Science Throws Little League A CurveballS

Little Bobby throws a curveball and, soon, he whines about a sore elbow. He blames it on his fledgling 12-to-6, but Little Bobby is just craving sympathy. Hate the player, not the game, Bobbo. It's science.

Or so say the reputable American Sports Medicine Institute and Connecticut Children's Medical Center, both of which concluded independently that curveballs are no less stressful than fastballs on young pitchers' arms. In fact, curveballs are rarely at fault in arm problems for the up-and-coming tykes in Baseball America's rankings of the top elementary school players in the country.

Such a revelation, believe it or not, might be bad news for Little Leagues across the country. Curveballs will soon be like that random pretzel in the dugout, the one that everyone wants but everyone knows will be bad for them to eat during the game. Except the curveball won't be bad, and so everyone will throw it, and catchers will need their protective cups more than ever.

How, then, did baseball dads go for so long advocating against the curveball?

"Why did people believe the world was flat? Because one guy told another it was flat and it looked flat. Until someone discovered that it wasn't," he said.

Tom Friedman has seen the future of international baseball, and it's 6-year-old kids in the Dominican Republic throwing spitballs and knuckle-changes at a MLB training facility. Williamsport, watch out.

Two Studies Show That Curveball Isn't Too Stressful [New York Times]