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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Baseball

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Baseball
Expert Author: Aron Wallad

1. The Ultimate Challenge. Hitting a round ball with a round bat. The feeling I would get when I hit the ball. Just think of a baby that is crying for food. When that baby gets her bottle the first thing you hear is that ahhhhh sound. Oh that ah. When I hit a ball perfectly I would have that ahhhhh.
2. I call it Contentment at a high level - I played all the time when I was a kid. Some of my favorite memories were from the diamond. When I hit two home runs in one game off the star pitcher form our High School team. I rounded the bases in full view of our High School coach. I was glowing. When I hit a game ending home run off Jay Klein. He thought I could only hit singles. Rounding the bases of redemption was a another special moment for me. When I broke up two no hitters from the star, city league pitcher. I felt like I had made the grade, and that was awesome.
3. Easy watching - I can sit in my favorite chair and root for Derek Jeter to hit one up the gap. Holding my breath with every pitch delivered to him. Or, I can sit and read the paper and view the events of the game through the corner of my eye. Either way is ok with me.
4. I am amazed by what Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig accomplished in their careers. I look at old film footage, or read about either The Babe or Larripin Lou and always feel awed by the big numbers they both put on the board. From home runs to RBIs to batting average to runs scored, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig achieved over and over again.
5. Double my pleasure - I could play baseball and get a tan at the same time.
6. My sons played and my daughter still plays. I have had the pleasure of sharing joyous moments with my children. Times that I will not forget. Like when my daughter got the game winning hit against Fair Lawn High School last year. We won 1-0. I was jumping up and down. I was so excited. I was so happy she delivered.
7. I love all of the statistics. Did you ever see so many stats? Runs, RBIs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases etc..... Comparing eras, or comparing players. Duos like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig - how do they stack up against other twosomes. Who had the highest batting average in a three or four or five year stint? So many statistics to choose form. It is endless.
8. A place to excel - I loved taking a hit away from the batter. I felt great stealing a base. Why is it that stealing is bad except in baseball? My satisfaction was heightened by a solid hit. This was the best. Ahhhh. I especially felt great rounding the bases after hitting a homer. I think I know how Babe Ruth felt when he whacked one.
9. My favorite team is the Yankees. Of all the teams I root for in all the professional sports I watch the Yankees are the only team that wins on a fairly regular basis. All my other teams usually lose. It feels good when my team wins.
10. I love the stories - Like the story Mickey Mantle tells of the time when he first joined the Yankees. He was not hitting well. His confidence was dwindling. After days of desperation he called his father when he was playing near Oklahoma. Mickey Mantle was hoping his father would give him a pep talk. But when Muck Mantle got to the hotel room where Mickey and the New York Yankees were staying. Muck did not give his son a pep talk. He did the opposite. Mickey's father told Mickey that he was there to pick up his son and bring him home. Mickey's father said that he did not know he raised a quitter. Mickey Mantle got the message. He started to hit after his father left. He attributes that meeting with his father as a turning point in his career. I have heard Mickey Mantle tell that story a few times on tape or live. Whenever I hear him tell it I am moved by Mickey's love for his father.

It is just the greatest game. Feel Free to pass this article on to anyone you think would enjoy reading it. Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. You will love his honesty and his passion.. You will be touched by the heartwarming stories. The unusual statistics will amaze you and the quotes will make you laugh... sometimes

Go here right now to join his ezine: http://www.baseballsprideandjoy.com

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baseball Swing - Choosing the Right Bat

Baseball Swing - Choosing the Right Bat
By Nate Barnett

A question I get asked a lot, especially from younger players, is regarding the correct bat weight and length. The reason it's a difficult question to answer is because it's not cut and dry. However, here are a few things to consider as you select a bat that matches your baseball swing.

1. The goal in selecting a bat that is the correct size is to not get sucked into the fallacy that bigger is better. This is not always the case. I was a power hitter during my playing days and always batted in the 3rd or 4th spot in the lineup. The biggest bat I ever used was a 33 inch, 30 ounce bat. Some guys used a 34 inch bat, but that was the exception and not the rule. In fact, we had quite a few hitters through college and into pro ball who used small bats. The reason? Bat speed. If you want a good baseball swing, bat speed is important.

2. While bat speed is valuable, there is a point where too light of a bat is counterproductive. A hitter should want to be swinging the bat instead of the bat swinging the hitter. If the bat swings like a whiffle bat, then it will be tough to maintain bat control while hitting a baseball. This usually happens when swinging a bat where the weight of the bat is far less (minus 9) than the length of the bat.

3. Don't worry so much about if the bat is long enough to cover the entire plate. If a hitter is swinging the correct way on an outside pitch, he will be able to reach the outside part of the plate with most bats. And even if the hitter is having a tough time covering the outer part of the plate because of the bat, chances are that most pitchers at that point will not be able to throw on the outside part of the plate consistently.

4. Lastly, rely on comfortability. Many hitters, even younger ones, can pick up a bat and swing it and can tell if it "fits". It's much like trying on a pair of shoes that are too small. You can tell instantly that they don't fit right, especially if you compare them with a pair of shoes that fit comfortability.

About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.
Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

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