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The Art of Hitting Hardcover – November 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: GT Publishing Corporation; First Edition edition (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577193474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577193470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Interesting that Ted Williams, possessor of the best batting average of the '40s and '50s, would pen the foreword to an exegesis by Gwynn, who has sported the best average since. Both Williams and Gwynn have their roots around San Diego, both have shelves of batting crowns, and both have been articulate, dogged students, and advocates of, their demanding craft. Interesting, too, that Williams would title his own acknowledged classic on the subject, The Science of Hitting, while Gwynn, who's relied less on power and more on cunning, and admits to having studied Williams like a graduate student preparing for orals, would focus more on the art. Interesting, too, the conversation that takes place between them here on what to do with the inside pitch; art and science don't easily agree.

Part memoir (when Gwynn got his first big-league hit against the Phillies in 1982, Pete Rose, playing first that night, congratulated him and then counseled, "Just don't try to catch me in one night") and part sound, conversationally proffered advice, Gwynn's liberally illustrated Art mirrors his persona: thoughtful, personable, and approachable. He breaks hitting down into its essential components--grip, stance, swing, and follow-through--but also builds on them intellectually and psychologically in his constant search for an edge. His analyses of pitchers--Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and Nolan Ryan among them--invite you into the chess match of the hitter-hurler confrontation. But it's his admission that he's "gladly taken less money to be where I'm happy"--with the Padres--rather than just take the money, change uniforms, and run, that may be his best hitting tip of all: a mind free of angst and greed can better concentrate on cut fastballs and dipping sliders. --Jeff Silverman

From Library Journal

Gwynn, a member of the San Diego Padres baseball team and the holder of multiple batting titles, is one of the finest hitters today. Though he proclaims hitting to be more of an art than a science, he diligently reviews his every at-bat to use his talent to its optimum. In this regard, he follows in the footsteps of the game's greatest scientific hitter, Ted Williams, who contributes the book's foreword. Gwynn's book may, in fact, be worthy of Williams's own classic, The Science of Hitting (LJ 6/1/71). Readers who want to learn more about what makes Gwynn tick will find the answers here, as his book is autobiographical as well as instructional. He is a family man who somehow remains modest and true to his roots. His hitting tips, accompanied by photos, are easy to follow, even as he tries to simplify the incomparably difficult process of hitting. With its large photos, readable type, and clear layout, this beautifully produced book would be useful to both the casual fan and the young slugger looking for guidance. Highly recommended for most libraries.?Paul M. Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Guy F. Airey on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tony Gwynn in this text describes the hard work and dedication on how he became very talented at his craft. In the account, the book is much like those written by other All Stars who simply cannot explain how they became great other than using the words "hard work." This how-to book is written in biography style, so contains more war stories than techniques, like we have seen written by Pete Rose and Joe Torre. The problem is that no one doubts Gwynn was a great hitter. He makes a point by saying in the book that "I let the pitcher control the action," as some sort of absolution on how you must be to achieve great hitter status. Having played and been in a baseball family for 50 years, I know that is absolutely false. The pitcher controls the game whether Mr. Gwynn likes it or not. There is very little information which is definitive enough to be used to improve someone's hitting ability. I do recommend this book, because of who wrote it. However, I cannot tell you to buy this text because it will not make you a better hitter. Try Mike Schmitt's text or the ones by Walt Hriniak or Charlie Lau and you will do much better than reading stories about another "great one."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This IS Tony's Gwynn's How to hit a baseball book, contrary to what other, method-seeking readers might think. I was very pleased with what others called the extraneous material, it all gives me a better idea of who Tony Gwynn is when he steps up to the plate, and THAT is an imposrtant part of how he hits a baseball. People who believe you can read a "how to" book and then go out and hit like Gwynn probably believed Kenny Rogers' old "you can learn to play a guitar" pitch on television. This is a great book for kids and for fans and for anyone interested in what it takes and what it's like to be a sports icon in the 21st century.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My son wanted this book, but I ended up borrowing his bat, gripping it, trying to apply Tony Gwynn's advice. And I haven't played serious ball since high school! That's the thing about this book, it explains hitting with such fresh insight that you just can't help but want to go out there and take some cuts ... no matter what your age.
This book is a must for any coach of youth baseball. Hell, it's probably a must for a number of major leaguers as well! Gwynn offers some mind-boggling advice, such as not thinking of hitting the ball, but hitting *through* it. Along with this easy to understand science, you get some of the most terrific baseball photos published anywhere -- clear images which capture both the power and beauty of hitters doing their thing.
There's a nice introduction by the last of the .400 hitters, Ted Williams, who thinks that Tony is the guy who can do it in the modern era. The summary is entiled "Old School," and presents the p! ! hilosophy of Gwynn as a player committed to his team and his community. He is, simply, a testimony to all that's great about this great game. So whether you want to become a better hitter, or are just fascinated by this difficult athletic feat, or just interested in a player who is certain to become a hall of famer -- read this lively and enlightening book. Just make sure you have a bat handy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leonel L Chaves on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very little meat in this book. I can sum up all the hitting instruction with keep your hands relaxed, have a small stride, step softly towards the pitch, and stay inside the ball. I liked Ted Williams book much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rifv15 on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a so-so hitting book. Doesn't provide any science on how to swing a bat. Just talks about hitting off the tee and how good he was as a hitter. He doesn't talk about the hitting sequence and what should be where during different parts of the swing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When i bought this book I was expecting to learn all of Mr. Gwynn's inside secrets and tips. I got some of that but not a lot. He talked a lot about his life and career. He also talked about how to get out of slumps and his knowledge of the game. But the secrets of hitting and the basic skills and what exactly I should be doing at the plate for each pitch in as many situatuions as possible were no where to be found. I liked the book but I think Mr. Gwynn needs to write another book, more on the lines of "How to Hit a Baseball"
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug R. on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book that all baseball players and enthusiasts should have is The Art of Hitting by Tony Gwyn. This book gives great instructions and tips to getting the best swing for baseball. Tony Gwyn, eight-time batting champion in the MLB, explains the methods that he used to achieve that accomplishment. Gwyn tells everything, from what to look for from a pitcher to the basics like opening your hips to gain power and speed on the swing. The Art of Hitting also talks about Gwyn's life as a Minor and Major League player. The Art of Hitting is a great book for the beginning and advanced baseball player, and also for the fan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Shevenaugh on August 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I do agree with the reader from Kansas City to a certian extent. The interwoven commentary weakens Tony's message. But this book is great for the beginner and veteran of baseball alike. He explains his position on everything from the paint job on his bat [the "Gwynn Finish"] to Scott Radinsky. A fun book to read.
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