Have you ever wondered how baseball players are able to crush 400 foot homeruns? It takes years and years to perfect a baseball swing to be able to do that. Swinging a bat and hitting a baseball is a lot more difficult than most people think. The pros make it look so easy because they have to perfect many mechanics just to hit a ball hard on the sweet spot of the bat. “Hitting is the single most difficult thing to do in sport.” this coming from Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all time. Hitting a baseball requires more mechanical precision compared to other sports (Williams).
When baseball first started, the scores would be very low because no one knew how important the mechanics of the baseball swing were. This period of time was known as the Dead Ball Era. Players would lunge at the pitch and swing as hard as they possibly could. These actions lead to very low scoring games and only relied on the speed of the players. Babe Ruth was the first player to be known as a power hitter. He relied on power and set the record for most home runs in a year, which was 29 in 1919. That is nothing compared to today. Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles hit 53 home runs this past season. As time went on, people started to realize that there should be more emphasis placed on the mechanics of the swing to make the game more exciting (Epstein).
One of the biggest hitting philosophies today is linear hitting. This philosophy was created around the late 70s. This method was created by one of the greatest hitters of all time, Ted Williams. Linear hitting relies on a player’s hips leading his hands to the ball. Baseball hitters who employ this method usually have high averages and are not looking to crush the ball. The whole point of this method is trying to find the shortest path to the ball by keeping your hands inside the path of the baseball. Linear hitting is now mainly used for teachings kids so they do not create bad habits. Derek Jeter is an example of a current player who follows the linear philosophy. His lifetime batting average is .312, and he has 3,316 hits (Jones).
Linear hitting really got started when the bats got lighter and the handles got skinnier. When this change occurred, it made it easier to shorten a player’s swing so he could reach the ball faster. This method also became more popular because it is easy to learn and to replicate. More young hitters are now using it because it teaches a player to get his power from his hands, wrists, and arms. But most kids have problems with this way of thinking because they are looking to hit homeruns. So instead, they drop their hands, swing hard, and then hit the ball straight up. Linear hitting really focuses on getting your hands to the ball and through the ball to make good contact (Jones).
The big strong hitters today that look to try and pull the ball and hit for power use the hitting philosophy called rotational hitting. Rotational hitting is turning and pulling the ball. Most of...