Fishing with a Baseball Bat – Playmakerjournal


Fishing with a Baseball Bat

Ted Williams

From the essay, "The Art of Good Hitting" by Ted Williams

"For me, baseball and practice started in my early teens. I wasn't content merely to play. I swung a bat every chance I got, often alone, and even at an imaginary ball. After breaking into the major leagues I spent log hours during the off-season building up my wrists and retaining the feel of the swing by working with a heavy bat.

With ability and practice you become more or less successful. But occasionally you get into a slump. This happens to be the best and the worst. Somehow your timing is off, or you may be hitting the ball well but almost invariably into another out. Team-mates can be helpful in their guidance but most often you must correct faults yourself through work and thought.

Hitting boils down to meeting the ball with proper impact and with the right part of the bat at that fleeting split second. It isn't easy. The pitcher has something to say about your success or failure. better ones generally are hard-working students of hitters. An the pitcher is in the best position. He knows what he is throwing and where. You have a split second to find this out and decide whether to swing or not. To whittle down his advantage, you should make him throw into the strike zone ad not go after bad balls. A bad ball hitter, by increasing the size of that strike zone, makes it easier on the pitcher.

Another important factor is relaxation. I recent years I have devoted every possible off moment--most of the off-season--to fishing. I became so engrossed in fishing as a recreation that I organized my own fishing company, Ted Williams, Inc., as something to turn to when baseball is over. In the meantime, it has been my chief form of relaxation and probably has prolonged my career. In its own way, casting requires timing and wrist and arm action. To me, the ideal situation would be to find a way to fish with a baseball bat."