Fundamentals – What does it mean to you?

Baseball Bases

I read this recently and thought of all of our jobs, our positions in life, our tasks, roles, responsibilities…and how often we forget to remember what enabled us  to be successful in the first place. The fundamentals. The basics. The building blocks. Our foundation. The unforgettable rules to love by that which we should never stray from, even though we do. Time wears on you, takes it’s toll. Creates the cynicism and the lazy approach. Where have you strayed, what have you forgotten?

Read, enjoy the history and make it relate to yourself and your situation:


– By Ty Cobb (1938)

  1. DON’T GRIP YOUR BAT AT THE VERY END; leave say an inch or two. ALSO, LEAVE AT LEAST AN INCH OR MOE SPACE BETWEEN YOUR HANDS; that gives you balance and control of bat, and also keeps hands from interfering with each other during swing.
  2. Take position at plate, especially against right hand pitchers, BACK OF PLATE, and against a man with a real curve, YOU CAN STAY ON BACK LINE OF BATTING BOX. Now try to hit to right-center. I don’t mean you should place the ball in any one spot, but start now practicing to hit your righthanders to the opposite field. An inside ball from a right-hand pitcher you will naturally pull, say, to left-center.
  3. DON’T SLUG AT FULL SPEED; LEARN TO MEET THEM FIRMLY, and you will be surprised at the results.
  4. Now, to hit as I ask, to right-center or center. YOU STAND AWAY FROM PLATE the distance you can see with mind’s eye that you can hit the ball that curves on inside corner, to center. This distance away from the plate will allow you to hit the outside ball to right. In other words, you protect the plate both on inside pitches and outside.
  5. Remember, THE PLATE IS THE PITCHER’S OBJECTIVE AND HE HAS TO COME TO IT. I use ‘back of plate’ expression to mean towards the catcher, away from plate to denote distance from plate towards outside of box. Now, USE A SLIGHTLY CLOSED STANCE, AND KEEP A LITTLE MORE WEIGHT ON YOUR FRONT FOOT THAN BACK. That gives you balance and won’t pull you away from curves. You are always in position to give maximum drive
  6. 6 DON’T PULL A CURVE BALL FROM A RIGHTHANDER. The ball is revolving away from you. He with the revolution and to right-field.
  7. KEEP YOUR LEFT ELBOW COCKED ON LEVEL WITH YOUR HANDS OR EVEN HIGHER. Never let the elbows down below the hands, and keep your hands always well away from the body – keep pushing them out, even with your body or back.
  8. KEEP YOUR BACK LEG STRAIGHT. Of course, if you put your weight more on the front leg, then the back leg will be straight.
  9. IF HIGH FAST BALLS INSIDE REALLY BOTHER YOU: crouch over from waist and pass them up. Don’t bite, in other words. In crouching, you make the pitcher throw lower, which forces him away from the position that bothers you. But I think with the instructions I have given, you will hit them wherever they pitch.
  10. AGAINST A SPEEDY LEFT-HANDER DON’T PULL. Use same stance I have given you, and when he throws you his curve, knock him down with it or you will naturally pull it, as the ball is breaking in to you. BUT AGAINST A LEFT-HANDER OF FAIR SPEED: Move up in the box, also closer to the plate, and PULL THIS STYLE OF PITCHING.

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