Slider (pitch)

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In baseball, a slider is a type of breaking ball, a pitch that moves or "breaks" as it approaches the batter. Due to the grip and wrist motion, the slider typically exhibits more lateral movement when compared to other breaking balls, such as the curveball.[1]

A common grip used to throw a slider

The slider is generally among the fastest breaking balls, commonly ranging between 80-90 mph[2]. A variation of the slider, known as the sweeper, is characterized as being slightly slower, but having more lateral movement[3]. Pitches that exhibit qualities similar to that of both a slider and a curveball are referred to as a slurve[4].

Grip and action edit

The grip for a slider is characterized as being similar to that of a fastball[5]. Like all pitches, the grip can take many different forms, with slight variations between pitchers suiting their individual preferences. A common feature in most slider grips is the index and middle finger being in close proximity to each other.[6]

The associated wrist motion often contributes a large amount to the pitch's movement, and is characterized by a more supine positioning upon release. Like many other breaking balls, this motion can cause significant strain on the arm, and thus is not recommended for players under the age of 13[7].

Effects edit

The slider will typically move laterally towards the pitcher's glove-side. For example, when thrown by a right-handed pitcher, from the pitcher's perspective, the pitch will "slide" from the right (the arm-side) to the left (the glove-side). When thrown by a left-handed pitcher, the pitch breaks in the opposite direction, moving from the left to the right.

Notable slider pitchers edit

Many famous pitchers have been known for their slider. Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson was well-known for his unusually fast slider, which he nicknamed "Mr. Snappy"[8]. Other Hall of Fame pitchers renowned for their excellent slider include Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, and Sparky Lyle.

Other pitchers with notable sliders include:

History edit

The innovator of the slider is debated, but some credit Charles Albert Bender as the first to use the pitch. Other players claimed to be the inventor include George Blaeholder and George Uhle.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ "Slider (SL) | Glossary". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  2. ^ "Baseball pitches illustrated | Lokesh Dhakar". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  3. ^ "Sweeper (ST) | Glossary". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  4. ^ "Slurve (SV) | Glossary". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  5. ^ "Slider 101: Everything You Need to Know to Master the Pitch". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  6. ^ Retrieved May 21, 2024. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "MLB | Pitch Smart | Pitching Guidelines | Ages 9-12". Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  8. ^ "Crasnick: Starting 9 -- Memorable moments in Big Unit's career". June 3, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  9. ^ Griffin, John (August 23, 2022). "The New Breaking Ball on the Block: The early history of the slider". Pinstripe Alley. Retrieved May 21, 2024.