The Ole Ball Game

Baseball Hitting: Hitting A Round Ball, With A Round Bat And Squaring It Up; Is It The Single Most Difficult Feat In All Sports To Accomplish?

Baseball hitting: They hand you a round bat, someone throws a round ball in your direction and you are supposed to square it up.

this pitch was squared up

To add a little spice to the scenario, over time, pitchers have developed numerous ways to make the ball sink, curve, run in, run away and drop like it fell off a table. These pitches are all thrown at varying speeds and often combine two movements, such as a pitch that runs away from the hitter as well as sinks.

Logically, it doesn't compute well. It does, however, lead to that centerpiece of baseball, the pitcher/hitter confrontation.

The art and science of hitting a baseball, the most interesting and talked about aspect of this great game.

Estimated to be the single most difficult feat in all sports to accomplish, it might be better stated that the most difficult part is to hit the ball consistently, day after day, no matter what level you are playing on. Consistentsy is certainly the measure of whether a player is a good hitter or not.

Is hitting a baseball that complex? The steps, or hitting progressions, that put a player in position to hit the baseball are not complex. With time, effort and determination batters have mastered those progressions for almost 170 years, at all levels of the game.

The complexity is created by the small amount of time available to decide if a particular pitch is one you want to swing at. The goal of every young hitter should be to develop and refine those hitting progressions until they occur with no thought process. The requirement to do this is a lot of correct repetitions.

Make sure you know what to do, and practice it correctly over and over. Your mind will learn what you teach it, whether it is right or wrong.

Armed with a series of solid hitting progressions, the hitting process then becomes much more of a mental endeavor than a physical one. The mind is a powerful computer, providing us the opportunity to do spectacular things and achieve tremendous results.

Henry Chadwick, credited with expanding the box score and developing a scoring system that enabled reporters to record every play, allowing them to describe games in greater detail.The Theory Of Baseball Is As Simple As That Of Any Field Sport In Vogue, And Herein Lies One Of Its Attractive Features; And Yet, To Play The Game Up To Its Highest Point Of Excellence Requires As Great A Degree Of Mental Ability As Any Known Game Of Ball. ( from, THE GAME OF BASEBALL By Henry Chadwick, 1868)

Mr. Chadwick had the game of baseball figured out very well in 1868. In today's language it might be stated that baseball is an easy game to play; but a hard game to master.


Hitting Tips From the Dugout

hitting tips from the dugout


Ted Williams the last player on a list of 35 to ever hit .400 in Professional Baseball, speaking in an interview said, ”Of course, everybody’s trying to hit home runs, and of course, everybody can’t hit home runs and still be a good consistent hitter.

It’s too bad that more fellows don’t realize this, because they are making themselves .230, .240, or .250 hitters when they could very well be .310, .320. or .340 hitters.”






.400 Hitters Club

~reproduced from ~ www.baseball-almanac.com

RANK NAME AVERAGE YEAR TEAM LEAGUE
1. Tip O'Neill .485 1887 St. Louis AA
2 Pete Browning .457 1887 Louisville AA
3 Bob Caruthers .456 1887 St. Louis AA
4 Hugh Duffy .440 1894 Boston NL
5 Yank Robinson .427 1887 St. Louis AA
6 Nap Lajoie .426 1901 Philadelphia AL
7 Willie Keeler .424 1897 Baltimore NL
8 Rogers Hornsby .424 1924 St. Louis NL
9 Cap Anson .421 1887 Chicago NL
10 Dan Brouthers .420 1887 Detroit NL
11 George Sisler .420 1922 St. Louis AL
12 Ty Cobb .420 1911 Detroit AL
13 Denny Lyons .415 1887 Philadelphia AA
14 Sam Thompson .414 1894 Philadelphia NL
15 Fred Dunlap .412 1884 St. Louis UA
16 Reddy Mack .410 1887 Louisville AA
17 Ed Delahanty .410 1899 Philadelphia NL
18 Jesse Burkett .410 1896 Cleveland NL
19 Oyster Burns .409 1887 Baltimore AA
20 Ty Cobb .409 1912 Detroit AL
21 Joe Jackson .408 1911 Cleveland AL
22 George Sisler .407 1920 St. Louis AL
23 Sam Thompson .407 1887 Detroit NL
24 Ted Williams .406 1941 Boston AL
25 Jesse Burkett .405 1895 Cleveland NL
26 Ed Delahanty .404 1895 Philadelphia NL
27 Ed Delahanty .404 1894 Philadelphia NL
28 Ross Barnes .404 1876 Chicago NL
29 Billy Hamilton .403 1894 Philadelphia NL
30 Rogers Hornsby .403 1925 St. Louis NL
31 Harry Heilmann .403 1923 Detroit AL
32 Rogers Hornsby .401 1922 St. Louis NL
33 Bill Terry .401 1930 New York NL
34 Hughie Jennings .401 1896 Baltimore NL
35 Ty Cobb .401 1922 Detroit AL

In this modern era, the advent of ESPN and the aluminum bat, this situation is far more prevalent than in Ted Williams era, playing from 1939 until 1960.

Due to the nature of the product, ESPN shows the dramatic highlights of each day, thus the home runs tend to take center stage. While the long ball puts people in the seats, (and we all know chicks dig it,) the downside from a pure baseball perspective is, it creates that “need to hit home runs” in the youth baseball culture, from players and in many cases, coaches and parents.

There are roughly twice as many fly ball and pop fly outs as there are line drive and ground ball outs. Younger players attempting to hit home runs tend to over swing, resulting in pulling their head and creating a long, looping swing, producing more strike outs and fly ball outs.

An additional danger is attempting to “lift “pitches into home runs, a practice better suited to those being paid a premium to do so.

”Line drives and ground balls son, home runs are just line drives gone bad.”

If I had a dollar for every time one of my former coaches said that to one of us. What players see in the media each day makes it harder to get them to concentrate on those line drives and ground balls.

That said, it is worth the effort on our part as coaches to change that thinking, in the interest of enhancing their success level, thus their enjoyment within this game.


See The Ball ~ Hit The Ball(Pete Rose)

Did you know that Pete Rose is the only Major League player, in history, to make the all star team at four different positions?



Additional Hitting Topics

Hitting Vision

You won't hit what you don't see; No matter how perfect your swing is!

Fear Of Being Hit

Providing them with a plan to minimize the perceived danger of getting hit, the steps to concentrate and hit the ball hard, creating good hop ground balls for themselves, and the rules of thumb for catching a baseball safely, all increase confidence and cause success levels to rise.

Proven team approach

An approach that enabled our players to put the ball in play early and often, a recipe for success

Keys to success

We don't miss these pitches and we don't try to do too much ( Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, John Olerud )

MLB's Top 20 Hitters For 2009

Hitting splits for the top 20 hitters in MLB for 2009

Batter development

One valuable goal is to coach players to become their own best hitting coach

Batting Average Analysis

What it can tell you to help create a positive hitting plan

Rookie progressions

Keep it fun and simple, encourage them to turn it loose and swing

Advanced progressions

Watching batting styles of professional baseball players one might assume that anything goes, in relation to pre-pitch movement

Hitting The Situation

A key part of teamwork and offensive production




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Step up to the plate and put the ball in play!

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Solid resources for other categories:

Baseball Resource



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Yours in baseball,


Rick



baseball equipment, building dreams for over 170 years, one player at a time




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