The forkball differs from the split-fingered fastball, however, in that the ball is jammed deeper between the first two fingers. The result is that the forkball is generally thrown slightly slower than the splitter, but has more of a "tumbling" action akin to the movement of a 12–6 curveball, as it will drop off the plate before it gets to the catcher's mitt.
Throwing mechanics Edit
The forkball is thrown with the same arm motion and speed of a fastball, but at release point, the wrist is snapped downward. Additionally, allowing the ball to spin off the middle or index finger may result in additional movement.
Medical concerns Edit
The forkball, if thrown correctly, is known to be a cause of significant and increasingly common damage to the shoulder and elbow. Famous forkballers, particularly Japanese players, have often required surgery to remove bone fractures or to repair damaged tendons, sometimes several times in their careers. Younger players are discouraged from attempting to throw the forkball before reaching the age of 17-18. However, these injuries are avoidable; if the pitcher does not snap his wrist in the motion, then the forkball theoretically should have no damaging effect to his arm. The only tradeoff is a slight decrease in speed; the pitch should still break the same way.