Why Hitting Myths Persist
In this web site I devote much of my time to discussing and
debunking a number of various
hitting. That includes the
extension at the point of contact, the
myth of backspin
in hitting, and the
myth of the A to C
What's interesting about these myths is that they have
persisted as long as they have.
I believe that one reason why these myths persist is due to the
limitations of the contemporary video
technology. The fact is that most pre-HD video technology simply
wasn't good enough to capture swings in sharp detail. Instead,
there was significant blurring.
That allowed people like Tony
Gwynn and Don Mattingly to believe what they wanted to believe
about their swings.
You can get a sense of the problem in the clip below of Mike
Schmidt hitting his 500th home run.
As the bat starts moving, it gets increasingly hard to see
This is particularly true in the critical frame right
before contact. In that frame, the barrel is little more than a
It is only by going through clip frame by frame and annotating
it that we can see what Mike Schmidt's barrel actually did during
the course of his swing.
The problem that I'm starting to see is that, while people are
starting to get a sense of what the modern high-level swing looks
like, a new myth is starting to emerge; that the modern high-level
swing is very different than the classic high-level swing. That
myth is being driven by the fact that, while it's no longer possible
to doubt what happens during a modern high-level swing, the poor
quality of most pre-1990 clips make it possible for analysts to
interpret them any way they want.