In the book, I talk about Phil Regan (and particularly his August 18th, 1968 start where umpire Chris Pelekoudas went after him all game) and Jack Hamilton, who was the highest-profile suspected spitballer of the time, but what I thought was particularly interesting was how fate put them together. Before the 1966 season, Phil Regan was traded to the Dodgers from Detroit, and I found a September 3rd, 1966 article (Sportiing News, p3) about his success with the Dodgers which included this:
Some Call It Spitter
Some of the leading hitters in the National League say it’s not a slider, but a spitter, and the best in the business at that.
Regan, always modest, made this rebuttal.
“Not me, my roomie at Syracuse last year, Jack Hamilton, has the best one.”
Regan, like many spit-ballers, cultivated the doubt in hitters’ minds to his best advantage.
Regan doesn’t mind if some of the batters mistake his super slider, which breaks about 15 or 16 inches, for a spitter.
“In fact,” he explained with a grin, “I think it helps if they’re looking for it.”