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Lining up the knuckles

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  • Lining up the knuckles

    Is it important? Talking around here, barely anyone does.

    I have since I was about 9 because it was just "the thing to do". Now it's just 2nd nature, but is it really necessary? Prevalent thinking was that it helped the wrists roll. However, reading Ted William's book, he seems to think that wrist roll pre-contact is unimportant and perhaps counterproductive.

    So what's the deal?

  • #2
    I agree with Ted. Wrist roll is not something that you should seek to achieve, especially before contact.

    The grip is what I used to start with in my instruction. Now I never mention it. Its importance is overrated, in my opinion. Grip it tight.

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    • #3
      I agree with Fungo22's agreement with Ted. Go with a winner -- preferably two -- I always say.

      Try this, find your perfect contact posture position -- say by swinging against something heavy and soft that will stop your bat at the contact point. If you're doing it right, your bottom hand will be palm down; your top hand will be palm up. Feel right? Good! Pull the bat back to launch position. That's your grip. Easy, wasn't it?

      One caveat to that piece of advice. Often, if you start your swing with the same grip you ideally will end with, you will have your wrists and forearms at too close to a parallel angle to each other than will feel comfortable. (Either your rear elbow has to get pinned to your side or the bat will have to point more vertically than you'd like.)

      If so, another option is this. Hold the bat tightly with your bottom hand but slightly looser with your top hand across your middle knuckles, say like Willie Mays does in his picture here.

      Get your rear arm in a comfortable position. Start your swing -- hopefully a perfect swing, with all the advice available to you here. As the bat reaches the hitting zone, the top part of the barrel will rotate toward you in your loose top hand (which should be reaching the hitting zone palm up) about an eighth of a revolution. Just before contact, instinct (aided by a little practice) will kick in to cause your top hand to contract/grip onto the bat tightly at just the right time, with your top hand in the right position and unable to prematurely roll your wrists.

      Of course, there's a risk that this late contraction with the top hand will somehow impede the double pendulum effect that should be whipping the bathead around at that point. On the other hand, some would argue that the heretofore relaxed top hand is more likely to be able to give a last-moment "snap" than does a hand that has been tightly clenching the bat since the time the pitcher released the ball. You'll have to make your own assessment of that. The point is that the looser top hand may help "automatically" get that hand into the right position at contact. And, by being "automatic", it's one less cue/instruction you have to worry about with your swing.
      Last edited by Ursa Major; 02-27-2006, 01:29 AM.
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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      • #4
        I agree with Ursa's agreement with Fungo, who was in agreement with Teddy Ballgame.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Grip

          Here is how a couple of hitters did it (Robinson and Rose). Note the big knuckes of the bottom hand are lined up with the door knocking knuckles of the top hand (this is where I drew the lines). This is in agreement with what the others are saying here and offers evidence that the cue of aligning the door knocking knucles is not how it is really done.

          When it doubt, go to the film.

          Joe
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jojab

            When it doubt, go to the film.

            Joe
            Film? Who needs it. My boys just started LL practice and the "hitting coach" drew a line down my boy's door knockers with a sharpie and told him to line up the lines. So, that must be the right grip.

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            • #7
              Grip

              Originally posted by 4for4
              Film? Who needs it. My boys just started LL practice and the "hitting coach" drew a line down my boy's door knockers with a sharpie and told him to line up the lines. So, that must be the right grip.
              I thought you were the coach.
              Last edited by LClifton; 02-27-2006, 12:31 PM.

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              • #8
                Hitting Coach

                Originally posted by 4for4
                Film? Who needs it. My boys just started LL practice and the "hitting coach" drew a line down my boy's door knockers with a sharpie and told him to line up the lines. So, that must be the right grip.
                And just how is it that you are not the hitting coach? I mean does this guy know that Steve Englishbey stayed at your house when he was in town?

                Joe

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                • #9
                  How about this one?

                  How about this grip? Think Ken Harvey thinks keeping the top hand quiet might be a good thing?

                  Joe
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LClifton
                    I thought you were the coach.
                    I showed him the hitting mechanics essay you sent to me recently and with a sparkle in his eyes, he asked me if he could take you out for a beer.

                    Originally posted by jojab
                    And just how is it that you are not the hitting coach? I mean does this guy know that Steve Englishbey stayed at your house when he was in town?
                    Unfortunately, I didn't know the coach at the time. Nice guy though. Only a little scary when he demonstrates the proper use of an axe.
                    Last edited by 4for4; 02-28-2006, 08:11 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Lining the knocking knuckles up is something that I also thought of as important. This past weekend up at Hidden Gems place I found that it was not as an important issue as previously thought. Watching him, Steve E and seeing the grip that many of the other top hitters have differ vastly from what I previously thought to be gospel.

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                      • #12
                        Anyone have a picture of Bret Boone? Looks like he lines up the back of his hands.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                          I agree with Ursa's agreement with Fungo, who was in agreement with Teddy Ballgame.
                          I'm in agreement with everyone who's agreeing with Ted.....

                          Ted also said a good way of alligning the knuckles is to grip the bat and bring it straight over your head and bring it down like you were splitting a log. Where ever the knuckles are - that's where they should be.
                          "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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                          • #14
                            Did somebody say something about an essay?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 444
                              ... when he demonstrates the proper use of an axe.
                              There was some question about it?

                              Comment

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