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From this setup you should be in an optimal position to hit any pitch. They include “The DeCinces”, “The ’90s Hand Flutter”, “The 1991 MVP”, “The Dojo”, and my personal favorite, “The Violin.” Ripken also notably mimicked other stances, including those of teammate Mickey Tettleton and the bizarre John Wockenfuss contortion stance. Walks were extremely rare and not encouraged. I won’t list them all here (you can see them on his wikipedia page), but the two most important are: (1) a good weight shift and (2) having the bat in launch position as soon as the front foot touches the ground. But his approach seemed weird to veterans in the organization and he was let go after one year. Apr 5, 2012 - Explore Jeanine Budd's board "Ridiculous Batting Stances", followed by 208 people on Pinterest. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a comprehensive chart of ballplayer batting stances. But as the 60’s began to morph into the 1970s, Rose started to clench his stance into a new form, making himself smaller and smaller. No matter what he did, Yaz hit: the Hall of Famer retired with more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. Rose quickly personified that. (How refreshing). As I got older my attention turned to sports writing: game recaps, features, profiles, and the like. Required fields are marked *. As a result of rules that favored the batter, hitters didn’t worry about having to make contact. Some batters might actually take all of these into account when figuring out how they want to stand in the batter's box, looking to get an edge in whatever way they possibly can - on the other hand, the hitters on this list may have been using a bit of a different strategy, notably "can I screw with the pitcher by having a ludicrous batting stance?". One of the oddest stances you will ever see comes from two-time World Series winner Craig Counsell. He won the MVP award in ’80 and a third batting title ten years later. Bagwell also stepped back towards himself when a pitch came in instead of forward, making his swing even more unconventional. Wee Willie Keeler and others had also used the method previously. For a while no one kept track of them. A select few did attempt to use the Babe’s stance: teammate Bob Meusel tried it for nearly a full season. Ryness looks out of place here in the Lexus Home Plate Club, the VIP-only lounge nestled beneath the Petco Park grandstands. Once that dream became unrealistic, I focused on immerssing myself in the sport and team I loved the best way I could: writing. When he swung the bat, Ty’s hands were together. Cobb held his hands low so he could easily get them into position to bunt or slap the ball in any direction. It looked awkward, but Seymour won the batting title that way in 1905 when he hit .377 for the Reds. Both played a long time (more than 3,000 games each), which gave them lots of trips to the plate to fiddle. Rickie Weeks had a reputation as a great hitter coming out of college, and part of that package was his dynamic batting stance. © 2004-2020 BaseballEgg.com, All rights reserved. Weight shift is one thing, but actually lifting the lead leg and holding it while in a batting stance has been unusual. Of all the great players in baseball history, the two that are best known for tinkering with their batting stances are Carl Yastrzemski and Cal Ripken Jr. The World's Most Entertaining Car Website, The 10 Worst Wrestlers To Ever Be In A Royal Rumble Final Four, The Rock's Highest Rated PPV Matches, According To Dave Meltzer, 10 Women With The Most Cumulative Time In The Royal Rumble, 10 Royal Rumble Eliminations That You Forgot Happened, 10 Promising Superstars Who Left WWE Too Early, Every Wrestler To Win The Royal Rumble & Finish As A Runner-Up, Ranked, 5 Occupational Gimmicks That Actually Got Over (& 5 That Flopped), 4 Former WWE Superstars Who Flopped In AEW (& 5 Who Succeeded), 10 Worst Royal Rumble Final Fours, Ranked, 10 Most Controversial Women's Storylines In The 2000s, Roman Reigns & 9 Other Superstars From This Era That Drastically Changed Gimmicks, The 10 Biggest Booking Errors With Hulk Hogan, 5 Wrestlers Who Were Best Chasing The Title (& 5 Who Were Best As Champions), 10 Things About WWE In 2002 That Make No Sense, End Of Days & The 9 Most Protected Finishers In WWE Today, 10 Most Effective Submission Finishers In WWE, Ranked, Every 30th Entrant In The Royal Rumble In The 2000s, Ranked. “Bags” fooled his detractors, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1991, and an MVP award three years later. A weight shift with a slight lifting of the front foot had been done before, of course. While not a powerhouse at the plate, Craig's contact hitting led to a .255 career batting average. It worked though, as he won seven batting titles using that batting stance. No superstar changed his batting stance as much or as dramatically as Cal Ripken Jr. Pitches shine with bla. The righthanded hitter crouched so low and so dramatically that his backside looked as if he was sitting in a kitchen chair. A statue at Busch Stadium in St. Louis shows the Hall of Famer in his famous batting stance. Craig Counsell may hold the record for the most ugly batting stance in baseball history. Some of us could copy stances, maybe even dozens of them. While he wasn't the focal point