Tricky baseball pitch, but is it allowed?

My father had a trick pitch where it would look like he didnt throw the ball, but it was a delayed throw-- his arm would go around past the normal release point in the arc, and wrap around his body so the ball came out over his shoulder, and he could get it over the plate. So the batter would be caught off guard, stop concentrating because he thought there as no pitch, then the ball appears out of nowhere and goes over the plate.

Of course he only did this in charity games for a laugh, I don’t know if he ever tried it in a legit game.


I wonder how much stickum his holding the ball onto the back of the glove?

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Actually tangentially related, but mainly for the intro / outros. And for some quality Goose Gossage.


The entire point of being a pitcher is to deceive the batter and prevent them from getting a good hit off your pitch. Fastballs, curveballs, sinkers, etc: they are all intended to deceive the batter, nor is the pitcher obligated to telegraph their intentions. Why should this be any different?

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I edited my original post to correct the issue. Pitchers are not allowed to distract the batter, as this pitcher clearly did when he raised his hand to show it empty. I agree with you that deception within certain bounds is desirable in the game.

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Oh, you’re going to love this youtube channel. Here’s a link to their breakdown of this play. I won’t spoil the result for you, but I learned some interesting things from it.


Yeah, not a balk if no one on base. I think the part about “alteration” may catch him up.

Wouldn’t be shocked if a teammate got drilled later, depending on the context of when he threw this pitch.

If this were /r/baseball this would already have been posted 600 times, but since it’s not, here you go: the definitive “something weird happened with a pitch” copypasta.

Balk Rules

  1. You can’t just be up there and just doin’ a balk like that.

1a. A balk is when you

1b. Okay well listen. A balk is when you balk the

1c. Let me start over

1c-a. The pitcher is not allowed to do a motion to the, uh, batter, that prohibits the batter from doing, you know, just trying to hit the ball. You can’t do that.

1c-b. Once the pitcher is in the stretch, he can’t be over here and say to the runner, like, “I’m gonna get ya! I’m gonna tag you out! You better watch your butt!” and then just be like he didn’t even do that.

1c-b(1). Like, if you’re about to pitch and then don’t pitch, you have to still pitch. You cannot not pitch. Does that make any sense?

1c-b(2). You gotta be, throwing motion of the ball, and then, until you just throw it.

1c-b(2)-a. Okay, well, you can have the ball up here, like this, but then there’s the balk you gotta think about.

1c-b(2)-b. Fairuza Balk hasn’t been in any movies in forever. I hope she wasn’t typecast as that racist lady in American History X.

1c-b(2)-b(i). Oh wait, she was in The Waterboy too! That would be even worse.

1c-b(2)-b(ii). “get in mah bellah” – Adam Water, “The Waterboy.” Haha, classic…

1c-b(3). Okay seriously though. A balk is when the pitcher makes a movement that, as determined by, when you do a move involving the baseball and field of

  1. Do not do a balk please.

If that’s weird I don’t want to be normal.


I have seen similar plays twice w/in recent memory. Both had the runner on second - one was successful, the other not. Only the latter involved laughter, though.

Nope, still not buying it. Short of flashing a palmed 2nd baseball, pretty much any hand gesture should be legit. As a snarky pitcher might say, “I upped my game. Now up yours!”

They’re for different sports, but you might enjoy You Are The Ref and You Are The Umpire


IIRC, which is doubtful, the ump carefully controls the number of balls in play. If a pitcher snuck an extra ball out to the mound and was caught, the punishment is severe. Like, kicked out of the game severe.


That was hilarious!

If he’s got a MAGA hat on rules don’t matter.

There was some controversy in cricket a few years ago about the switch hit, in which the batsman shifts from batting right-handed to left-handed after the bowler begins his run-up. The MCC, who determine the rules of the game, decided that it was legal.


THIS is what I came for: baseball nerd pedantry!



John Holder – Legend

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Reminds me of the henka in sumo wrestling where one wrestler sidestep the other. Considered a dirty trick, but amusing to watch: