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John Clarkson

John Clarkson.jpg Plowing in CanaanThumbnailsCatching a ground ballPlowing in CanaanThumbnailsCatching a ground ball

The next point is to acquire a correct position in the "box," and an easy, yet deceptive, style of delivery. The position is, to a great extent, prescribed by the rules, and so much of it as is not can be learned by observing the different pitchers. The position which seems most natural should be chosen. The ball should be held in exactly the same way, no matter what kind of curve is to be pitched. Being obliged by rule to keep the ball before the body, in sight of the umpire, any difference in the manlier of holding it will be quickly noticed by a clever batter, and if for a particular curve it is always held in a certain way, he will be forewarned of the kind of ball to expect.

Some batters pay no attention to these little indications; but the majority are looking for them all the time, and once they detect any peculiarities, they will be able to face the pitcher with much greater confidence. The correct manner of holding the ball for every kind of delivery is between the thumb and the first and middle fingers, as shown in the accompanying cut of Clarkson.

How to Become a Player
By John M. Ward
Published 1888
Available from gutenberg.org