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Getting a Grip

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 9, 2011

This is a few months after the fact, but, I just found a photo essay that the New York Daily News did on pitching grips. There's some classic photos in there. Click here to see the feature.

Makes me think of that Jim Bouton quote: “You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

13 Responses to “Getting a Grip”

  1. John Autin Says:

    A lot of good pictures there. Too bad the NY Daily News didn't manage to state the year of each photo. And several don't say what type of pitch the grip is used for. Ah, the state of journalism today....

  2. LeeTro Says:

    How is Glavine not identified in his pictures? It's not like he's going to the HOF or anything...

  3. John Autin Says:

    LeeTro @2 -- Yeah, that was pretty weak, leaving Glavine anonymous.

    Maybe it was just an oversight, as the captions seem to be somewhat haphazard. But maybe someone at the Daily News, like a lot of other New Yorkers, still holds a grudge over Glavine's last game for the Mets:

    -- On the final day of the 2007 season, with a postseason berth on the line, at home in front of a sellout crowd, Glavine served up 7 runs in the top of the 1st while getting just 1 out. Lousy time to have one of the worst games of your career.

  4. DavidRF Says:

    Thanks to the pictures and uniform numbers here, the "unidentified pitcher" next to Turk Lown in frame 24 can probably be identified as Gerry Staley.

  5. barkie Says:

    Great link, Steve. Awesome pics.

    This site is often a forum for two groups- I call them the stat guys and the gut guys- who bash at each other endlessly.

    At the end of the day I want to believe that we are all the same type of baseball junkies deep down, and that we would all look at those pictures and instantly start to get all romantic about the game we all love so much.

    There's just something about the way that a baseball fits in a man's hand. It naturally wants to fall into that crook between the first two fingers and then fall against the thumb. The size and weight of the ball is so wonderfully perfect. It's weight is intimidating, but when one lets it fly free towards its target...

    God I love this game. I can almost smell the Opening Day.

  6. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Interesting, with R.A. Dickey and Hoyt Wilhelm next to one another; significant differences on their knuckler grips.

  7. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Other knucklers besides Dickey and Wilhelm, yet further in, seem to have yet other grips - how the seams are held, or if the first and second fingers are off-seam, exactly what the ring finger does, etc.

  8. John Autin Says:

    Barkie @5 -- What's in store for our Tigers this year? Will Scherzer & Porcello keep up the improvement they showed in the 2nd half last year? Does Magglio have anything left in the tank? Does Leyland still have the fire in his belly?

  9. Thomas Court Says:

    I love the pics of Satchel talking to Whitey (Ford that is). Take a look at the length of Paige's fingers! Of all the Negro League players, I wonder about his potential numbers in the bigs most often simply because of the length of not his fingers, but his career.

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  11. barkie Says:

    John Austin

    my Tigers are gonna take it all!

  12. kenh Says:

    Wow that was great. Interesting to me was the number of pitchers who throw their fastball with the seams. I assumed most pitchers threw 4 seam fastballs. Too bad they didn't include a picture of J.R. Richard. His hands were huge. Apparently he could hold 7 or 8 baseballs in one hand.

  13. Shelley B Says:

    this is my first time here and I just wanted to stop by and say Hello!!