of an offense that featured Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, "Youk" could hit - his batting stance, though, is what really set him apart from his Sox teammates. Does it allow the batter to hit the ball as hard as he possibly can? Lau was a catcher in the Detroit organization in the 1950s when he realized his approach to hitting wasn’t working. Johnny Damon’s stance could have been called “The Shake & Wiggle” because he wiggled his bat behind his head and shook his body back and forth, faster and faster as the pitcher began his delivery. No. Oh used what he called the “flamingo” leg kick, an exaggerated version of Ott’s stance, in which he lifted his front leg high off the ground and curled it close to his back foot. A few hitters had unusual stances. The Baseball Egg weekly email newsletter contains news, factoids, trivia, photos, and links to articles you can’t find anywhere else. As a young Cincinnati Red in the 1960s, Rose’s batting stance reflected the “old times.” He stood fairly straight up with his bat out in front of his chest, ready to whip it through the strike zone. Dick McAuliffe held the bat very high out in front of and over his head while pointing his lead foot out to the mound. Will “The Thrill” Clark was known for his signature “rocking” motion, which was simply a timing mechanism. The 1960s would be about individualism. When the Georgia Peach saw a pitch he liked, he would move either his top hand down (to hit for more power) or slide the bottom hand up (to choke on the bat). Granted, Batista's "swinging-foot-open-stance" strategy was odd, but as far as we could tell as fans, he was doing it for a reason - it helped him hit the baseball, and it worked. It worked well: Charlie Hustle had a 44-game hitting streak in 1978 and seven years later he broke Cobb’s all-time hit record, a mark that may never be topped. Dan is the author of three books on baseball. The baseball was being thrown harder than ever before: it was moving, dipping and diving. Best MLB Batting Stances of the Past 20 Years. Ott was famous for it, but few players followed his suit. His front hip was pulled in, and his front shoulder was closed to the pitcher as much as anyone had ever seen. Batista's exaggerated open stance was definitely different, but it was something that made him successful. “Wherever He Went, Interesting Things Happened”: Ichiro and the … he started as a pitcher but he converted to the outfield in mid-career. Baseball's best batting stances by position | Milwaukee Brewers Rickey Henderson developed his batting stance independent of any outside influence. The 21-year old debuted with the Cardinals in 1941, and he quickly made a big impact from the left side of the plate. Cy Seymour, who had a 16-year career that started in 1896, was a known tinkerer. He remains one of the greatest right fielders to ever play the game. See more ideas about Baseball players, Stance, Baseball. From Roy Hobbs to Jake Taylor BSG's got ya covered for all the fictional batting stances you never knew you knew. His arms raised high above his head, the bat even higher, it's a wonder Counsell's bat was never clipped by an airplane. One historian wrote that Ruth’s follow through left his body “twisted in such contortion that he resembled a human barbers’ pole.”. A small handful of players stooped to help themselves over the years, most famously catcher Stan Lopata in the 1950s on the advice of Rogers Hornsby. He hunched himself down into a “C” in the batters’ box from the left side, with his head peering over his front shoulder, almost Musial-like. He’s still almost universally considered the greatest baseball player in history. Moises Alou was one of the great ballplayers of the 1990's and early 2000's - but his strange batting stance, no matter how successful it made him, will always be considered strange by today's standards (like most things we talk about from the 90's). He seemed like a pot on the stove coming to boil. Rose’s stance was intended to give pitchers a smaller strike zone to throw to, and it gave Rose a short, compact, energy-efficient swing. Ichiro employed a stance where he pointed his bat out at the pitcher prior to the pith, pinched his legs close together, and lifted his front leg as he prepared to swing, influenced slightly by Oh. By 1974 Yaz settled on an odd stance that saw him leaning dramatically forward on his right leg toward the pitcher. 34 of the best batting stances in baseball history | Sporting News In fact, photos exist of Ty Cobb at the plate with his front foot a few inches off the ground. Lopata, who was over six feet tall and looked odd crouching very low, had a mid-career resurgence and started drawing a lot more walks. Julio Franco emerged in the 1980s with his high extended arms and his method of pointing the barrel of the bat at the pitching mound over his head. In order, he emulates Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Melky Cabrera, Ramiro Pena, Aaron Boone and Bucky Dent. When asked about his propensity for experimentation during an interview, Ripken responded that a batting stance, "was only a starting point." In a way, like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. He might be the only Hall of Famer to be discarded because he had a funny batting stance. They can stand out by showing off a big arm, cat-like