Pitching question

I’m new here, so if I’m posting this in the incorrect forum I apologize in advance.

My question might seem odd, or perhaps be even rather stupid, but here goes … I’ve noticed that when pitchers are warming up, they wave their glove at the catcher before a pitch. My guess is that it’s some sort of “sign language” to let the catcher know which pitch they are throwing. Am I on the right track, or completely lost in the woods? Thanks for the feedback.

thats right, so the catcher knows whats coming and also to know how much movemnt/speed on each pitches. sometimes it helps if you notice the guy throws his fastball right on corners but can barely get his curveball over the plate or vice versa if he hasto throw a big pitch he’ll call the best one.

First of all, let me compliment you on noticing something that usually gets by a lot of casual observers. This question of yours sounds like you’re a student of the game –which is a basic foundation for a pitcher. In addition to what has been already said:
 Some pitchers will do this “flicking” thing with their glove to reinforce a particular discipline that’s mandatory for completing their form and delivery – either in a general way or as a reminder for a specific pitch in their repertoire. However, sometimes this “flick” is all it takes to tip off a specific pitch.
 Some pitcher’s will move their glove arm continuously until they feel a certain comfort with the way the arm extends, curls, and so forth. When they leave the bullpen area and take the mound, this same exercise, only abbreviated, takes place until they feel “fitted in”. Also, it’s not uncommon at the beginning of every inning, to see a pitcher repeat the process – again, fitting in to a distorted or revised surface.
 The glove and glove arm are important extensions that contribute a major portion of a pitcher’s balance and stability with progressing through the various body movements – prior to, during and after a delivery. In this regard, a pitcher may have a collection of gloves – each with their own feel and handling quality addressing specific field and mound conditions,---- this movement of the glove hand can be a kind of a … “let’s see how this glove feels?”…prior to game time.

Great question…

Coach B.

In addition to the foregoing - when you see a pitcher on the mound before the start of each inning and he’s had his customary warm ups, he’ll (pitcher) flick his glove over his glove arm shoulder just before he ends his last toss to signal the catcher he’s done – upon which the catcher usually rockets a ball down to second base, and then the ball get’s tossed around the field - then returned to the pitcher, and the inning begins.

It’s also customary for the catcher, just before tossing to second, to yell out —“COME’N DOWN!!!”

Coach B.

Thanks 4pie and Coach for answering my question. I really appreciate it.

To follow up on this … what waves or flicks correspond with the pitch being thrown? Thanks again.

yeah i was going to write it but forgot.

fingers down and flick forward = 4-seam fastball
finger up and flick down = curveball (some people use it for splitters also)
flick to pitching arm side = slider, cutter
flick to glove arm = 2-seam fastball sinker or screw ball
fingers pointing toward catcher= change-up (some people use it for splitters)

i dont know about the knuckleball though, maybe just point fingers like a change-up, would have to ask someone who throws it. basically it’s really just showing what the pitch is going to do.

[quote=“4pie”]yeah i was going to write it but forgot.

fingers down and flick forward = 4-seam fastball
finger up and flick down = curveball (some people use it for splitters also)
flick to pitching arm side = slider, cutter
flick to glove arm = 2-seam fastball sinker or screw ball
fingers pointing toward catcher= change-up (some people use it for splitters)

i dont know about the knuckleball though, maybe just point fingers like a change-up, would have to ask someone who throws it. basically it’s really just showing what the pitch is going to do.[/quote]

That’s great to know, thanks 4pie. As far as the knuckleball, in the movie “Eight Men Out,” David Strathairn (who portrayed Eddie Cicotte) just flashed the ball with the knuckle grip at the catcher. I have no idea if this is correct use of the sign, or perhaps an obsolete usage.

Again, thanks to both of you for helping me out.

The sign for knuckleball is to show the catcher the palm of your glove, then wriggle it a little.

[quote=“4pie”]yeah i was going to write it but forgot.

fingers down and flick forward = 4-seam fastball
finger up and flick down = curveball (some people use it for splitters also)
flick to pitching arm side = slider, cutter
flick to glove arm = 2-seam fastball sinker or screw ball
fingers pointing toward catcher= change-up (some people use it for splitters)

i dont know about the knuckleball though, maybe just point fingers like a change-up, would have to ask someone who throws it. basically it’s really just showing what the pitch is going to do.[/quote]

Your close 4pie but your off on a couple. A flick to your pitching arm side is nothing. A flick towards your glove side or away from your pitching arm side is a slider. When the pitcher just shows the ball out by his waist, he is signaling for the two seamer. The change is with the fingers towards the catcher, then when you drop the fingers down that is signaling the split.

[quote=“Hammer”][quote=“4pie”]yeah i was going to write it but forgot.

fingers down and flick forward = 4-seam fastball
finger up and flick down = curveball (some people use it for splitters also)
flick to pitching arm side = slider, cutter
flick to glove arm = 2-seam fastball sinker or screw ball
fingers pointing toward catcher= change-up (some people use it for splitters)

i dont know about the knuckleball though, maybe just point fingers like a change-up, would have to ask someone who throws it. basically it’s really just showing what the pitch is going to do.[/quote]

Your close 4pie but your off on a couple. A flick to your pitching arm side is nothing. A flick towards your glove side or away from your pitching arm side is a slider. When the pitcher just shows the ball out by his waist, he is signaling for the two seamer. The change is with the fingers towards the catcher, then when you drop the fingers down that is signaling the split.[/quote]

you’re right i didnt maake sense on the slider thing. to pitching arm isde is really screwball and 2-seamers though.