1. ## SI: The Swing

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...8406/index.htm

Hitting a baseball is hard enough on its most basic level. A 90-mph fastball will get to home plate in 400 milliseconds, but the hitter needs 200 of those to see the ball, send the image to the brain and process its speed, spin and location. The swing itself takes about 150 milliseconds—literally, the blink of an eye. That leaves a scant 50 milliseconds to decide whether to swing and, if so, on what path.

The goal is to connect a 2¼-inch-diameter bat barrel squarely with a three-inch-diameter baseball—without actually being able to see the ball right before contact. The eye can't follow an object moving that fast that close, so a hitter cannot track the pitch in its last five feet before it reaches the plate. Here's what that means: The batter loses sight of the baseball just when the pitcher wants the pitch to break off its path.

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3. ## Re: SI: The Swing

As Ted Williams (possibly/probably) the greatest pure hitter of all time said. "The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a 'round ball' with a 'round bat', 'squarely.'

Rem

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5. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Baseball is hard. We do well to remind ourselves of that, no matter how many times we hear it. Axioms do exist for a reason. Thanks for the link.

6. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by remdog
As Ted Williams (possibly/probably) the greatest pure hitter of all time said. "The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a 'round ball' with a 'round bat', 'squarely.'

Rem
It's a round ball and a round bat, and you got to hit it square.

-Pete Rose

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remdog (08-30-2013)

8. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by RedEye
Baseball is hard. We do well to remind ourselves of that, no matter how many times we hear it. Axioms do exist for a reason. Thanks for the link.

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RedEye (09-09-2013)

10. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Baseball is hard; by the time I was about 14 the only way I could get on base was to get hit. Baseballs ARE hard.

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12. ## Re: SI: The Swing

I'll add one that I enjoyed on this subject from early July.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/...ine?src=mobile

Not as in depth, but at a very basic level outlines identifying the pitch and the reaction time batters have. Does a pretty good job of outlining the decision to swing or not.

13. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Seeing the name of this topic led me to unbelievable disappointment when I found out this wasn't an article about Ken Griffey Jr's swing.

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15. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by remdog
As Ted Williams (possibly/probably) the greatest pure hitter of all time said. "The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a 'round ball' with a 'round bat', 'squarely.'

Rem
Didn't Ted also say something along the lines of "Maybe human eyes cannot see the ball hit the bat, but mine can"?

16. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Ted Williams and Pete Rose also both said that they could tell a slider because it had a red dot on it. Many people scoffed, but when high speed photography came along, guess what they saw? A red dot on the slider. I tend to think hitting a baseball well is a rare fluke, a gift of good hands, eyes and hips that only comes along once in a while for a select few. I'm sure much of it is teachable, but there is a separation between those who have it and those who don't.

I can remember clearly the day I realized I just didn't have it, watching an overweight old guy spray balls around the 90mph batting cage with an easy, graceful motion that made my swing look like a toddler swatting at flies with a yard stick. Two weeks later I was signed up for Spring soccer.

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18. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by SunDeck
Ted Williams and Pete Rose also both said that they could tell a slider because it had a red dot on it. Many people scoffed, but when high speed photography came along, guess what they saw? A red dot on the slider. I tend to think hitting a baseball well is a rare fluke, a gift of good hands, eyes and hips that only comes along once in a while for a select few. I'm sure much of it is teachable, but there is a separation between those who have it and those who don't.

I can remember clearly the day I realized I just didn't have it, watching an overweight old guy spray balls around the 90mph batting cage with an easy, graceful motion that made my swing look like a toddler swatting at flies with a yard stick. Two weeks later I was signed up for Spring soccer.
Yeah it's an art for sure... hence the swingmaster

19. ## Likes:

BillDoran (09-01-2013)

20. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Could always see the red dot on sliders and curveballs.

21. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY
Could always see the red dot on sliders and curveballs.
Exactly, I relied on the delivery, but of course the older we got the better kids could mask the pitches and that was it for me.

22. ## Re: SI: The Swing

Originally Posted by westofyou
Yeah it's an art for sure... hence the swingmaster

I take it you aren't referring to Jacoby.

Rem

23. ## Re: SI: The Swing

I haven't read the author's book but this was a great interview. The relevant portion is toward the beginning. Basically, the research discussed shows that at the major league level, good hitting has very little to do with quick reflexes but has almost everything to do with good eyesight and the ability to pick up cues from the pitcher, sometimes subconsciously. For this reason, Albert Pujols was completely overmatched when he tried to hit a softball thrown by Jenny Finch --- he had no idea what cues to look for from someone throwing a large ball underhand from only 48' away:

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/209160...ve-sports-gene

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