This blog is dedicated to bringing players, coaches, parents, and fans the finer points of the game of baseball.

Click here for an explanation of "By the Yard."

Have a question or recommendation for a future post? Email me at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Four seam fastball grip

Here's a tip for anyone looking to improve their four-seam fastball, especially if the player is younger and now has a hand big enough to do more advanced grips on the ball.

Have a player hold a four seam grip in front of them so they can clearly see the seams.  The seams on the ball will either form a regular "C" or a backwards "C" depending on what side of the ball the player grips.  A right-hander should try the grip which uses the "backwards C" side of the ball.  Here's why.  The two fingers placed on top of the ball are the index finger and the middle finger.  The middle finger is almost always longer than the index finger.  When looking at the "backwards C," the seam starts low and gradually curves up and around the ball.  When a right-hander places both fingers on the "backwards C," the shorter index finger goes on the lower seam and the middle finger gets to grip the higher part of the seam.  Both fingers get a good grip of the seam.  Unless the ball is turned slightly, a right-hander who holds a four-seam  grip with the "regular C" side of the ball is more likely to have the pressure point of his middle finger be above the seam and on the flat part of the ball.  If you have to turn the ball to get both fingers on the seam, it really isn't a true four-seamer.  Of course, for the same reasons, a left-hander would want to try a "capital C" grip. 

Always remember that there are virtually no absolutes in baseball.  I don't want to imply that the tip above is a definite "must" for all pitchers.  There are pitchers who hold a four-seam fastball unlike what I mentioned above who are very comfortable and effective.  As a right-hander myself, I would often use the "turned, capital C" grip to throw a cut fastball.  Everyone is different.

As I explained in my off-season pitching tips post, tinkering with new grips can be a good thing.  A good hard four-seam fastball has value at any level.  If you are struggling with yours or just willing to try something different, give my tip a shot.  It might just turn your four-seam fastball from good to great.

Technorati:  QU2TWTQE4MP9

No comments:

Post a Comment