Baseball Throwing Part Two – The Grip

Now, there are a lot of things involved in throwing a baseball. Several people talked about the grip and the grip is extremely important.

The fingers should be on top of the baseball, that is really the key. I mean they can't be off just a little bit. They need to be straight on top.

There has to be a little daylight. I think if you choke the ball you are going to kill rotation obviously.

If your fingers are too wide apart you are going to kill rotation.

So, you need to have the fingers straight on top of the baseball with a little bit of daylight between the fingers and here so you have some freedom of movement. Try to get the fingers straight on top.

I know there are a lot of middle infielders out there. I know what a tough job it is when there is a runner on first base and he is going to steal and you have to cover that bag. You get over there and cover the bag and you breakdown and get into a good position and the guy is coming hard and you know what he has on his mind. In that situation, the last thing you want is a great breaking pitch. But, a lot of middle infielders get that because the catcher comes off the side of that ball and he cuts it and gets great movement on it. A super sinker at the wrong time.

So, this is something that has to be worked on all the time.

Now, as far as the wide C's are concerned and I hate to bring it up because I was close friends with Mickey Owen. Mickey's son played for me. Mickey Owen had a great throwing arm. Very accurate, very strong and Mickey use to come out and help me work with my catcher. In practice and in playing catch, he always tried to catch the ball with the hands close together and he tried in the transfer, he tried to get the ball out across the wide C's. He felt that he could get it 70 percent of the time. That he could get the ball across the wide C's.

Where a lot of young players, and a few older players, have a problem is their hand position. As they get behind the ball or under it.

That is a position of weakness. The wrist has to be rotated out or cocked with the fingers on top of the ball because if you are this way you can't hold much weight. If you are this way you are a lot stronger. So, when you rotate out it has to be on top of the ball.

I notice a lot of young kids when they catch the ball, they will bring the hand back in this position which is a position of weakness.

Then you get guys that get under the ball they throw and they get this kind of trajectory, it goes up.

With the exception of one or two specialty throws, all position player throws in baseball should be on a straight line or a slightly downward plane. You don't want height.

Shot putting you want height.

I have some third basemen that would have been great shot putters because they could get height.

Track is easy to coach. Stay to your left, get back as soon as you can, you know.

Baseball is a little more involved. There is a lot involved. If one little thing goes wrong it throws everything out of kilter. So, it is important to have the hand position correct, the grip correct.

Now, it does not stop here. Where we go from that situation is to the body.