Forkball!

my command of my forkball (i can consistently throw it for low strikes) and ability to make it look like i’m throwing a fastball is far superior to my attempts to locate my splitter (i have release point problems with it) - or to make my change up look like a fast ball (the ball popping out between my fingers with the fork leaves less work for me - as opposed to painting the fence with a typical three-finger change. my change isn’t as convincing a pitch… WHACK).

anyway, it’s been my cure-all pitch.

has anyone ever heard of a pitcher with fast, curve, fork - but
no change - that had success in professional baseball?

congrats on your cure-all pitch … how do you differentiate your split which you had release prblems from your fork ball … what’s the difference in your grips?

There’s a lot of guys with the curve, fastball, splitter (ex-Met Ron Darling comes to mind) … but I don’t know any guys that throw a ‘forkball’ now … I always assume that the splitter is just the new fashionable term for a forkball, no?

i am certainly no expert in baseball but i found an interesting article on eric gagne and his change-up actually resembeling a forkball.

i hadent heard of it before and never tried to throw it but they called it a “vulcan change” where you split the ball inbetween your middle and ring fingers

no idea if it was legit but maybe you are throwing a pitch with similar effect

Jose Contreras. That guy has unbelievable stuff. He throws, what I believe to be, a split, fork, fb, cb. You are going to have to look for more “old school” guys in the bigs to find the ones who dont throw a change. The forkball is slowly disappearing from the game. It is a great pitch, tough for some to throw, and many people believe that it hurts your arm.

Not sure how old you are, but I’ll be giving away my age a bit when I say I remember Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky explaining exactly this grip. He dubbed it the “Hungo”. It basically gives you a screwball rotation.

Now back to the matter at hand … throwing a forkball as your changeup. That’s OK, but goes against the point of a forkball / splitfinger, which is supposed to be a breaking pitch that breaks out of the strike zone. But hey, dumb pitchers everywhere are throwing sliders for strikes, so why not a split?

Personally I prefer a straight change that has some movement, but not so much that it doesn’t stay in the strike zone. But then, I like lots of strikes. If you can throw a fork and get 5-10 MPH off, fool the batter, and keep it in the zone, then you have a straight change — regardless of how you grip it.

“how do you differentiate your split which you had release prblems from your fork ball … what’s the difference in your grips?”

i grip my split - or, what would be my split - just outside of the seems (at their widest point before the horseshoe) and i let it slip out just a little to take a little off and give it a little less spin. the problem is with this approach my release point is wonky for me.

my fork is simply a gross exaggeration of this in that i split the ball completely with my index and middle fingers, touch no seems at all, and rarely use my thumb. i have way better control with this pitch because the release point is when i’m pointing directly at the catcher’s mit (or batter’s head - whatever the target is). it takes around 8 mph off and has a nasty late drop because it has so little rotation on it - maybe 2 spins. i use it like other pitchers use their change-ups, but my fork has generally more movement. and i can locate it better - inside/outside - because i’m not relying on a slightly earlier release point (like a splitter) - i can’t find a groove for an earlier release point that matches either side of the plate.

with the fork - i can point at where i want it to go, and it goes there - and it disappears when it gets there.

“i hadent heard of it before and never tried to throw it but they called it a “vulcan change” where you split the ball inbetween your middle and ring fingers”

that’s a big hand.

Rollie Fingers the great reliever from the A’s had a repetiore of Fastball, Slider, Forkball that worked very well for him.

Lindy McDaniel threw a Fastball-sinking type, Hard Curve, and a Forkball.

Thats pretty good company, Ian.

a forkball is a change-up. having a forkball and a change-up would be a waist of time and a waist of space especially if you have a good one. in fact, if you can work on a good fastball you could throw any other pitches and be successful. you won’t hear about a guy with an amazing change-up or an amazing slider if he cannot put the ball were he want with the fastball. off-speed pitches are fastballs until they aren’t so you gotta make the batter scared about that fast one or you’ll get smoked even with a 100 feet dropping forkball

[quote=“4pie”]a forkball is a change-up. having a forkball and a change-up would be a waist of time and a waist of space especially if you have a good one. in fact, if you can work on a good fastball you could throw any other pitches and be successful. you won’t hear about a guy with an amazing change-up or an amazing slider if he cannot put the ball were he want with the fastball. off-speed pitches are fastballs until they aren’t so you gotta make the batter scared about that fast one or you’ll get smoked even with a 100 feet dropping forkball[/quote]how is a forkball a change-up, a forkball is basically a splitfinger, which isin’t a changeup

Credited as the inventor of your beloved pitch: Elroy Face, closer (before there was such a thing) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played from 1953-1969. Don’t let that scare you. He’s worth researching. Face was only 5’8" and 155 lbs. That should give you smaller guys some incentive.

4pie, Do you actually believe this crap your spewing?

Forkball technicially held further back in the hand than the splitter, and travels at a slower speed.

Why would you want both? Because a guy who can read the spin will recognise the forkball as soon as it leaves the pitchers hand. A circle or classic change spins like a guys fastball More deception.

Yeah, Roy Face was a small dude, but I think he still had large hands.

Ian