Truett Sewell

Truett Sewell

Class of: 1982

Sport: Baseball

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Rip Sewell is known for inventing the blooper pitch. He got injured in a hunting accident and injured the big toe he pitched off of resulting in changing his pitching rotation and created the blooper bitch. Maurice Van Robays, a Pittsburg outfielder, named this pitch Eephus. With this pitch, Rip won 17 games in 1942, which was followed with 21-win seasons in 1943 and 1944.

He first was signed by the Tennessee Vols, who then sold his contract to the Detroit Tigers for $10,000. His Major League Baseball debut was June 14, 1932, and his last appearance was September 18, 1949. He had a career win-loss record of 143-97, with an ERA of 3.48, and 636 strikeouts. With the Pittsburg Pirates, he was 16-5 in 33 games with a 2.80 ERA. It was the third best in the NL with a .762 winning percentage.

Rip’s best season was in 1943 when he had 21 wins in 23 complete games. That season, Sewell’s record was 21-9 (.700 winning percentage) with a 2.54 ERA. He was selected four times to the National League All-Star team (1943-1946). In 1943, he finished #6 in the National League MVP voting.