How to Throw a Baseball, Part 1: The 4 Seam Grip

Getting a good grip every time is the first step to being an accurate and strong thrower.
How to throw a baseball using a four seam gripWhat a four seam grip looks like.  How to throw a baseball
proper throwing techniqueThe proper grip for a baseball throw

The ideal hold for a strong, straight throw is a 4-seam grip.

This is achieved by taking your middle and index fingers of your throwing hand, and placing it perpendicular to the horseshoe of the seams on the baseball.

The 4 seam grip

In this grip, your fingers will be in their best position to use the seams to pull down and hopefully get maximum backward rotation. Also, the seams are in a position where the ball will spin very true and straight.

If you were to place your fingers parallel with the horseshoe the seams when they spin backwards are in a position to catch the wind resistance and shoot left or right.

Every Time.

After we field the ball and it is in our hand, we are holding it differently every time.  We need to work on our feel of the baseball so we can take any hold we initially have and change it to a 4 seam grip every time.

Easier than you think.

Question:  So, what do you think is the most you would have to turn a baseball (no matter how you grab it), to make sure you have an ideal 4 seam grip for throwing across the infield or from the outfield?

Answer:  No matter how the ball is in your hand, you have no more than a quarter turn any direction to get a 4-seam grip.

Practice Drill

EVERY fielder should practice this drill until they are comfortable finding the four seam grip.

This is something you can practice just sitting around your house by throwing the ball up catching it… being sure find the proper 4seam grip as quickly as possible.

I hope this article helps you to throw harder and more accurately by getting the proper hold on the ball.  Next I will talk more about the mechanics of the throw.  I invite you to comment or ask questions below.  Play Hard!

About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After batting .200 in 45 at-bats and fielding .950 during 2017 spring training with the Rangers, Doug was assigned to the Ranger's AAA team the Round Rock Express. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

4 Comments

    • Drawing a line between your fingers completely around the ball , you will cross all four seams. 90 degrees to that is 2 seams

  1. I have been trying to get a perfect throw from third to first , do I follow my throw or I I shuffle for a perfect stand then throw .

    • Bernard,
      Personally when throwing across the diamond I like to make sure my feet are shuffling in the direction of first base and then throw. I don’t think too much about following my throw, sometimes when I do that it makes me lose my drive with my back leg and i will have a tendency to throw the ball high to first base. After I field the ball I keep my hand in the glove holding the ball in the middle of my chest, I shuffle in the direction of where I am throwing and then I make the throw. When I do these two things my throws usually are where they need to be. Hope this helps, good luck and keep working hard.

      Doug

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