screwball

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screwball

1. n. an eccentric person; a clown or a dunce. (Also a rude term of address.) Tom is such a screwball!
2. n. [in baseball] a (pitched) ball that does not travel in a straight line. Jim threw another screwball, but somehow the batter hit it.
References in periodicals archive ?
If I had a major-league staff, I'd have nine or 10 righties who could throw sinkers and screwballs and we'd turn double plays, and everything would be hit to left field, and we would take away your power
Think of it: Nobody in the majors throws the screwball anymore because no one teaches it anymore.
McCarey provides the ideal touchstones, as he produced outstanding examples of all three categories: Duck Soup, the ideal crazy comedy, Love Affair or its remake An Affair to Remember the ideal romantic, and The Awful Truth among the greatest screwballs.
The most extreme instance--hence the closest of all the screwballs to `'crazy'--is of course Bringing up Baby, singlemindedly concerned with Cary Grant's liberation at the merciless hands of Katharine Hepburn, and culminating with faultless logic in that still potent image of the overthrow of patriarchy, the collapse of the dinosaur skeleton into 'nothing but a heap of old bones', to misquote Hepburn from earlier in the film.
And he needs all of the latter he can get, even though there's no doubt from the kickoff that he'll lead his screwballs to self-esteem and glory.
Meanwhile, a motley crew of divinely chosen screwballs tries to prevent Loki and Bartleby from reaching a New Jersey church that will mystically transport the angels home and destroy all God's works in the process.
Cervenka kept Palmdale (19-9) at bay with a combination of fastballs, curves, screwballs and changeups, facing only two batters over the minimum through the first four innings.
The wild and woolly chase across a bumpy Florida landscape, populated by an assortment of typical Hiaasen weirdos and screwballs, makes for an amusing trip.
Russell said Hollandsworth might even gain a hitting advantage against the soft style - screwballs, cut fastballs, etc.
The bizarre ingredients of James Hawes' very funny, very caustic first novel are as follows: a narrator who is one of Richard Linklater's slackers disguised as a film noir con man; a supporting cast made up of assorted British screwballs, hoods and drug addicts; and a wacky story line that pays wry homage to Quentin Tarantino's ``Reservoir Dogs'' and ``Pulp Fiction.