fielding reflexes, or sprinter speed running the bases. Lets Start!!! Based on other strange stances, the bat held high above his shoulder pointing towards the sky can be forgiven - but the fact that he looked like he was sitting on a comfortable couch lands his batting stance on this list. The graceful, conservative Hollywood style of Joe DiMaggio was going by the wayside. As for the power? Tettleton held the bat almost parallel to the ground while standing straight up - a stance that would get you yelled at by your Little League coach if you tried it today. He still held the bat high and away from his body and tucked that jaw into his lead shoulder. Yaz tucked his jaw into his lead right shoulder, something he did his entire career no matter what stance he used. Top 15 Strangest Batting Stances of All-Time | TheSportster Since he never truly panned out, however, he's remembered for less impressive reasons - one of those reasons being his batting stance. Does it give him an mental or physical advantage over the pitcher he's facing? If there was ever a batting stance that deserved imitation it was the one used by Ty Cobb. What did Cap Anson’s batting stance look like? Tettleton, like Rios, looked like he was simply out for a stroll and was being inconvenienced by the bat, so he would simply hold it in a way that maximized comfort. It was a batting practice fastball league. It took an expansion team desperate for success for Charley to get a shot. In 1990 the Red Sox were trying to win the division title and needed bullpen help. 2) He held his hands one to three inches apart on the bat handle. It wasn’t until the 1890s that individualized batting stances became common, after the pitcher was allowed to throw from a uniform elevated mound. Strawberry was known for having one of the prettiest swings in the game, and his leg kick helped him generate his signature power. Also, let’s clarify something: Cobb did not swing the bat with the split-grip. Oh hit 868 home runs in his career, setting a world record. His open stance and elbow-clicking just added to the whole show that was a Craig Counsell at-bat. The bat came up slightly and the Yankee slugger followed through with great emphasis. Mostly though, players did not have the talent to emulate Babe’s power hitting, and after some of them tried and were unable to see great returns, they quickly abandoned it. Batting stances are unique to each hitter. It was really a sight to see. Throug the years there have been players with strange batting stances. The early 1970s saw Yaz mess with his batting stance almost every spring. Considered one of the "laziest" stances in the league, Rios would hold his bat around his belt buckle and keep it straight up. As the game of cricket keeps evolving unorthodox batting styles and shots seem to have become the norm. By 1983, his final big league season, Yaz had tried several variations, including a very closed stance and a version where he held the bat flatter near his shoulder (perhaps influenced by the teachings of Charley Lau). For decades no one paid much attention to bases on balls. But previous hitters had never lifted their leg as high as Ott. Noted batting stance imitator Gar Ryness (dubbed “The Batting Stance Guy”) has cataloged Ripken’s stances, even giving them names. By the time his book “The Art of Hitting .300” was published in 1980, Charley Lau had cultivated a cult following that adopted his strategies on hitting a baseball. In many ways it was a knee-jerk reaction by a front office trying to win a World Series. Giants’ outfielder Mel Ott was one of the best players in baseball during a career that spanned from 1926 to 1947. The Boston Red Sox have hired Bianca Smith as a minor league coach, making her the first black woman to serve as a coach in professional baseball. Mickey Tettleton's swing rivals Alex Rios' as one of the laziest batting stances in the history of the game. Ruth stood with his feet nearly touching each other and standing at the extreme rear of the batters’ box. Why did the Sox part with Bagwell? Of all the great players in baseball history, the two that are best known for tinkering with their batting stances are Carl Yastrzemski and Cal Ripken Jr. In 1951 the St. Louis Browns took the tiny batting stance to the extreme when they sent midget Eddie Gaedel to the plate as a pinch-hitter in a game against the Detroit Tigers. It took a player thousands of miles from the U.S. to popularize the stance, and when he perfected it, he inspired an entire country to copy his style. His body looked like a question mark retreating from the mound, coiled and ready to explode into the pitch. Downing had one of the most open batting stances in modern baseball, and it was largely effective, especially for the Angels in the 1980s. Like Cobb, he held the bat low, practically cradling the nob on his belt. After the Lau conversion, Brett never again changed his batting stance. Aaron Rowand was better known for the work he did with his glove than with his bat, but his batting stance sure was a sight to behold. Musial’s stance was so famous, and such a part of his image, that for years after he retired, when he appeared in public, Stan would do it for the fans. Seymour adopted a stance that placed him deep in the box while leaning on his front (right) foot, placing most of his weight on the front