The Pre Bat Warm Up
Did you ever notice what some of these ballplayers do before they get in to bat against live pitching? Some of these warm-ups can be interesting. Comical might be a better description. These baseball players always seem to do the exact same things when they are warming up to bat, for every at bat.
Like Derek Jeter’s ritual. He gets in to the batters' box and then raises his right hand back toward the home plate umpire requesting some extra time to get set to hit. He does this most times he bats. This is Derek’s way of getting ready to bat.
Take Hideki Matsui. He steps into the batters' box, takes a couple of swings and then he gazes somewhere between the left field foul pole and the third base dugout for about a second. Gradually moving his head to face the pitcher is his next movement. Sometimes he twitches his right shoulder. Now he is ready to hit.
I remember Chuck Knoblach’s way. He would get out of the batters' box and go through a routine that was always exactly the same. He undid and refit his batting gloves onto his hands. He would always take the same number of practice swings. He always put his hand on his batting helmet to adjust it. He constantly, for every at bat that is, placed one foot into the batter’s box wait about a second and then put the other foot in. He was habitual in his actions.
I also remember Tito Fuentes of The Giants and Jimmy Piersall from The Red Sox always putting a cross in the dirt before they entered the batters' box. I guess they thought God would look kindly on them. But what would God do if the pitcher also drew a cross in the dirt before each pitch. That is a question for another day. And for another day, do you think God might have some better stuff to do than watch baseball games?
Hank Aaron had a unique style to the way he approached batting. Walking to the plate to hit with his batting helmet in his hand, he seemed to study the whole field. He never walked quickly. His trip to the batter’s box always seemed calculated, methodical and with a purpose to hit. He was always zoomed in to hit. When he was about to enter the batter’s box he would slowly put the helmet on as he surveyed the ballpark. He would take a couple of swings and then be poised to hit.
Other players have their own stuff. Like crossing themselves, stretching thier arms of legs or knocking the dirt off their cleats or pointing the bat, like Rocky Colavito used to do directly at the pitcher. These quirks can be very entertaining.
As you watch today’s players pre bat look for some interesting characteristics to their warm ups. They can be entertaining and sometimes very funny. Some players may vary their warm up. Most do not. They do the same thing every time they go to hit. See for yourself the next time you watch your favorite team..
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About the Author: The grand game of baseball. What could be better? Join Aron as he looks at the game from some different view points. Loving the game of baseball for Aron Wallad has been a job of joy for a long time. For over 45 years he has followed the game by coaching, watching games, reading stories and checking player’s stats. You will find his stories moving. You will be amazed when you see some of the unusual statistics he presents. The quotes will move you or make you laugh.
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