A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of going to the States and spending some time in the Bay Area. This included a trip to see the San Francisco Giants at AT &T Park – then in 2010 and now the 2012 World Series Champions (Go Giants!).
Sitting in the cheap seats known as the bleachers were MCG Bay 13 levels of drunkenness. Nevertheless, watching the game got me curious and I had to get down to a batting cage and give it a go. Below is a video (apologies for the low resolution) of a once half-decent cricketer facing my first ever 20 pitches at 60mph.
Having uploaded this clip to YouTube and not really thought much about it, I was surprised to see it had got a fair few views and several comments. Whilst much of it was on cricket vs baseball debate, there was a some praise/critique in there including:
“impressive if its his first time, but still i have to say the 60 mph cage is for 12 year olds and softball players….”
“First of all -GREAT JOB! It’s Little League speed but that’s fine.I’ve seen a number of batsmen try baseball and they all made the same mistake – chopped at the ball near the chest.You’re the FIRST one I’ve seen who basically assumed the correct stance. Ain’t it fun? The swing is long,so the timing is differnet.But the power comes from that deep swing.”
“The basic trick is to stay on your BACK foot longer,pull the arms all the back then step into [stride} the ball as it’s arriving,shifting your weight from back to front as you swing,arms fully extended.You seem to have naturally picked up on something else – WATCHING the ball all the way and trusting your eye/hand coordination to guide the bat to where you SEE THE BALL.You’re a fine athlete.If you practiced baseball you could play seriously.15 aussies have made it to the major leagues!”
Going with your natural cricket technique you find yourself:
- Playing cut and pull shots off the back foot
- Tapping your bat on the ground in between pitches
- Following through with two hands still on the bat
After some coaching from the guy who ran the batting cage and attempting proper baseball batting technique, things degenerated fast and it was pretty much downhill from there.
Have you given baseball a go? And if you did, did you find a plethora of transferable skills?
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