leg. It’s hard to imagine now, more than seven decades after his first major league game, but Stan Musial’s batting stance was revolutionary for his time. It wasn’t solely because they were great hitters and were getting pitched around: these hitters were drawing walks because they had a good eye. The point was for the batter to put the ball in play. Yet somehow he maintained balance. The batter no longer had a great advantage and pitchers were becoming sophisticated with their pitching repertoires. A square stance is where both feet are in line with the pitcher and parallel with the edge the batter’s box. Smith will work at the Major League Baseball club's player development facility in Fort Myers, Florida, mainly on Plain and simple, Craig Counsell's batting stance makes absolutely no sense. These five batting stances are as fun to look at as they are to … Some players like to be calm at their starting point, like Cobb standing with his feet together and almost still, while others, like Dave Winfield, liked to move their feet and body (“dancing with the pitcher”) as the pitch was en route. Alou would hold the bat in a relatively normal fashion, but instead of planting his feet "normally," he would plant them and then invert his knees to the point where they would be grazing each other. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It was probably a natural physical response to a pitch coming in at high speeds, an attempt to accentuate a weight shift. Unlike Foxx and the Babe, Ott was a small man, weighing in at 170 pounds and standing just five foot nine inches tall. His front foot would bounce up and down while his bat wiggled around over his back shoulder. Some of us who played baseball had our own stance, possibly fashioned after our baseball heroes. Some have stances which look very weird to us but it is their way of approaching the game. But there were also taller guys like Elbie Fletcher, Augie Galan, and Tennessee Roy Cullenbine who consistently ranked near the top in walks. There were four notable things about Cobb’s stance: 1) He kept his hands very low, below his waist, tilting the bat toward the catcher on a 45 degree angle. He won 12 batting titles with it, and he didn’t change it much at all in the 24 years he spent in the major leagues on his way to a .367 career batting average. He was a beast in the post-season. Fans found it bizarre but imitated it. Cobb’s stance allowed him to do the things he felt were most important. He previously worked at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and for Major League Baseball. How quickly can he uncoil his bat when he sees a pitch he likes? What was different about Henderson’s stance? Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. Because Rose was a switch-hitter he had to reverse the stance when he was in the right-hand side of the box. When it comes to unorthodox batting styles Pakistan”s Fawad Alam is up there. Either way, it was probably still a pain for pitchers to deal with. But there’s another reason Bagwell was included on a list of players the Astros could choose from: his peculiar batting stance. Bagwell went on to a Hall of Fame career for the Astros, and the trade remains one of the most lopsided in history. Some scouts simply thought his batting stance was too odd to lead to a long career. But can anyone tell you what his batting stance was like? We will never know what the stances were like for these 19th century stars, but we can infer some things based on how the game was played back then. It was an era when newsreels, radio and newspapers began sharing space with TV. Known more for his defensive prowess that his offensive punch, the only thing people remember from Plantier's time at the plate was his exaggerated crouch while waiting for the pitch to come in. It was the fourth time he’d hit over .400 in six years. Most of them stood erect in the box and faced the pitcher with both eyes and held their bats near where they wanted a pitch to be placed. His success led to imitation: within a few years there were other big league hitters closing their stances, most famously Harvey Kuenn, who won a batting title for Detroit. Prior to 1887, a batter could call for a pitch to be either “high” or “low.” The pitcher was required to deliver a pitch somewhere above or below the batters’ waist. The cost of that division title? This was the stance Yaz used in 1967 when he won the Triple Crown while leading the Red Sox to the pennant. Batters were in a position of strength. In ’04 he broke the major league record for hits in a season when he piled up an incredible 262. His batting stance, which helped him win three MVP awards and seven batting titles, was definitely one of the strange ones - there were batters who hit "closed" (front foot ahead of back foot), and then there was Musial, who closed his stance so much it's a wonder how he managed to see the pitcher over his right shoulder. I've contributed to several Concordia publications and media outlets (print, radio and broadcast), as well as better-known outlets such as Cult MTL, VersusFootball and The Hockey News. He looked extremely uncomfortable. The southpaw pitched brilliantly for Boston down the stretch and the Sox edged Toronto for the division crown. It's Famous Movie Stances Volume 1!
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