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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baseball Throwing Part Eight - Specialty Throws

By Dick Birmingham

There are all kinds of specialty throws for infielders that have absolutely nothing to do with lining up and warming up.

To give you an example of a specialty throw lets look at first baseman giving the ball to a pitcher covering the base. It is an important play.

This has to be taught and it has to be worked on.

As far as the underhand throw is concerned, I feel that the whole hand should be behind the ball and that he should give it to him so that the ball is going rise up into the pitcher's face. You will lead him with the throw he needs to follow with a couple of quick steps. He needs to follow that throw instead of just flat-footed because a lot of times those big hitting first basemen, they will get flat-footed and will flip and go way up. If he is on top, I think it has to be a different type throw. It is almost like a middle infielder. He has to get the ball up here and he has to flip it.

I think those types of throws have to be worked on. I have seen a lot of great combinations but to me the success of the double play is the lead thrower. That is the most important part of the double play.

There are certain techniques that are going to help you. For example, that second baseman has to pop that hip to the hand up and flip the ball.

There are certain mechanics involved that are going to dictate what type of throw it is going to be. It is going to be a good throw or it is going to be a bad throw.

I personally believe that the hand has to be straight up and down. It has to be that kind of a throw. If it is off a little bit like this, or if it is down here you are asking for trouble.

It is a very quick throw but it is a specialty throw that has to be worked on all the time. Over and over again.

I’m going to finish by talking about outfielders.

Outfielders have to understand that they are a vital unit in the total defense scheme. They have to take a lot of pride in their defense. I don't think outfielders take as much pride in their defense as they should.

One thing is the throwing technique. Outfielders have to throw with a long arm. A lot of them don't understand the crow hop, the reason you crow hop is to give the arm time to lengthen out so that you can get in the proper throwing position and make strong accurate throws.

A drill that I like is to start off with outfielders is to have them hop three times then throw.

Then after they are doing that a while, then on a straight line or a slightly downward plane you can cut it down to two hops. Then you can cut it down to one hop and then you are in business.

In that process you need to really think about where their striding foot is landing. Because they have to hit that cutoff man. That is so important in the game of baseball that needs to be worked on and talked about constantly. A few guys in here have outfielders that never miss their cutoff man, hit him every time.

Baseball also is a game of catch. It really is a game of catch and you have to prepare your people to catch it and throw it. And, if they do that job real well, it is going to make you look like a much better coach. You will be developing your players and you will win more games.

To learn more baseball coaching tips for developing your players with baseball throwing drills and proper baseball throwing technique visit the Dick Birmingham Sports Championship Baseball Drill Book at

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick