Female Pitchers

Any advice on how to not let the superiority complex get to me?

Female pitchers? You’re talking to one.
Many moons ago I played—yep, the real thing, pitching distance 60’6", bases 90 feet apart, and I played with a very good team that might well have been called semipro if only everybody had gotten paid. The manager was a former semipro infielder (second base) with good baseball savvy, and we played major league rules all the way which pleased me very much. I was one of those exasperating, infuriating natural sidearmers who used the crossfire a lot—not much on speed but with a very good arsenal of snake-jazz, and I would start some games and relieve in some others. I’m happy to say that I never lost a game.
Unfortunately, I had to stop when I was in my mid-30s, when my work schedule caught up with me and I lost my free weekends—but I had great fun, especially with old Filthy McNasty (my slider).
What I can say, in response to your question, is just this: don’t even think about it. If you run into a female pitcher who knows what she’s doing on the mound, let her pitch. It’s as simple as that. :slight_smile:

I’m aspiring to be a female pitcher. I currently manage my high school team, and although I haven’t played ball in many years, I really want to get back into it. I figured out it’s the one place that makes me extremely happy. The males on my team tend to have a large superiority complex with it, so it’s not something I can talk with them about or have them help me with. I can’t even really talk to my coach, because I don’t want to deal with, “You’re 5’4” and 93 lbs, do you really think you can play?"
I’m starting training within the next month for next season, and I study the game more than I ever have.
Thank you so much for the confidence that females can be just as good, if not better than a male pitcher.

High schoolers, huh? I got news for you. This so-called “superioruty complex” is just a fancy name for “smart alecs who think they know it all”. Among adults who think in those terms, it’s fear, pure and simple—they don’t like the idea that a female can be as good, or even better, and it scares them. So you have the upper hand.
I will never forget the day I got into playing the game. I was fourteen and getting ready to enter the tenth grade (sophomore year in high school). One day I went out for a walk—the Yankees were on the road—and I found myself gravitating toward Yankee Stadium. At the time there were two large parks near there—they have since been swallowed up by the construction of the new Stadium—and as I headed for one of them I saw two teams on one of the diamonds, warming up for a game. While they were whipping the ball around the infield, the third baseman on one of the teams threw wild, and the ball came skittering in my direction. I picked up the ball—and I don’t know what got into me; I went into a full windup and threw a curve ball in the direction of the catcher. He caught it, but instead of throwing it back to the third baseman he came running in my direction and wanted to know what that was I had just thrown! Then the manager came running up, and he wanted to know if I could stick around and pitch a couple of innings late in the game; his starter had to leave at the end of the sixth inning to get to work. (The players on that team were all 18 and older.) So I said sure, just let me borrow a glove, and I pitched three scoreless innings. Next thing you know, we won 5-2, and the manager was asking me if I would like to play regularly with them. And that started it. There I was, a 14-year-old, 5’4", 125-pound sidearming shrimp, playing real honest-to-goodness baseball!
Two years later I had the good fortune to meet up with one of the Yankee pitchers—a lefthander named Ed Lopat who was one of the team’s Big Three—and he became my pitching coach and mentor for almost four years. He was the kind who would work with anyone who was interested, who wanted to know, and who was willing to work at it, and it started when I told him I just wanted to ask him about the slider. He showed me how to throw a good one—and because I wanted to know and was willing to work at it, he had no hesitation about teaching me a lot of advanced stuff he felt I needed to know. He helped me become a better pitcher than I had been, and I enjoyed some eighteen years of making the opposing batters look very, very stupid with my arsenal of snake-jazz.
In any event, I say, go for it. If you feel you need some advice, I’ll be willing and able to help as much as I can—and if you can find a good pitching coach, maybe one with pro experience, that will help too. And as Satchel Paige once said, “Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.” :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for that. I’m extremely determined to do this regardless of what everyone says. :slight_smile:

All I can say is work hard, you know, if you work harder than everyone else and you show some ability they can’t reject you regardless of gender.

