This year's lone Hall of Fame inductee as elected by the writers owed most if not all of his success to learning this pitch in the Cubs' minor league system after having blown out his elbow. Sutter threw the splitter almost exclusively, compiling 300 saves and establishing the pitch as one of the most feared weapons in the game.
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Johnson's heater earned him the nickname "the Big Train." He delivered it sidearm and, like Sutter with his splitter, rarely bothered to mix in any other pitches. He won 417 games and led the league in strikeouts 12 times.
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Blessed with a blazing fastball as well, Koufax threw his curve overhand, which is rare for a left-handed pitcher. The curve would break straight down, forcing hitters to beat it into the ground.
4 of 10Lou Capozzola/SI
Working off his electric fastball, Martinez uses the exact same arm motion to deliver his devastating changeup, which looks almost like a breaking pitch as it tails away from lefties and in on righties.
5 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
The emergence of the splitter means the heyday of the screwball is gone, but back in 1981 it thrived as charismatic rookie Valenzuela led the Dodgers to the World Series title. The top two pitches in his arsenal were both screwballs, a slow version and a fast one.
6 of 10John Iacono/SI
You know it's coming, but you still can't hit it. Like Sutter before him, Rivera closes games relying almost completely on his out pitch. Rivera's cutter breaks so hard to the left that it routinely breaks the bats of left-handed hitters. Some managers have gone to the extreme of using only right-handed pinch-hitters to bat against the right-handed Rivera.
7 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
You don't see many knuckleball-throwing closers, but Wilhelm had such fine control -- only 778 walks in more than 2,000 innings -- that he crafted a Hall of Fame career around his dancing knuckler.
8 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
All three of Carlton's pitches -- fastball, slider, curve -- ranked among the best of his time, but it was his slider that has gone down as one of the most unhittable pitches in history.
9 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
The effect of this pitch is more psychological than anything. Perry would mix it in with a vast assortment of pitches to keep hitters off-balance. He gets the nod over "shineball" artists such as Ed Walsh and Eddie Cicotte because, unlike them, Perry had to be sneaky about throwing it. (The pitch was banned in 1920.)
10 of 10Chuck Solomon/SI
Quiz never started a game, yet he surpassed the 100-inning mark five times during his career, during which he saved 244 games. He never struck out more than 54 batters in a season, but he didn't need to -- the sinker made him a ground-ball machine.
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