevin Robinson
    Kevin Robinson 6 months ago

    "Brooklyn Excelsiors" lol

  • Justin Lloyd
    Justin Lloyd 6 months ago +3

    Paid patriotism. Done with this channel.

    • Justin Lloyd
      Justin Lloyd 6 months ago

      @SpreadsheetGod I'll check them out

    • SpreadsheetGod
      SpreadsheetGod 6 months ago

      @Justin Lloyd yessir.

    • Justin Lloyd
      Justin Lloyd 6 months ago

      @SpreadsheetGod the fighting videos?

    • SpreadsheetGod
      SpreadsheetGod 6 months ago

      to be fair, there were a whole 5 videos on the channel this week referencing the US as a soul sucking imperialist machine.

  • brandoncarr09
    brandoncarr09 6 months ago +1

    gee, i hope the US Army helping fund Vox Media won't effect their perspective on the military-industrial complex

  • Talk Good English
    Talk Good English 6 months ago +3

    I wonder what the role of the pitcher would be if technology for pitching machines had existed back then? A machine can pitch nearly the same way every time, which seems to be what they were going for.

  • Gavin Mudge
    Gavin Mudge 6 months ago

    whoa us Camry ad out of nowhere

  • qerguil
    qerguil 6 months ago +17

    eesh, taking army sponsorships is a bad look

  • Trey Magathan
    Trey Magathan 6 months ago +13

    Presented by the US Army? What?

    • Trey Magathan
      Trey Magathan 4 months ago

      I don't much care about that, more so why the US Army wants to sponsor SB Nation in the first place.

    • Slackman
      Slackman 4 months ago

      Under Trumps leadership I've had fewer concerns with the US military.
      But not nearly enough to endorse them in anyway...
      Maybe I'll resubscribe when they stop dealing weapons to a certain terrorist kingdom.

  • Nate Wild
    Nate Wild 6 months ago +1

    Wait where did Jon go

  • Coach McGuirk
    Coach McGuirk 6 months ago +1

    When is more Jon Bois?

  • Alan Gohel
    Alan Gohel 6 months ago

    The Evolution of a pitcher bit got me good

  • Coltin Thorn
    Coltin Thorn 6 months ago +5

    I think multiple people could have invented it without realizing they weren't the only one doing it, but I'm calling bullshit on the 3 pole demonstration

  • Adamania 13
    Adamania 13 6 months ago +1

    You re the only person that I’ll watch other than JOn bois

  • Ty Calvert
    Ty Calvert 6 months ago

    Damn that casual book drop. 😅😅

  • Zerebus Garago
    Zerebus Garago 6 months ago +55

    SB Nation getting in on the lucrative "Tricking the underprivileged into dying in a god forsaken desert" racket.

    • Skyedogg
      Skyedogg 2 months ago +2

      @AndrewDangerously Go dodge bullets, kill poor brown people and watch your friends get mutilated in order to get education and healthcare! What a country!

    • AndrewDangerously
      AndrewDangerously 5 months ago

      You want college and healthcare without moving to Canada?

    • Erik Lerström
      Erik Lerström 6 months ago +6

      No man! You got it all wrong G! All the cool kids are doing it, you should checkz it out! Im not a 50 year old man pretending to be young and hip to recruit for the army, totz swear on _the holy bible._

  • Spoonicide
    Spoonicide 6 months ago

    Mysteries at the museum did a really good telling of this too. Wasn't quite as deep but was fun to listen to.

  • FatPanda54
    FatPanda54 6 months ago +2

    Howdy! I’d like to give my recommendation for a future episode of 1st, entitled:
    “The First Episode Of 1st”
    Thanks for your time and consideration.

  • Aaron Scarpa
    Aaron Scarpa 6 months ago +114

    The first batter to see a curveball was probably so mind blown and thought Satan was responsible.

    • Lewis Sunflower
      Lewis Sunflower 15 days ago

      He probably ducked if it was inside because he thought it was going to hit him in the face.

    • M D
      M D Month ago

      What sorcery is this?

    • malgold88
      malgold88 Month ago

      @Gabriele Riva probably both

    • Gabriele Riva
      Gabriele Riva 6 months ago +5

      Or the Irish.

