Forkball!


#1

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?


#2

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?


#3

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


#4

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.


#5

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.


#6

“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.


#7

“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.


#8

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.


#9

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


#10

[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


#11

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.


#12

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