Monday, August 10, 2009

Card of the Week: Split-Fingered

There is something graceful about a crisp black and white photo of a ball in hand. It's such a simple pose, but those in the know understand it's power. With the slightest move of a finger you create a different pitch. Those different pitches evokes a different reaction.

Put two fingers together on the seams to show a two seamer in the hands of Nolan Ryan creates a sense of power. A knuckleball thrown by Phil Neikro evokes the desire to frustrate and elude. Above we see Bob Welch's 1991 Score Baseball card featuring his split-fingered fastball grip. This pitch was just baffling. The pitch had the ability to overpower and deceive you. It came at you like a fastball, but dropped of a table at the end in an unbelievable manner. Its action is so elusive it is sometimes called a "dry-spitter."

Bob Welch used the pitch to remake himself after a 10 year career with the Dodgers.
Bob always had an excellent high, rising fastball, a hard, overhand curve, and a split fingered fastball (see foront of card). But in 1990, he concentrated more on his split-fingered then he had in the past.
He went on to win the Cy Young in 1990.

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