There’s a team in Rawlins, Wyoming that has had three females on their team at times and they almost always have at least one. Granted they are a bit of an odd team they also have midgets and kids with down syndrome on their team.

I don’t think you’re gender should have anything to do with your ability if you can be effective you should get a shot. At your weight (you said 93 pounds right?) you may not be able to generate a ton of velocity so if you need any pointers on a knuckler just let me know. lol

Just to clarify even though I’m posting in this thread I am not a female pitcher. lol

Anyways if you want to develop a knuckleball like Anabelle Lee (only pitcher with a perfect game in American Girls Professional League history) I can give you some pointers and give you some places to go to learn and even suggest a book, but I need to know you want to be a knuckleballer first.

A note to mboostedt: My friend Pustulio is the Master of the Knuckleball on these boards, and he’s a good one to listen to, so if you’re interested in learning that pitch, you can talk to him. :slight_smile: 8)

In a sport that glorifies velocity beyond comprehensible measures sometimes i see (amongst my own teammates even) players equate mph with skill and look down upon pitchers with low velocity even when the pitcher is good.

All i can say is don’t let what other people say stop you from achieving what you set out to achieve.

If I quit playing ball everytime someone told me I wouldnt go pro because I am “undersized” Well…id be out of ball awhile ago. Fortunately for me i never gave in, got myself into a good college and I have a chance to play pro ball after this season.

Likewise don’t let anyone tell you that because you’re a female you can’t play ball.

Pustulio, I’d love to learn how to throw a knuckleball. I need everything I can get to help me out, and I know that no pitcher on our team throws one. Thank you so much!

UndersizedRHP and Zita Carno, Thank you so much for the support, it means a lot and it’s driving me to do more.

[quote=“mboostedt”]Pustulio, I’d love to learn how to throw a knuckleball. I need everything I can get to help me out, and I know that no pitcher on our team throws one. Thank you so much!

UndersizedRHP and Zita Carno, Thank you so much for the support, it means a lot and it’s driving me to do more.[/quote]

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3941177

Those should make you feel good since these just happened recently.

That’s amazing!!!

Ahh, I’m so excited about this!

Another article plus video:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Eri-Yoshida-is-headed-to-America-with-big-league?urn=mlb,209527

Man this is just the best site. 8)

Good morning, jdfromfla.
I was just reminded of something Joe Garagiola once said in his book “Baseball Is A Funny Game”. And he was all seriousness when he said it. Baseball is a game where everybody has a chance. The person with glasses. The short and the skinny. The persons of different hues. The ones who would not permit certain medical conditions to stop them (if you recall, Allie Reynolds was a diabetic). And the female of the species. Everybody has a chance. If they have what it takes, if they can do it, they should be given the opportunity to show what they can do.
I’ve been having a great time, along with Pustulio and undersizedrhp and Roger and a few others, talking with our friend who wants to get back into baseball and become a pitcher, giving her not only advice but also encouragement and support. It reminded me of my own playing days, when because of some unusual circumstances I hooked up with a very good, you might almost call it, semipro team and spent two decades or so making opposing hitters look unbelievably stupid with my arsenal of snake jazz. It reminded me of the almost four years I spent working with and learning from Ed Lopat, a Yankee pitcher who once told me he would work with anyone, and he meant anyone, who was interested, who wanted to know and who was willing to work at it. He also said that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had been from another planet. He saw me as a good young pitcher who wanted to know, who wanted to be more effective on the mound, and who was willing to work at it, and he took me in hand, worked with me and helped me become that more effective pitcher. It reminded me of the nickname that got pinned on me: my second baseman told me that everyone else in our league was calling me “the Exterminator” because I was just killing them! Those were good times indeed, and I will always remember how my teammates—guys 18 and older, all of them—didn’t mind one bit having a 5’4", 125-pound sidearming shrimp on the pitching staff because I was getting the batters out.
They had the right idea.
One reads all sorts of stuff written by folks who think they know it all—they cite all sorts of excuses disguised as reasons why females can’t play baseball. Jennifer Ring, a member of SABR like myself, has written a book called “Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball”, and in this book she exposes this so-called reasoning for what it is: a crock of b.s. And that’s not the worst of it; there are those creatures who think they know everything who insist that never mind Title IX and all the rest of it, females have no place in sports altogether, they should go home and play with their dolls. More b.s., a whole Mt. Fuji of it. I don’t know whether to laugh or hit the ceiling!
And so I have been following with great interest the odyssey of the young Japanese girl who throws a mean knuckleball, and I wish her the best. I wish our determined friend on these boards the best. I understand that she wants to learn to throw the knuckler, which can be a very mean pitch indeed, and that our resident expert on the subject—Pustulio—will be very happy to help. And all of us with varying degrees of expertise will do likewise.
Have a great day, and stay warm. 8) :baseballpitcher:

