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Different Baseball Pitching Grips for Left-Handed Pitchers

by
author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
Different Baseball Pitching Grips for Left-Handed Pitchers
A batter might have a tough time picking up the rotation on a left-hander's pitches. Photo Credit Baseball pitcher and batter image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com

Overview

Left-handed pitchers have a special place in baseball history. Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez and Lefty Grove are just a few of the outstanding left-handed pitchers in baseball history. Left-handers have the advantage of being difficult to read for most batters because batters see a lot more deliveries from right-handed pitchers. However, to be effective beyond the surprise element, left-handers have to know how to grip the baseball. In some pitches, the right-handed grips are no different than the left-hander's, but in other cases they are very different.

Fastball

Place the middle and index fingers on the outside center portion of the ball, across the seams. Pressure with both fingers should be equal. Your thumb should be directly underneath the ball. Come straight over the top with the fastball, and the release point should be 12 inches in front of your head as you complete your delivery.

Curveball

The left-handed curveball can be one of the most difficult pitches to hit, especially if it breaks sharply. Batters rarely see this pitch and it is difficult to get a read on it. Put your middle finger on the outside seam. This is the seam that is closest to your small finger. Your forefinger should be right next to the middle finger. When you throw this pitch, you will turn your wrist forcefully to the left. When you finish the delivery, your fingers will be closest to the ground and your thumb will be pointing to the sky.

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Split-Fingered Fastball

This is a pitch for a left-handed pitcher with big hands and long fingers. Grip the pitch along the seams and spread your fingers as wide as they can go. Your thumb goes on the bottom of the ball between the two seams. Snap your wrist downward as you deliver this pitch. The wide placement of the fingers creates a downward movement of the ball. The ball will also go slightly away from right-handed batters and into left-handed batters.

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References

Demand Media