They can stand out by showing off a big arm, cat-like fielding reflexes, or sprinter speed running the bases. But Counsell is remembered by many for his peculiar batting form. Chart note: All the possible batting combinations are included on the chart and interesting facts are found at the bottom of the page. Milt May stretched the bat two to three feet above his head as he waited in the box, almost as if he was raising a broom to the rafters. He promtly watched four high pitches go by for a walk, retiring with a perfect 1.000 on-base percentage. He hit as many as 30 homers nine times, retired with 449 home runs, and in 2017 he was elected to the Hall of Fame. Clearly, the unorthodox methods used by Ott, Oh, and Ichiro, all left-handed hitters, didn’t halt their assault on the record books. 1. Plain and simple, Craig Counsell's batting stance makes absolutely no sense. His success led to imitation: within a few years there were other big league hitters closing their stances, most famously Harvey Kuenn, who won a batting title for Detroit. Regardless of how you view Sheffield's stance, one thing is for certain - it was incredibly strange. Rose’s stance was intended to give pitchers a smaller strike zone to throw to, and it gave Rose a short, compact, energy-efficient swing. Now let us see some of the weirdest batting stances in Cricket. From this setup you should be in an optimal position to hit any pitch. Oh hit 868 home runs in his career, setting a world record. Sometimes it really is just about comfort (or maybe he was just showing off). he started as a pitcher but he converted to the outfield in mid-career. Alex Rios was once an up-and-coming superstar outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays. When the Georgia Peach saw a pitch he liked, he would move either his top hand down (to hit for more power) or slide the bottom hand up (to choke on the bat). If it did anything to help his numbers, it wasn't much - it might have done more damage than good. In 1951 the St. Louis Browns took the tiny batting stance to the extreme when they sent midget Eddie Gaedel to the plate as a pinch-hitter in a game against the Detroit Tigers. Sometimes referred to as "the man of 1,000 stances", Ripken would change his stance in response to a slump, or if his current choice "didn't feel good." Rose quickly personified that. Ichiro quickly proved he was worthy, winning the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. The Boston Red Sox have hired Bianca Smith as a minor league coach, making her the first black woman to serve as a coach in professional baseball. Weight shift is one thing, but actually lifting the lead leg and holding it while in a batting stance has been unusual. But we do have a sprinkling of videos of the Babe in his stance, and it was unique to the great slugger. He had a slightly closed stance, but not much. Oh never played in the U.S., his only cracks at big league pitching came in exhibition home run derbies against Hank Aaron, but in 2001, batting star Ichiro Suzuki became the first Japanese position player to sign a contract in Major League Baseball. When he retired he ranked first in NL history in homers and third only to Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx all-time. Batting Stance Guy Strikes Again, at the Movies - Bats Blog - NYTimes.com says: June 26, 2009 at 10:05 am Having cataloged on homemade video the starting lineups and former stars of all 30 major league teams, Ryness’s latest montage sends up the ballplayers of the big screen. Pitches shine with bla. Tony Batista stood facing the pitcher in an extreme open stance, then he’d swing his arms and the bat toward home plate as if he was placing something on a table. Here’s a video of Ryness doing many of his batting stance imitations: While other stars have changed their stances in mid-career (Pete Rose and Rod Carew come to mind), it’s usually because of some revolution in hitting science. Fans found it bizarre but imitated it. Lau convinced Brett, Hal McRae and others in the organization like Al Cowens and Willie Wilson to adopt his methods. It was an era when newsreels, radio and newspapers began sharing space with TV. Some people in the Red Sox organization predicted he would never hit for enough power to be successful in Fenway Park. His front foot would bounce up and down while his bat wiggled around over his back shoulder. The A’s tried him for a year until they too got rid of his “crazy ideas.”. Some of us could copy stances, maybe even dozens of them. He tinkered and tinkered, and finally by 1962 he had developed a philosophy that he would hone for the next two decades until his untimely death from cancer in 1984. Your stride just needs to go straight toward the pitcher. As a result of rules that favored the batter, hitters didn’t worry about having to make contact. His front hip was pulled in, and his front shoulder was closed to the pitcher as much as anyone had ever seen. Yet somehow he maintained balance. The answer is probably talent. He still held the bat high and away from his body and tucked that jaw into his lead shoulder. 50 Most Bizarre Pitching Motions and Batting Stances in Major … Pete Rose came into baseball when it was still shaking off the 1950s, an era dominated by the three New York teams. In the 1970s, Oscar Gamble stuck his backside out and leaned across the plate, and Mickey Rivers did something similar, tightening his body into a ball, sort of like Pete Rose, with an added bat wag. Most notable was Kansas City third baseman George Brett, who hit .390 the year the book came out, the highest average since Ted Williams in 1941. 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