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Baseball Fielding Tips: Hey Get A Grip Will You?

by Staff

Gripping the baseball before making your throw is one the baseball fielding tips that doesn’t seem that important at first. Until a throw sails by a first baseman or another infielder late in the baseball game and the go-ahead run scores. Learn what the proper grip should be and how important it really is.

Whenever possible, try to grip the ball with four seams before throwing the baseball to one of your teammates. It’s one of the most important baseball fielding tips that, unfortunately, very few focus on. You want the closed part of the horseshoe formed by the seams on the baseball to be either facing inside toward you or outside and away from you. In other words, your index finger is on two seams and your middle finger is on two seams and thus the name four-seam.

My preference is having the horseshoe facing inside because it feels better to me in my hand but this is strictly your call. The objective is to simply create a perfect backspin on the throw. It’s not difficult at all. If you are limited time-wise and have to hurry on a play, you might not be able to have the choice as to which way the horseshoe faces but you still should strive to get the four-seam grip.

Think of it as a baseball pitcher. A pitcher throws a four-seamer, which is, for the most part, straight and fast. A pitcher throws a two-seamer, which is not as fast and has movement. You don’t want less speed and more movement when throwing to a teammate, do you? More baseball coaches should put this near the top of their list on baseball fielding tips they give to their players. Fielders can be fooled by movement on a ball exactly like a batter can be fooled. The last thing you want is for your throw to have any extra movement when throwing to your first baseman or another teammate.

It is a little difficult to get your four-seam grip on the “bare-handed play” on a very slow roller. As you are bringing the ball up with your bare hand, the tricky part is that you only a fraction of a second to move the ball in your hand and find your four-seam grip. Resist the temptation to simply throw the ball before getting the four-seam grip. This is definitely something that requires practice, but all serious fielders make it their business to learn it. And all serious baseball coaches should include this in their baseball coaching drills. On this play, you don’t want to have the ball sail and either go into the runner or have any extra movement to cause your throw to not be handled cleanly by your first baseman. The base runner may very well end up on second base because of the improperly thrown ball when he should have been a fairly easy out.

It’s one of the baseball fielding tips that require practicing and I assure you that you will be able to execute it properly after some repetition. All smart coaches should include this fundamental in their baseball coaching tips.

Just remember, all the great infielders use the four-seam grip when throwing the ball. On that point alone, I rest my case. Hey, get a grip, will you?

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