Models of Excellence!
“Mortals must change their ideals in order to improve their Models!”
“Conceptions of mortal erring thought must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal.” Current Big-League batting concepts must be at least partially erroneous if they can only provide a maximum efficiency rating of less than 40%. There must be some visionary with insight to detect the hidden source of pronounced batting proficiency as well as the foresight to determine a naturally productive benefit to those aspirants to progress who might adapt to a suitable facilitation of such an astute and pragmatic revelation.
Certainly there must be something beyond the mortal hopelessness of impractical “trial and error” that can secure a confident approach to supplanting the traditional sense of human imperfection that deters the average ballplayer from ascribing to anything other than a mediocre standard of “Batting Excellence.”
Ted Williams was the last player to surpass the semi-permeable barrier of .400. To his uncommon credit, he applied a rarefied mental and physical confluence of energy that enacted a more scientific approach to the mechanism of hitting a baseball. However, with the advent of technological advancement, the modern baseball enthusiast has at his disposal an array of devices that should certainly enhance the skills of the contemporary batter (as well as other positioned ballplayers).
But no one has yet surpassed Ted Williams’ last effort of conformity to the highest current standard for batting success. Even with what can be scientifically construed as an imperfect application of principle, Ted Williams succeeded beyond the apprehension of his contemporaries, as well as those who would currently seek to supersede his efforts.
Unfortunately, the baseball world has regressed instead of progressed in its attempt to exact a semblance of the Ted Williams mystique for batting a baseball. Only one player seems to “hold a candle” to a higher proficiency level of excellent hitting. He is/was Barry Bonds! The remarkable fact that no one knows how he did what he did gives testimony to the chaotic state of affairs that the industry of baseball seems to be experiencing today. (Since he is now gone from the Baseball arena, much speculation has denounced his prowess as that due to his “chemically”- enhanced physicality.)
However, I submit that Barry Bonds as well as Ted Williams are the batters whom all prospective “high achievers” should emulate in order to attain a facsimile of credible “Excellence.” Although Mr. Williams was nearly perfect in his understanding and application of the principles governing the absolute definition of batting prominence, he was not altogether unflawed in his actual approach to an impeccable demonstration.
The closest exponent of the perfect batting technique was Barry Bonds, who, in obvious ways, superseded the brilliance that Ted Williams embodied. The only thing difficult to decipher is whether or not he was conscious of his pre-eminent status as a pure extrapolation of principle, or was he subject to faltering, due to lack of understanding?
Barry Bonds was capable of hitting 100 home runs and batting .400 or more, because he was closer to flawless technique than anyone who has ever played the game. His strength (even with the stigma of steroid controversy) was incontestable, his athletic ability was indisputable, his timing was nearly impeccable, and his stance, approach to the ball, and fluid mechanics were incomparable. In the few areas in which Ted Williams appeared lacking, Mr. Bonds was pronouncedly adept (especially in his adaptability to strike at the low outside pitch, and hitting the ball with power to the opposite field).
What was it that Barry Bonds did consistently right, that most, if not all, other batters only do sporadically? The answer is 5 separate things. They are the following:
- He established a strong low center of gravity while waiting for the ball.
- He eliminated excessive movement of his head and eyes.
- He waited patiently for the ball to get to him while he quietly lowered his hands to begin an unobtrusive rhythm of his arms.
- When the ball got to his hitting zone, 4 things happened simultaneously:
- The front foot planted quickly and firmly—front leg straightened
- Front shoulder shrugged upwardly, while back shoulder and elbow drove downward (hands, while staying behind back shoulder, presented a flat bat as the body was turning to address the pitched ball).
- Back bent knee drove forward and down, as hips turned rapidly
- The shoulders followed the hips in rapid succession with arms extending through the contact of the ball.
- From contact, through the straightening of arms, through the follow through, the shoulders were continuously flowing, until they (shoulders) had changed position (back to front and vice-versa).
You might think that most batters do those things listed. Well, many may think, or wish, that they do, but because they do not fully understand the purpose of each, their commitment to applying them is less than wholehearted.
To be continued: “Form Perfect Models in Thought…”