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Ty Cobb's Mechanics

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  • Ty Cobb's Mechanics

    I read the question and answers below regarding Ty Cobb's Stance and his grip, and I remembered reading something about it. Then a few minutes ago, I found my All-Century team book and in it, was a letter from Ty Cobb to a rookie right haned hitting out fielder Sam Chapman, this letter first appeared in print in 1947, and the letter as written on May 8, 1938.

    I'm just going to emphasize the important and old faced type from the letter.

    Tip #1.

    Don't grip the bat at the very end, leave and inch or two. Also leave and inch or more space between your hands; that gives you balance and control of the bat and also keeps hands from interfering with each other during swing.

    Tip #2.
    Take position at plate, especially against right-handed pitcher, back of the plate; and against a man with a real curve, you can stay on the back line of the batting box. Now ty to hit to right-center.

    Tip #3.
    Don't slugg at full speed; learn to meet them firmly and you will be suprised at the results.

    Tip #4.

    Now, to hit as I ask, to right-center or center, you stand away from the plate. The distance away from the plate will allow you to hit the outside ball to right. In other words, protect the plate on both inside pitches and outside.

    Tip #5

    Remember, the plate is the pitcer's objective an he has to come to it. Use a slightly closed stance and keep alittle more weight on your front foot then back. That gives you balance and you won't pull you away from curves. You are always in position to give maximum drive.

    Tip #6

    Keep your left elbow cocked on level with your hands or even higher.

    Tip #7
    Keep your back leg straight.

    Tip #8
    If High fastballs inside really bother you, Crouch over from waist and pass them up. Don't bite, in other words. In crouhing, you make the pitcher throw lower, which forces him away from the position that bothers you. But think with instructions have given, you will hit them wherever they pitch.

    Tip #9
    Don't pull a curveball from a right-hander. The ball is revolving away from you. Hit with the revolution and to right field.

    Tip #10
    Against a speedy left hander, don't pull. Use th same stance I have given you, and when he throws you his curve, knock him dow with it or you will naturally pull it, as te ball is breaking in to you. But against left-handers of fair-speed, move up in the box and also closer to the plate, and pull this style of pitching.

    Well that's all, and I guess it must work pretty well, but then again, although I respect Cobb greatley, I doubt his tips would work for todays hitters. I play baseball at the High school level, and in all my years of instruction, i've never been instructed to do anything Cobb mentioned in this letter.

    All contents of this posted credited to the All century Team book,published by rare air books.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Baseball gives every american boy a chance to excel. Not to just be as good as someone else, but to be better. This is the nature of man and the name of the game"-Ted Williams

  • #2
    Thanks for the post, it was interesting to read.

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    • #3
      Just as a side note, that Ty Cobb Batting Fundamentals letter has been on Baseball Almanac since 2000.

      Take care,

      Sean

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      • #4
        Funny that I have been told to bend my legs and keep the weight on the back foot by most hitting instructors.

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        • #5
          Has anyone currently tried these techniques? I wonder what would happen to-day?

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          • #6
            I havetried it, both in practise and games. It gave me very good bat control, It was easier to "chose" which way to hit the ball. But you lose a lot of power.
            Gone but never to be forgotten
            Montreal Expos 1969-2004.

            "I don't even try to fool anybody. I just throw the knuckleball 85 to 90 percent of the time. You don't need variations, because the damn ball jumps around so crazily, it's like having a hundred pitches." --- Hoyt Wilhelm

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            • #7
              Hmmm...

              An interesting study (Not sure how to do it, maybe we could ask the history threads) would be to analyze the effects of "old" baseball and "new" baseball had on hitting techniques and philosophies. Using both terms very losely.

              Old baseball considerations:
              1. Quality and quantity of the pitchers. There were some great pitchers, but how many in any given year compared to today?
              2. Lack of fences. Early ball had fans standing in the outfield.
              3. The emphasis on homeruns. That didn't come until later in the game's development.
              4. Field conditions. Hell, they use to leave their gloves in the field.
              5. Etc...
              The above would tend to make you believe that "spot" hitting may have been the norm versus the "hard hitting" mentality we have now.

              Analyzing BESR's (Ball exit speed ratios) would tell us much...
              I wonder if Cobb's hitting style was a remnant of old ball?
              "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
              - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
              Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mac_sweden
                I havetried it, both in practise and games. It gave me very good bat control, It was easier to "chose" which way to hit the ball. But you lose a lot of power.
                Well, Johnny Damon is considered one of today's best players. But how many home runs did he have last year?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RottenGazebo
                  Well, Johnny Damon is considered one of today's best players. But how many home runs did he have last year?

                  Home runs mean your a great player????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by blackout805
                    Home runs mean your a great player????
                    No, I know it doesn't. I was just responding to MS when he said you lose a lot of power. And yes, today it makes you a great player even if you truly suck. Look at Soriano.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RottenGazebo
                      No, I know it doesn't. I was just responding to MS when he said you lose a lot of power. And yes, today it makes you a great player even if you truly suck. Look at Soriano.
                      I live in Red Sox Nation (I hate that term) look at Ramirez and Ortiz.
                      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jake Patterson
                        I live in Red Sox Nation (I hate that term) look at Ramirez and Ortiz.
                        Yeah but they both have had seasons with a .300 BA during a season.

                        Comment

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