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The naming of the pitch is generally credited to Maurice Van Robays in 1942, who said "it's a nothin' pitch, and eephus ain't nothing'"[1]. However, it is not clear what the source for the name is; possibly Hebrew אפס (nothing, zero).


eephus (plural not attested)

  1. (baseball) An off-speed pitch with unusually low velocity, intended to catch the hitter off guard.
    • 2003, Michael Seidel, Ted Williams: a baseball life
      Sewell was determined to live or die by the eephus.
    • 2004, Fred Cicetti, Saltwater Taffy: A Summer at the Jersey Shore
      He figured that, if it were another eephus, he'd have time to react.
    • 2005, Randy Roberts, The rock, the curse, and the hub: a random history of Boston sports
      When, on his first pitch, Sewell served an eephus, Williams almost broke his back trying to get to it.


  1. ^ 2005, Jonathan Fraser Light, The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, 2d ed. page 287, column 2