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John Harvard's Journal

A Pitcher’s Grips

May-June 2011


Photograph by Jim Harrison

To throw the two-seam fastball, which has more spin and hence moves more, Brent Suter aligns his second and third fingers along the seams at the point where they are closest together. He grips the four-seam fastball, which goes faster but moves less, with the same fingers perpendicular to a seam where they are more widely spaced. The curve-ball grip puts the index and third fingers together alongside one seam, which imparts the heavy spin that curves the ball’s path when the hurler “snaps” it off at the release. The change-up grip is similar to the two-seam fastball, but with pressure applied by the third and fourth fingers and the ball resting deeper in the hand, touching the palm.

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Linda Liedel (at left), representing Germany in Spain’s 2019 La Manga Tournament, competes for the ball with a Danish rival.

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