from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun baseball A
pitchthrown with the ball gripped on the fingertips and released with no rotationwhich travels over an unpredictablepath to the platedue to micro-turbulence in the air.
- noun An event that is hard to predict.
- verb intransitive, baseball To pitch knuckleballs.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a baseball pitch thrown with little speed or spin
Sorry, no etymologies found.
League Championship Series, Wakefield's knuckleball is still dancing.
"The knuckleball is one of the toughest balls to hit," said
Wakefield throws a knuckleball, which is indeed extremely unpredictable. — cephyn
His repertoire includes a knuckleball, which is always intriguing.
In baseball, this pitch is known as a knuckleball, and neither pitcher nor batter has much idea of its exact flight path.
The origins of the knuckleball are a bit murky, as four different pitchers have been said to have invented a non-spinning pitch thrown off the knuckles or the fingertips at roughly the same time.
One was the pitch we now call the knuckleball; the other was a pitch thrown much harder and with a different break, but also called a knuckleball see entries on Eddie Rommel, Ben Cantwell, Jesse Haines and Freddie Fitzsimmons.
In writing about the knuckleball, I noted that, in the 1920s, there were two quite distinct pitches being thrown, both called the knuckleball.
With the terminology not yet standardized, this fingernail fling was quite likely what we now call a knuckleball.
Also in 1908, Ed Summers became known for a pitch called a “dry spitter,” but a photo shows a pitch gripped with the first knuckles on the index and middle finger; that is, a knuckleball in the most literal sense.