The Right Stuff?
July 13, 2010 6:41 PM   Subscribe

The Right Stuff? For MLB pitchers, that is...

Watching the MLB All-Star Game tonight and hoping Metafilter can answer a question I've had for awhile: Does anyone know the origin of the term "stuff" when referring to a pitcher's talent?
posted by word_virus to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could it be an allusion to Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff or the movie based on it?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:46 PM on July 13, 2010


A pitcher's stuff is his repertoire: a fast ball, curve ball, etc.
posted by dfriedman at 6:50 PM on July 13, 2010


No, no. Sorry if I didn't make this clear, I know what it means - I wanna know where it came from. No other sport uses the term; no one talks about a wide receiver's 'stuff' in football, for instance. Who started evaluating 'stuff'?
posted by word_virus at 7:05 PM on July 13, 2010


This page has some citations going back to the early 1900s.
posted by Balonious Assault at 8:02 PM on July 13, 2010


Also remember that stuff encompasses a lot of stuff when it comes to pitching, both the repertoire of pitches, and the movement on the pitches themselves: "Hot stuff" is the ability to place a fastball(not used as much anymore), "filthy stuff" is a pitch with a lot of movement as it approaches the plate. It's also used to denote a pitcher who's effective.

So a pitcher can have a lot of stuff (effective pitches) and can puta lot of stuff on a pitch (a late-cutting slider).

Mariano Rivera doesn't have a lot of stuff, only one effective pitch, but since he can put a lot of stuff into that pitch, he can really bring the stuff as a closer.

Glad I could muddy that up for you.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:45 AM on July 14, 2010


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