Drop and Drive or Stand Tall and Fall?

admin April - 4 - 2011 Pitching Styles2 COMMENTS

How about neither one?

These two labels of pitching styles are elementary. It is obvious that whomever coined these terms had no clue about the physics of  velocity focused pitching mechanics. I say “velocity focused” because the two pitchers who are used to illustrate these styles of pitching are Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver. These both were hard throwing pitchers but they had more things in common than not. Those who use these terms of pitching styles usually label Nolan Ryan as “Stand Tall and Fall” and Tom Seaver as “Drop and Drive.” Every time I hear this approach to pitching I think I am watching some PBS children’s show on baseball. Both pitchers stood tall and both pitchers drove off of their drive legs. The only difference between the two was that Seaver had a bigger stride which put his knee lower to the ground. This also caused him to finish more behind his knee at release but everything else between the two is almost identical. This would make sense because Nolan Ryan talked about how he looked up to Seaver when he was young and that he would mimic his mechanics as well. To prove my point lets take a lot at them both in their deliveries.

Tom Seaver “Drop and Drive” or NOT?

Tom Seaver

Nolan Ryan “Stand Tall and Fall” or NOT?

Nolan Ryan

This last picture here shows the only difference in the two deliveries. Notice the distance of the drive leg knee from the ground at front foot strike. Tom Seaver obviously has a longer stride. So how does this label his delivery has “Drop and Drive.” If you notice both pitchers have a high leg lift and both pitchers drive off of their drive legs. The reason they have been labeled different is that the human eye can not see everything that is happening in the delivery because of the incredible speed. Therefore when Seaver finishes with a bigger stride than Ryan people perceive it as he is drive off the mound instead of falling. I GUESS!

Tom Seaver Nolan Ryan

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2 Responses to “Drop and Drive or Stand Tall and Fall?”

    Larry G on April 4th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    This makes total sense. Thanks!

    Don Ervin on November 5th, 2011 at 8:31 pm


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