After pitching only 5-games, 10 2/3 innings and posting a very high 12.66 ERA, Truett Banks Sewell, better known as Rip Sewell, toiled in the minors for five full years before being brought up to the majors by the Pittsburgh Pirates at age 30 in 1938. He won 10 games in 1939 in 52 pitching appearances and the next year (1940), he posted a 16-5 record and his .280 ERA was third lowest in the NL which helped the Pittsburgh Pirates finish fourth in the NL under new manager, Frankie Frisch. However in 1941, he went 15-17 to lead the league in losses.
In the off-season, while hunting in a forest, another hunter accidentally shot him at close range. 'I had to learn to walk all over again,' he recalled. 'Not to mention pitch.' And so, he invented a 'junk ball' or 'eephus pitch'. It became one of baseball's top news stories as 'Rip Sewell let go of the ball, which flew 25 feet in the air with a backspin like a shot-put arced high in the air.' The pitch helped him lead the National League with 21 wins and 25 complete games in 1943 and 21 more victories the following season. Rip Sewell stats 143-97, .596 pct., 3.48 ERA, in 390 G, 243 GS, 137 GC, 20 Shutouts, 2119.3 innings. baseballhistorian.com