How to Grip a One-Seam Fastball

By Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.

The fastball is one of the most commonly used pitches in baseball, in part because it can be thrown using a variety of grips. The two most common types of fastball are the four-seam and two-seam varieties, but there are rare instances of pitchers using a different variety. Some Japanese pitchers, including Yu Darvish, work with an alternate grip known as a one-seam fastball, which is sometimes called a "power sinker" because it appears to drop or sink close to the plate.

Step 1

Hold the ball so that the part facing away from you has the two seams going sideways, connected by a turn. This is the same orientation used for a four-seam fastball.

Step 2

Hold the ball with an overhand grip.

Step 3

Place your middle finger down the middle of the ball so that it's in the middle of the top seam. This will be the only finger that will be wrapped around the ball.

Step 4

Snap your wrist when you throw the ball to generate backspin. The looser you hold the ball, the more velocity the pitch will have. However, holding the ball more tightly will generate more spin, which can cause the ball to have more late movement.


About the Author

Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.

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