Your American League ERA leader.
Sale, Peavy, Dunn, Konerko
2012 All Star Game
Hideo Nomo, 1995 NL Rookie Of The Year.
Happy Birthday to this 9 time All-Star, 8 time Silver Slugger, and 2004 AL MVP!
Baseball photo by my dad, early ’80s.
In spring training of 1989, [Tom] Glavine was standing in the outfield during batting practice. A ball rolled toward him. He bent, picked it up…and somehow his fingers landed differently on the ball. The middle and ring fingers were along the seams. The circle on the side was exaggerated, the tip of the index finger on top of the thumbnail. Glavine threw the ball into the infield. Voila! A career was born.
"Throwing that way just seemed natural to me," he says. "I don’t know why, but from that first throw the pitch was natural. I started throwing it that day."
The key to the changeup is being able to throw it with the same arm speed that a fastball is thrown but with reduced velocity on the ball—not dramatically reduced, but a speed at which the ball reaches the plate just late enough to foul up a normal swing at an anticipated fastball. This was the pitch, the two-seam circle change, that Glavine now had. He went 14-8 in 1989, slumped a bit to 10-12 in ‘90, when he forgot the lessons of the change, and then went back to relying heavily on it as he rolled to a 20-11 record last year. He estimates that he throws the pitch as many as 40 times a game now, often on 3 and 2 or 3 and 1, when other pitchers never think about it. The circle change has made the rest of his repertoire work.
"If I hadn’t found that pitch, picked up the ball that way…I don’t know," Glavine says. "Maybe I would have found some other pitch. I don’t know. I’m just glad I found it."
- Leigh Montville (Sports Illustrated)
Read the rest: "A Gripping Tale"
Photo by John Bazemore/AP
Thomas, HOF ‘14
Photo by Mitchell B. Reibel (1994) via sbxxixxv