Addie’s “False Rise”

8 Oct

A syndicated article that first appeared in The Cleveland News said of Addie Joss, then coming off his fourth straight 20-win season:

Addie Joss

“The Cleveland twirling star has batters guessing with his ‘false rise’ ball. The ‘false rise’ is not new. It was a favorite with (Old Hoss) Radbourne [sic] and at various times since that star’s day pitchers having great speed have had the ‘false rise’ in their repertoire.

“The ‘false rise’ is delivered as a straight ball, thrown overhand and released when the hand is at the crown of the arc…The ball is thrown with a sharp backward spin, caused by whipping the fingers downward as the ball leaves the hand.”

Joss’ “False Rise”

Joss’ pitch, “shoots down an inclined plane,” for 55 feet, then, “breaks from the downward to the horizontal.”

The article went on to describe the optical illusion caused by the Magnus effect which makes the ball not drop as rapidly and appear to rise. The pitch:

“When mixed with his curve, fast ball, fadeaway, and slow one, the ‘false rise’ gives Joss a box of tricks unequaled by any other man in the business. And when his calculating brain is added, the human weather strip becomes perhaps the most dangerous pitcher in baseball.”

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