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Re: Holding the bat..

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sat Feb 26 17:43:43 2005

>>> I'm hoping somebody out there can help me with this. My husband played baseball in highschool and continues to play fast-pitch softball. We have an 11 year old son who plays AAU baseball. My question is this. My husband learned at an early age to hold the bat, with his knuckles lined up, but with his fingers inter-twined (similar to a golf swing). He makes great contact with the ball and he's taught our son to hold the bat the same way. Now, my son's coach is continually trying to undo the way my son holds the bat. When my son hits holding the bat with the golf swing, he makes great contact every time. When he goes to holding the bat the other way, he's late on his swing. This issue is causing great concern between my husband and my son's coach (who happen to be cousins). Please tell me if there really is a "right way" to hold the baseball bat.

Hi Stephanie

I have never seen a major league player, nor have I worked with a batter that used the golf grip. Then again, it has been said that Hank Aaron had his hands reversed (top-hand on bottom and bottom-hand on top) when he first played baseball. Therefore, what feels right now may not be the grip he will use later.

The golf grip has the top-hand partially overlapping the bottom-hand. This brings the center of the hands closer together which result in less restriction for transferring energy from the circular hand-path than occurs with the wider spacing of the baseball grip. The overlapping does, however, restrict the push/pull action of the forearms and hands for applying torque.

Torque in the golf swing is mainly supplied from the un-cocking of the wrists. The muscle groups that un-cock the wrists are comparatively small but quite adequate for accelerating the club head or a very light bat. However, as inertia increases with bat length and weight, greater torque requires the use of the larger muscle group in the body and arms that occur with the baseball grip.

There is another aspect of the golf grip to keep in mind. The regular golf grip is designed to have the wrists to roll prior to contact. When the wrists start to roll, the club head will arc outward from the plane of the lead-arm. The club head arcing outward away from the plane of the lead-arm and hands is what produces the “outward divot” of a good golf swing. In the baseball swing, we do not want the wrists to roll causing the bat-head to come out of the plane of the lead-arm before contact.

Jack Mankin


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