The Spitball Pitchers in baseball caused MLB to put the spitball rule into effect in 1920. Baseball Rule Eight, The Pitcher (refer to MLB Rule Book 8.02(a)1-6.
This baseball rule is very clear and to violate this rule and throw or alter the baseball with any of the following:
1. Spit Ball
2. Mud Ball
3. Shine Ball
4. Emery Ball
The umpire must call the pitch a ball and must give a warning to the pitcher. In the amateur baseball game the umpire must warn the coach or manager. In the MLB the reason for the called ball is announced over the public address system.
The spitball rule was effective for the 1920 major league baseball season. The spitball and any other substance applied to the baseball by the pitcher was not allowed. There were, however, a group of pitchers who kept throwing and altering the baseball despite the rule throughout their careers. The following is a list of those players and the MBL team they played for.
Spitball Pitchers in the American League
Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
St Louis Browns
St Louis Browns
Spitball Pitchers in the National League
|St Louis Cardinals|
New York Giants
St Louis Cardinals
Nicknamed “OLD STUDEBAKER”, Burleigh Grimes hurled for the Dodgers and had a winning season of 34 games in 1919. When the new baseball spitball rule came into effect in 1920, he had 22 wins. Grimes pitched another 14 seasons and his career total wins was 270 games.
In 1959 on April 15, a rookie for the Cardinals of St. Louis, young Bob Gibson pitched his first MLB game. Gibson dominated the National League hitters and is a national baseball Hall of Famer. He said later, “Rules or no rules, pitchers are going to throw the spitter. It is a matter of survival.”
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The following are some modern-era pitchers thought to have used “the spitter”: