The Splendid Splinter
Ted Williams is undoubtedly one of the greatest hitters of all time. Despite missing his age 24-26 seasons to serve in the military, Williams posted a career .344 average with 521 home runs. Another amazing stat is his 162 game average for walks is 143 compared to just 50 strikeouts. Mr. Williams is proof that hitters can hit for average and power.
Check out his career stats.
What makes Ted Williams great?
Let’s look at three specific pieces of Williams’ swing to help illustrate his mechanics.
First, Williams made great use of his hands and arms. Sometimes I think the great hitters just naturally use their hands differently. How they use their hands to move and leverage the bat is different than how most people naturally use their hands.
One way to see this/feel this is to not leverage the lead arm. When the body is turning, the lead arm doesn’t get used to yank the bat through. (Do you feel this yank in the front shoulder?) Instead, the lead arm works up and the body’s turn transfers up to the barrel.
The top hand also has some cool looks/feels. Instead of pushing, the bat turns around the “outside” of the top hand. Here is an isolated clip for a visual.
This can be an interesting feel to try to duplicate. I highly recommend trying it!
Second, we’re going to look at how Williams’ lower body works – specifically how his pelvis turns. Let’s look at a few of the above clips in a more isolated way.
As we view these swings, watch how the pelvis works back. To be more specific, watch how the front belt loops work back toward the backstop. Many hitters will push up into the front leg which creates a longer, slower, less efficient turn.
Last, when the upper and lower movements combine Williams’ swing becomes one of the quickest ever. His swing gets unleashed in such a pure, efficient way. His body’s turn is very uninterrupted… His move is clean. He doesn’t reach back to load. He does an amazing job of “swinging to load” and creates tremendous depth and direction.