  • Tiger58
    Tiger58 6 months ago +30

    I don't really know who invented the curveball, but I think it is possible that multiple people invented it without knowledge of each other at the same time

    • Tehcarp
      Tehcarp 26 days ago

      Tiger58 like the bow and arrow

  • Captain Kirkwood
    Captain Kirkwood 6 months ago +134

    Candy Cummins a sweet nickname in the 1800s a pornstar in the 2000s 😂

  • KAL EL
    KAL EL 6 months ago +33

    0:25 "He said what?" -Francis Ngannou

  • jojokes 1919
    jojokes 1919 6 months ago +1

    Man I love these videos

  • KAL EL
    KAL EL 6 months ago +3

    I see Mike, I click.

  • Dualshock Destroyer
    Dualshock Destroyer 6 months ago +22

    Imagine being run by people aware of the materialist implications of capitalist countries and their armed forces and taking on sponsorship from them to farm your own audience.

  • Openingband
    Openingband 6 months ago +4

    My man is back! Happy to see you and your origin together again.

  • Sam
    Sam 6 months ago +3

    So whats the deal with Comcast subsidiaries and Army advertising? I just saw it on the PL on NBC Sports too, not to mention that Verge video.

    • Erik Lerström
      Erik Lerström 6 months ago +2

      @Dualshock Destroyer ... hmm... might need to start handing out crack again to create more desperate poor people...

    • Dualshock Destroyer
      Dualshock Destroyer 6 months ago +9

      All branches are running out of cheap bodies to throw at imperialist efforts.

  • tinyistobig
    tinyistobig 6 months ago +2

    Well sb...youve done it again!!!!...another captivating mini doc...can u plz do more of the (fighting in a time of loneliness) type pay for it

  • Jumbo_Jimbo dad
    Jumbo_Jimbo dad 6 months ago +1

    Rewinder suggestion: Kings v Grizzlies. Tyreke Evans game winning shot from before the half Court Line

  • Jeeves Anthrozaur
    Jeeves Anthrozaur 6 months ago

    In New York style baseball, if you get hit by a pitch you HAVE to say "I'm walkin 'ere!"

  • VarunTheSeaGod
    VarunTheSeaGod 6 months ago +12

    Candy Cummings sounds so wrong

  • TwerkToSpec
    TwerkToSpec 6 months ago +4

    OOOOH. you said KNICKERbockers. My bad

  • Marcus
    Marcus 6 months ago +189

    I’ll join the army when Jon Bois tells me to...

    • Speedy Sphincter
      Speedy Sphincter Month ago +1

      @Ben Dover aye Shipmate

    • Speedy Sphincter
      Speedy Sphincter Month ago +1

      @Eli Hernandez *Navy

    • Ben Dover
      Ben Dover Month ago +1

      @Eli Hernandez marines is for the boys. Navy all the way.

    • Mr. W
      Mr. W 5 months ago +1

      I can't think of a bigger insult than to call someone a "follower".

  • Ivy Cactus
    Ivy Cactus 6 months ago

    OH your back? OK

  • Al
    Al 6 months ago +22

    army trying to poach the demographic!!!!!!!

  • TheDenver27
    TheDenver27 6 months ago +1

    Nice vid!

  • The NBA Storyteller
    The NBA Storyteller 6 months ago +12

    This video will go down as one of your greatest SB Nation 👍

  • Chris Dimaculangan
    Chris Dimaculangan 6 months ago +33

    the way you just dropped the book at the end had me in tears

    • Jon Sanders
      Jon Sanders 5 months ago

      Chris Dimaculangan with a completely straight face, too 😂

  • YouTube User C-289
    YouTube User C-289 6 months ago +112

    *David Attenborough voice* And thus, with a whole two and a half hours of Jon Bois content released, the timid SB Nation emerges from the nest with its usual content series, knowing that they have a limited time before the cries for a third season of Breaking Madden begin anew

    • jccs98
      jccs98 6 months ago +2

      i was literally half way through typing word for word this exact comment when i scrolled down to see what the rest of y'all thought. great minds i guess. breaking madden aint coming back tho, because fixing rugby is coming, and that is a fact

  • Hubert Beck
    Hubert Beck 6 months ago +115

    Where's Jon Bois? It's been a full day since his last video on this channel!

    • mjstecyk
      mjstecyk 6 months ago +1

      @SB Nation everyone loves jonny boi

    • SB Nation
      SB Nation  6 months ago +40


  • Cooper Herold
    Cooper Herold 6 months ago

    Underhanded like a gentleman

  • michael hall
    michael hall 6 months ago +1

    Sir Donald Bradman please.

  • butter boi
    butter boi 6 months ago +1


  • The Cartoon Adict
    The Cartoon Adict 6 months ago +13

    Or 'The First man to yeet a ball sideways'

  • Haile Daniel
    Haile Daniel 6 months ago +93

    Long time no see my G