Hi, I’m Jake (obviously I’m a fan of my idol and the Cy Young winner with my name), im 13 and im almost. I’m from NYC, and I’ve been pitching forever, like from the Minors in Little League. I throw a 4SF, 2SF/cut fastball, slider, and change just like my idol. Site looks awesome and I hope it helps me pitching.
I’ll give you warning, though. You’re gonna find that people will tell you that you’re too young to be throwing the slider.
Hello, Jake, and welcome aboard.
There are people on these boards who will say that you’re too young to be throwing anything but a fast ball and perhaps a changeup. Well, many of them are not speaking from their own experience but are going along with “conventional wisdom”, what other folks have told them, and of course they’re going to say that you’re too young for a curve ball or a slider or whatever. If everybody were to pay attention to them and not consider their own capabilities, what they feel they can do, then nobody would be pitching anything but first-grade batting practice. True, there are some kids who are too young for this and that—it’s a developmental issue—but others are not. For example.
I was eleven years old when I discovered, while playing catch with some other kids during recess in grade school, that I had a natural sidearm delivery, and surprise, surprise! what came attached to it was a very good curve ball. It was just there. And I used it. I learned to change speeds, such as they were (I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of), and I acquired a knuckle-curve, a palm ball and a couple of other things. I got into actual playing at the age of 14, and then at 16 I started thinking that I could use another pitch—maybe the slider? Well, I asked someone about it. That someone was one of the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers, and he showed me how to throw it, and this was what he told me:
“Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it.” He showed me the off-center grip he used, demonstrated the wrist action—a lot easier than just about any other pitch—and then handed me the ball and said “Go ahead, try it.” I got the hang of it in about ten minutes—when one is a natural sidearmer a lot of things are easier on the arm and the shoulder—and I worked on it over the winter (1951-52), and it became my strikeout pitch.
So I say, if you’re throwing a curve ball and can do it without screwing up your arm, you are not too young to be experimenting with other stuff, and if you’re throwing a slider and it’s not screwing up your arm—as I suspect is the case—go to it. I’m looking forward to reading some of your subsequent posts. Again, welcome aboard. 8)
Haha thanks Kaz just call me Jake, lamont was just a joke my friend came up with.
And I found my slider when I was at a pitching session when I was 13. The guy there started just throwing pitches and showing me what different grips and arm action could do to a ball. He didn’t actually say, “Throw this slider,” and warned me about what could happen to my arm, but over the late summer when the season had ended I threw a lot to my dad and he showed me what movement I had on my pitch. It was just there, if you know what I mean. So I’ve kept it and really just use it as a strikeout pitch as not to endanger my arm too much, but the pitch just works for me when I do throw it. I know that a lot of people will be against my use (I’ve already read several about other guys my age), but I’ve tempered it to my arm and it can hold up to my use, or at least so far knock on wood.
Thanks for the help on what to expect.
Ok “Jake” see if you can get a video of your mechs up soon
Yeah I definetely will I’m going to my country house this weekend (kinda hard to videotape in NYC without going to Central Park) and I should be able to get one up. On YouTube too, prob.