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ChrisOLeary.com > BUY > Pitching > Nolan Ryan's Nineties

The greatest trick
Tom House ever pulled
was convincing the baseball world
Nolan Ryan Tall & Fall'ed.

There are two main styles of pitching.

  • Drop & Drop modeled by Tom Seaver
  • Tall & Fall modeled by Nolan Ryan

Right?

Wrong.

Tom Seaver Pitching Mechanics

Tom Seaver

Nolan Ryan Pitching Mechanics

Nolan Ryan

If you look at what Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan did — ACTUALLY — in their primes, the differences are MUCH smaller than people say.

The fact is that Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan moved FAR more SIMILARLY than differently.

And that fact has led me to rethink everything I know, or thought I did.

Nolan Ryan's Nineties

I've been looking for an answer to the question for years.

And my participation in the Xpert Summit pitching debate about...

...helped me see it.

Sandy Koufax Pitching Mechanics

Sandy Koufax

Nolan Ryan Pitching Mechanics

Nolan Ryan

Describing & Quantifying It

If Tall & Fall is a myth or, at least, not what the best pitchers do — actually — and Drop & Drop is the common movement pattern of the best pitchers, then how do you DEFINE and QUANTIFY Drop & Drive?

That's what I've spent the past five years thinking about.

It started with my efforts to maximize my younger son's velocity, which led me to this picture of Jim Palmer that changed EVERYTHING I thought I knew about Loading and creating Separation.

Jim Palmer Pitching Mechanics

Jim Palmer

Then I spent the past four years geeking out on Justin Verlander's pitching mechanics and how he moves.

Justin Verlander Pitching Mechanics

Justin Verlander

Or, well, moved.

And, eventually, I saw it.

Thanks to this clip.

Comparison of Nolan Ryan and Mark Prior

Comparison of Nolan Ryan & Mark Prior

Not only are the best pitchers NOT staying Tall, they also aren't creating Restance via Scap Loading.

As this 2012 clip of Justin Verlander first made clear to me.

Justin Verlander Pitching Mechanics

Justin Verlander

Rather, they are Loading somewhere else.

SomeTHING else.

I then went back to Nolan Ryan to confirm what I was seeing in Justin Verlander, and there it was.

Nolan Ryan Pitching Mechanics

Nolan Ryan

I could call this Justin Verlander's "Nineties," but Nolan Ryan really was the pioneer of this set of movements and stuck with it for his whole career.

That contrasts with Justin Verlander, who seems to be being coached out of these movements.

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