EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 16


excellent turn for pitching in wet or windy weather because, as a rule, it is a full hand grip. It can be pitched rather low and made to "break" or wobble nicely. Most of the pitchers, using this turn, find that the shoe balances and turns better if held near the toe. Gripping nearer the heel and changing the pointing of the thumb to a parallel position on the flat top of the shoe, makes it open more quickly. It isn't that it actually turns faster, but by holding closer to the heel, the shoe is already partly turned with the opening more to the right. This is, in reality, a 1 5/8 turn. When held close to the toe, the opening is pointed half way between the right and front. In reality, this is a 1 7/8 turn but, regardless of the pointing of the shoe, the turn is known as the 1 3/4. Young pitchers with long, supple swings do not find it necessary to hold near the heel to get enough turns. For example, Fernando Isais, the Mexican wizard, holds near the toe, grips it firmly with the ends of his long, muscular fingers and depends on his exceptionally long swing to do the rest.

   While the 1 1/4 turn demands more careful attention than the 1 3/4 it seems to require less arm effort and is easier to watch in flight. It can be thrown rather low and held well back on the fingers to insure a good hold. Also, it can be made to take a nice flight wobble. It is well to spread the fingers wide when gripping for this turn. It leaves the hand in a different manner than the 1 3/4. Gripping the 1 1/4 shoe near the toe makes it a 1 1/8 turn while holding near the heel makes it a 1 3-8 turn, especially if the thumb is pointed parallel on top of the shoe. Very few of the champions hold and deliver their shoes alike. It is easy to change the pointing of the shoe by shifting it in the hand and changing the pointing of the thumb.

   Although expert proponents of the 1 1/4 and 1 3/4 turns may claim the superiority of one over the other, the pitching records established with both show them to be on a par. A selection by trial and error will prove to the beginner which one is his natural turn. The one that brings the best results in securing proper and consistent opening of shoe is the one to adopt and keep. Some pitchers, having used one turn for years and hoping to improve their game, change to the other turn. After doing this, they pitch well for awhile and then suddenly start to fall off in ringer percentage. They fail to consider the fact that their muscles have been trained for years to pitching the first turn. When the newness of the second one has worn off, the muscles begin to lose control due to the lack of training for this turn. Others can change without any ill effects. Dean Brown, who is one of the best, pitches equally well with either turn. The individual must decide if he is satisfied with

16

cont.