Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Baseball A pitched ball that curves in the direction opposite to that of a normal curve ball.
  • noun Slang An eccentric, impulsively whimsical, or irrational person.
  • adjective Impulsively whimsical; eccentric.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun baseball A pitch thrown with added pressure by the index finger and a twisting wrist motion resulting in a motion to the right when thrown by a right-handed pitcher.
  • noun US One who behaves in a crazy manner.
  • adjective originally US Crazy, offbeat, bizarre, zany, or weird.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a whimsically eccentric person
  • adjective foolish; totally unsound
  • noun a pitch with reverse spin that curves toward the side of the plate from which it was thrown

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From screw + ball

Examples

  • Quote: We had some pitchers that threw what we called a screwball in those days, but that was a hard pitch to throw, and it was hard on your arm.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • Quote: We had some pitchers that threw what we called a screwball in those days, but that was a hard pitch to throw, and it was hard on your arm.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • Quote: We had some pitchers that threw what we called a screwball in those days, but that was a hard pitch to throw, and it was hard on your arm.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • The slider, fastball, and the screwball were all on tonight.

    USATODAY.com

  • One might assume that the incurve is simply the reverse of the outcurve, which would be the reverse of the curveball … which is to say, a screwball.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • I had a variety of curves—threw a so-called screwball or indrop, too—and I used whatever delivery seemed best.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • One might assume that the incurve is simply the reverse of the outcurve, which would be the reverse of the curveball … which is to say, a screwball.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • According to The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the incurve was the “pitch now known as a screwball.”

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • According to The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the incurve was the “pitch now known as a screwball.”

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • I had a variety of curves—threw a so-called screwball or indrop, too—and I used whatever delivery seemed best.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

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