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Choking up? (on the bat)


RShack

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Who was the last good hitter who choked up on the bat?

It came to mind because ESPN-Classic just showed Game4 of the '69 WS, and Curt Gowdy said that Belanger went from hitting .208 to .287 mainly because Charlie Lau talked him into choking up on the bat, plus waiting longer. That made me wonder who the last Good Hitter was who choked up, and I have no idea...

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Doesn't Barry Bonds choke up?

Yes he does.

I did it in high school and instantly became better. Much more bat control. I'd like to know why everyone doesn't do it, if it's good enough for Barry Bonds it should be good enough for everyone else.

No one splits their hands, though.

<img src = "http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cobb2.jpg">

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Yes he does.

I did it in high school and instantly became better. Much more bat control. I'd like to know why everyone doesn't do it, if it's good enough for Barry Bonds it should be good enough for everyone else.

No one splits their hands, though.

<img src = "http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cobb2.jpg">

For what it's worth, I'll offer one reason. I'm sure part of the reason is that everyone used to use heavy bats and now they use much lighter bats. And a lot of guys use shorter bats than in days gone by, which would make it hard to cover the plate while choking up without hanging over it like Bonds does.

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Yes, Barry Bonds is the correct answer.

I guess, depending on what you mean by it. Barry just doesn't grab the bad clear down at the knob, so I guess that means he's choking up by an inch or so.

<img src="http://blog.oregonlive.com/sportsupdates/2007/07/bonds.7.29.jpg">

What I was wondering about was guys who *really* choked up, by a few inches or so. On the replay of the '69 WS, it looked like Belanger was choking up a good 4 inches. Some guys choked up even more than that:

<img src="http://www.ultimatemets.com/jpeg/FelixMillan1976.jpg">

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No one splits their hands, though.

<img src = "http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cobb2.jpg">

That does look goofy. However, the guy holding that bat was doing something right.

The goofiest batting-thing I ever heard of was Hank Aaron hitting cross-handed until after he was already succeeding in the bus leagues. If you never heard of hitting cross-handed, it means reversing your hands on the bat: if you're a RH hitter, grab the bat like a LH hitter does. If you think it sounds weird, go grab a bat right now and try it. The way my bones work, I don't see how it's even possible to hit like that! Yet Hank made a big splash with the Negro American League Indianapolis Clowns that way, and didn't change until during his first MiL season in the Northern League while on his way to being both an All-Star IFer and ROY for that league.

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For what it's worth, I'll offer one reason. I'm sure part of the reason is that everyone used to use heavy bats and now they use much lighter bats. And a lot of guys use shorter bats than in days gone by, which would make it hard to cover the plate while choking up without hanging over it like Bonds does.

Thats a good call, but I think today's bats differ in the sense that they're thinner around the handles and the label, which help generate more whip. So they can have a long bat that's not as heavy.

It's just better bat control. Also with todays body armor that hitters like Bonds wear, theres no reason that they can't crowd the plate even more.

I just think it's a style thing, IMO. It went the wayward of the baggy pants in the 1940's.

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Yes he does.

I did it in high school and instantly became better. Much more bat control. I'd like to know why everyone doesn't do it, if it's good enough for Barry Bonds it should be good enough for everyone else.

No one splits their hands, though.

<img src = "http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cobb2.jpg">

Some great footage of Cobb here. http://youtube.com/watch?v=UrgG6NOM-m4

In the first slo-mo it doesn't look like his hands were separated (and a GORGEOUS swing, that...) In a second real time swing, his hands are clearly separated. I vaguely remember that he started with them apart, then depending, he kept them apart or brought his top hand down. Separated to spray hit, together to turn on a ball. I may be wrong on that tho.

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Yes he does.

I did it in high school and instantly became better. Much more bat control. I'd like to know why everyone doesn't do it, if it's good enough for Barry Bonds it should be good enough for everyone else.

No one splits their hands, though.

<img src = "http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cobb2.jpg">

Brooks used to when he first came up.:002_sbiggrin:

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I guess, depending on what you mean by it. Barry just doesn't grab the bad clear down at the knob, so I guess that means he's choking up by an inch or so.

<img src="http://blog.oregonlive.com/sportsupdates/2007/07/bonds.7.29.jpg">

What I was wondering about was guys who *really* choked up, by a few inches or so. On the replay of the '69 WS, it looked like Belanger was choking up a good 4 inches. Some guys choked up even more than that:

<img src="http://www.ultimatemets.com/jpeg/FelixMillan1976.jpg">

Bonds choked up more when he was younger before everyone started going to really light, thin handled bats. I think if you found a mid 90's photo of Bonds you would see him choked up a good bit further.

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Bonds choked up more when he was younger before everyone started going to really light, thin handled bats. I think if you found a mid 90's photo of Bonds you would see him choked up a good bit further.

I looked but I can't find anything that's different... either with the Pirates...

<img src="http://www.800wcha.com/barry.jpg">

or at AAA...

<img src="http://thephoenix.com/phlog/content/binary/barry_bonds1.JPG">

or in college...

<img src="http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2001-10/780817.jpg">

In terms of where he's grabbing the bat, they all look the same to me...

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Here is a site that has some Bonds pictures throughout his career. For the most part you never see him choked up a great deal. In the 3rd row and third pic when he was in SF in '93 it looks like he is up the bat a good 3 or 4 inches.

http://www.mywire.com/pubs/MyWirePE/2007/08/17/4263121?showAllImage=Y

Im trying to find my old SI which I know I got around my house from '93 or '94. It had Bonds on the cover with the words "I'm Barry Bonds and you're not". If I remember correctly it showed Bonds up on the bat a good bit but I could be wrong.

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