EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
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foot; A left-hander should place his right foot forward. This enables him to develop a longer and better balanced swing and follow-through. Step and swing directly toward the stake. Some players acquire the habit of crossing their legs and stepping out of line which ruins their alignment. Stepping and swinging out of line is the most common fault that a pitcher has to overcome.

   Some rather good right-handed pitchers step to the foul line with their right foot but very few experts are developed using this form. As a rule, this method of footwork throws the body into a contortion at the peak of release. By affecting the nerves in the pelvic region, it works a physical hardship on the player and gradually deprives him of the endurance required for prolonged tournament play. In addition, this poor method of footwork creates the danger of fouling the shoe against the leg and often prevents a straight swing to the stake because it tends to twist the body to one side. This makes the task of aligning the shoe more difficult. It also causes the player to pitch with a lunging motion instead of the easy swing that is so essential. A close study of this form of footwork, before a full length mirror, will disclose its faults.

   A player using this poor form should, if possible, change over and work from the foot opposite his delivery arm. This way he can secure a longer swing and greatly decrease the effort in delivering. With but few exceptions, all the champions have developed a perfect coordination of the right arm and left leg, or vice versa, which enables them to get their shoes over in a smooth rhythmic manner. Frank Jackson, many times a world's champion, stands with his left foot forward and takes no step at all. James Lecky, former Arizona champion and one of the best, pitched right-handed and stepped with his right foot forward. However, this was due to an injury of his left leg and was not his natural style. Henry Harper, another fine pitcher of California, employs this form with good results and he can step with either foot. However, these men are exceptions and the average pitcher cannot develop a long, well-balanced swing this way. Many years have elapsed since a pitcher has won a national tournament with this form of footwork.

THE PENDULUM SWING

   The swing is the governor of the pitching distance. There are three parts to the swing, the back-swing, the front-swing, and the follow-through. The swing is the most vital fundamental of them all and the hardest one to master. It is here that most horseshoe pitchers fail. Whether they be experts or dubs, most pitchers use

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