Oh yeah, I forgot to mention—that when you throw the slider, you use a very-much-off-center grip, neither with the seams nor across them, and you put more pressure on the index finger.
The circle change shouldn’t be a problem. You form a circle on the side of the ball with your thumb and index finger—and you throw the darn thing with exactly the same motion as for a fast ball. I remember I had a bit of trouble with the circle change because my hand wasn’t quite large enough, but Ed Lopat helped me adjust the grip, make it almost a half-circle—and it worked. It was much easier for me with the new grip, and I was hitting everything on and around the plate.
And have you ever heard of the “slip” pitch? This was something Paul Richards brought with him when he came up to the majors to manage, and he was able to teach it to a couple of guys who had a fair amount of success with it when they could get it to work. It seems that there are two versions of it. One—the one Richards taught—appears to be a variation of the palm ball, although nobody talked about it. The other—the version I know, because I learned it from Mr. Lopat—is a slider thrown with a knuckleball grip (or a knuckleball thrown like a slider, take your pick, it’s the same pitch). I remember when he uncorked it after the 1953 All-Star break, and the batters all over the league were screaming blue murder, not to mention arson, first-degree burglary, armed robbery, grand larceny breaking pitch, and every other felony they could think of—they couldn’t hit it for sour apples! Once I got the hang of it, the batters I faced were reacting the same way, plus some choice expletives every time they swung and missed and lost their balance and fell over on their rear ends with their arms and legs in the air like some overturned bug. If you can throw a slider, you can pick up this pitch and use it effectively. :lol: