But actually, there is nothing new in baseball. Underhand pitching is not the novelty it is made out to be in the account of Fesler's first appearance in a regulation game. Back in the early 1920s the New York Yankees had a pitcher named Carl Mays—no relation to Willie—who regularly threw underhand, and who was one of the most successful moundsmen of the time. Frank Graham, in The New York Yankees, says of him, " Mays, combining a blazing fast ball with a sweeping underhand delivery in which his knuckles actually scraped the ground sometimes as he let the ball go, was one of the best pitchers in either league." And if my memory of 30 years ago holds good, another Yankee pitcher named Warhop, who was part Indian, of the same era, also made use of the underhand pitch. But Carl Mays was an outstanding star.
Mays is best remembered as the pitcher who threw the unhappy pitch that beaned Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians and killed him. He was one of those unlucky players who were always getting into trouble, to whom things happened. As Frank Graham further remarks, "his methods were as underhanded as his pitching delivery." So he in time departed, and is remembered as a party in a sad accident rather than as the successful pitcher that he was. His pitching style, however, was not considered unorthodox at the time, and there would seem to be no reason why it should not be taken up again by someone willing to master it. And if the Seattle Rainiers are any rainier than our New York teams recently, they should hire frogmen.
THEODORE W. KNAUTH
?Still, Carl Mays and all the other old-time submarine pitchers were not former softball pitchers. Their deliveries, unlike Fesler's, bore no resemblance to the regulation softball delivery.—ED.