Forkball pitchers?

I’m wondering who some of the better/more common forkball pitchers are/were. The only one I’m familiar with is Jose Contreras. I’m very similar to him mechanically, also.

The reason I ask is because I’ve been experimenting with the pitch as of late. I tried it about a month ago, and had fun making my throwing partner guess as to where the ball was going to end up. The ball basically tumbles with some movement to one side or the other. I’ve been pretty consistent with it each time I’ve tried it, and I’m considering throwing it in-game. If it doesn’t work out, then I can always rely on the sinker/slider, but I’d like to know some of the better forkballers and learn from their pitch selection/sequencing.

Its a tough pitch with small hands. I threw it and it actually got me 2 innings pitching on varsity. It’s just tough to control. I gave up on it just too hard to throw good. If you have big hands go for it but sometimes its a very hard pitch to master. I know there was a pitcher who threw 2 no hitters one against our team this year and it was the very beginning of the season. He threw fastball, forkball and a few curves not many though. He didn’t throw very fast either.

I think Okijima has some type of forkball.

Well, I have long fingers, and it doesn’t really bother my hand.

I think I remember some announcers talking about an Okijima forkball, but he throws about as overhand as possible, and I’m more of a sidearmer like Contreras.

Actually, Jose Contreras throws two versions of the forkball. One is the usual one. The other is the splitter, which is a faster version of the pitch, and for a lot of pitchers it’s easier to handle because the grip is a bit different—not quite as extreme. If you can use both of them… 8)

wuts the differene between forkball n splitter

I use them both, and I don’t have all that big of hands. 8)

Loco123—the difference between the two pitches is mainly in the grip. With the forkball, you grip the ball with the index and middle fingers spread very wide so that they are actually on opposite sides of the ball—and that’s what makes it tough for a pitcher with small hands; it puts a strain on certain muscles on the forearm. The splitter is a faster version of the pitch, and as I said the grip is not so extreme; you grip the ball as for a two-seam fast ball but with the fingers spread just wide enough to be outside the seams. Both pitches are thrown like a fast ball, and if I remember correctly Contreras uses several arm angles.
El Duque used to throw a forkball, and he had a devastating one. I think he still uses it from time to time. 8)

The forkball also has to be released more pronouced off the landing of the stride foot. “heavy on the plant Joe”, is a common phrase used by PC’s during the train’g of a pitcher with good hand discipline.

However, if your in high school and your only train’g and pitching during that season, I wouldn’t suggest working on that pitch with any heavy intention of adding it to your inventory. It not only takes some getting use to… but it (the pitch) can alter some of your form for other selections (pitches). In fact, those pitchers who add the fork’r to their inventory usually find a peak and valley ride experience with the success and-or not of their game quality.

Also, for older players… like going into the early 30’s this pitch has been called the career saver… or a career killer … depending on the pitcher.

Coach B.

I understand what you’re say’n there, CB, but the summer league I’m playing for is not competitive at all. It’s more like pick-up baseball, and I figured I may aswell try the pitch out.

If only I had A.J. Pierzynski to call the game for me…

Ive been messing around with the forkball for the past 2 years and it is extremely difficult to get any sort of accuracy with it, because you need to make sure that you are throwing it exactly the same everytime or it wont go where u want it to. I found I had better luck throwing it 3/4 angle and not snapping the wrist, which could probably lead to arm problems down the road. I dont throw the pitch in games, but just for fun. If you want to use it in a game, I suggest just messing around throwing it until you get some sort of control down.

Yes. With the forkball, you aren’t supposed to snap the wrist. You’re just supposed to throw it. A forkball is a deeper splitter without the wrist snap. I don’t throw many forks. I usually throw splitters.

do u snap the wrist for the splitter, or do u just throw it?

I think Hideo Nomo used to throw the forkball. I may be wrong though…

he did, and it was hella nasty.

I picked up the forball about 2 weeks ago, it came really easy to me, I’ve been getting crazy movement with it (usually when it spins less) and location has been somewhat challenging, but I have gooten it down well enough to throw it in games, and let me say, the forball brings out some BAD looking swings and some dirty strikeouts.