My son was pitching a JV game against Pedro Menendez High down in St Augustine and was just slaying them. The problem was his catcher…though he had the body and mind (His grandpa was a minor league cather), he just couldn’t drop and block…I mean it got down right ridiculous, in the 3rd inning, he had k’d the order, but because of the catcher dropping 3rd strike he had already struck out 5. Well their coach sends in a pinch hitter, I saw braids sticking out and am thinking :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: my son hasn’t faced a girl since he was 8 or 9 and I wondered how he’d react, well he just went right at her and she flinched on a curve…so he’s thinkin…“oh maybe I’ll just drop in another duece for my 6th recorded k of this inning”…smack…hard shot into the deep hole at second, where the hitherto bored 2nd baseman is making frantic moves to corral the grounder and just got her by a hair. After the game he said he wasn’t going to do anything different…he saw she was ready and of a much higher quality than the rest of the line-up so he wasn’t just going to groove stuff. Well we know a couple of the parents of the Menendez kids and they verified that this girl had been tearing up JV pitching all over the district and she both pitched and played 2nd (She PH that game because she had thrown a complete game victory the night before :wink: ). This girl played until her jr. year and then she went to softball.
As with girl place-kickers in football, if a person can fit the slot better than any other prospect then they should be in that slot, at least getting a shot. I think this poster has as good a chance to play and play regularly if the skill she presents equals the spirit she portrays.

This is really the most support I’ve gotten, and it completely baffles me that people I’ve never met, have faith in me. All of this makes me want to throw harder and better than anyone else. I have one year to train, and I’m not going to waste any second of it. Thank you guys for so much support and for the articles and videos. I really do appreciate all of this.

:smiley:

Which do you believe is better, sidearming or over the top?

I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Some people find success doing one or the other or both.

Whatever makes you get people out is really what matters.

:applaud: That’s a great answer, UndersizedRHP!

The important thing is to find your natural arm slot—whichever delivery is comfortable for you and enables you to throw as hard as you can without risking injury—and stick with it. I have heard too many stories about pitchers who were forced to change their deliveries because some coach said so (no doubt because said coach may have had an agenda), often with deleterious results. Whatever is comfortable for you, be it overhand, three-quarter or sidearm, that’s the one to use.
My pitching coach of long ago had this basic premise: that every pitcher has a natural motion, and what he would do was work with that pitcher and show him or her how to make the most of it. I was a natural sidearmer with a consistent release point, and I used the crossfire extensively, and he used this as a jumping-off point from which to work with me. I wasn’t what one would call fast, although at one point I did pick up an 81MPH four-seam fast ball, but I threw lots of good breaking stuff, and he helped me refine those pitches. He also worked with me on various aspects of fielding my position—most important, believe me. In addition—most pitchers are either strikeout pitchers or ones who pitch to contact (as Mr. Lopat put it, “Get the ball over the plate and make them hit it. Make them go after your pitch, what you want them to hit”)so as to get the ground balls; I could do it both ways, depending on the situation.
So, it’s a matter of what feels comfortable for you and what enables you to get the batters out. :slight_smile: