The eephus is one of the rarest pitches thrown in baseball, and it is known for its exceptionally low speed and ability to catch a hitter off guard.
Typically, an eephus is thrown very high in the air, resembling the trajectory of a slow-pitch softball pitch. Hitters, expecting a fastball that's nearly twice the velocity of the eephus, can get over-zealous and swing too early and hard. But for a hitter who is able to keep his weight back and put a normal swing on the pitch, it is the easiest pitch to hit in baseball -- one without unexpected movement or excessive velocity.
Pirates pitcher Rip Sewell was the first pitcher to throw the eephus pitch regularly -- although, at the time, the pitch hadn't yet been named. Sewell's teammate Maurice Van Robays took care of that. He concocted the name "eephus" and when asked why, he responded by saying, "Eephus ain't nothing, and that's a nothing pitch." In Hebrew, the word "efes" can be loosely translated into "nothing," and the word "eephus" undoubtedly stems from that.
Watch: Alfredo Simon throws a pair of eephus pitches to Torii Hunter.
In A Call
"eephus pitch," "slowball," "overhand softball pitch," "folly floater," "LaLob," "spaceball"