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Proper techniques for an infielder’s baseball grip

Elvis Elvis

Having a good baseball grip can dramatically help improve your throwing accuracy and quickness, while increasing your velocity – all of which is vital when playing the field.

The proper techniques include precisely locating your fingers on the baseball and applying proper pressure to the ball quickly and naturally, all in an effort to maximize your throw’s lift and accuracy.

Firm, but relaxed.

Throwing the baseball starts with your grip. A consistently good baseball grip will help with not only the accuracy of your throws, but also your throw’s velocity.

You want your grip to be firm around the ball, but not so firm that you’re squeezing the ball. Squeezing the ball will result in a decrease in velocity and may force the ball in a direction that you didn’t intend. Rather, your grip should be a relaxed firmness.

For accuracy, use the four-seamer for your baseball grip!

You should locate your middle and index fingers on top of the baseball, across the seams at its widest point, at approximately one-half to one inch apart. The tips of these fingers should cross over the seam.

Your thumb should be located at the bottom of the baseball, directly below the space made between your middle and index fingers. This will set these three fingers up so that combined they cross four seams.

Proper techniques for an infielders baseball grip

Lastly, your pinkie and ring finger should be comfortably bent on the side of the ball, essentially trying to stay out of the way.

If holding the ball sideways, your thumb and index finger should form a “C” (a backward “C” if right-handed). When gripping the ball in this manner, if you hold the ball up to the light, you should see a very slim space of sunlight between the skin of your hand and the ball – but no more than a slim space.

Practicing your grip.

While it may sound complicated, your grip should become second nature to you.

Practice gripping the baseball without looking into your glove at the ball. Practice rotating the ball so that you can quickly line up your fingers on the correct seams. This should all be done through touch because you won’t be given time to make adjustments as you’re fielding a ground ball.

Use the rotation of the ball to your benefit.

When able to apply a four-seam baseball grip, you’ll probably notice that your throws tend to be straighter than if you were to utilize a different grip – such as the two-seamer (having your index and middle finger on top of the narrowest seams).

The reason being that the straight manner in which the seams rotate through the air isn’t conducive to having the ball move to one side or the other. Horizontally, the seams are equally balanced moving with the air – keeping the ball on a straight path, particularly when you apply equal pressure to both your middle and index fingers.

This is different than when considering what is happening vertically. You might notice that you get better distance, or “lift”, on your throws using the four-seamer versus the two-seamer. As the ball comes out of your hand, the seams are rotating in a manner where the bottom seams are rotating upward in the front of the ball and the top seams are rotating downward at the backside of the ball. This rotation forces the ball to fight to remain aloft, giving it its “lift”.