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The Science of Hitting Paperback

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The Science of Hitting + The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance + The Mental ABC's of Pitching: A Handbook for Performance Enhancement
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Rev Upd Su edition (April 29, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671621033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671621032
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As a boy, all Ted Williams wanted was to be the best hitter there ever was. Through his storied tenure with the Red Sox, he pretty much got his wish. He not only hit, he knew how to hit; there was no keener, more devoted, more articulate student of the art. The Science of Hitting is his comprehensive book of wisdom and anecdote, a baseball bible that offers clear, concise, well-illustrated, fundamental information on how to hit a baseball and, just as important, how to think about hitting a baseball. Williams's first commandment is "Get a good pitch to hit," and, in one of baseball's most dramatic teaching tools--a photograph that divides his strike zone into 77 baseballs, seven wide by 11 high--Williams projects what he would hit at each pitch location, from .230 on the low-outside strike to .400 in what he called his "happy zone," the heart of the plate belt high. In 1941, that happy zone was obviously ecstatic; Williams hit .406 that year, the last to break the magic .400 barrier.


Wade Boggs American League batting champion A major influence on my basic hitting skills through my formative years and a must for learning and knowing the strike zone.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Very easy read but very informative.
Ken Jenkins
They should re read it every year and they'll still be learning from it at 30 years old.
N. Larsson
Ted Williams has written the best book on hitting.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Josh Hanford on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is perfect for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on how to hit a baseball. Everything from pitch recognition to a smooth swing are discussed and analyzed. Ted Williams also includes some of his stories from when baseball was a lifestyle. This book allows anyone to see the time and hard work that must go into becoming a good hitter. Becoming a good hitter does not mean picking up a bat and taking a few swings. It starts before you ever get to the ballpark. He walks you through ways to pick up pitcher tendencies, and stresses patience at the plate. This book provides helpful diagrams, which show what pitches are good ones to take a swing at. But he doesn't stop there, he goes into great detail about what you should try and do with that pitch that is in the zone. Also included are tips for making your stance comfortable yet effective, grip on the bat, and improving your power for maximum effectiveness in every at bat. Ted Williams also provides insight on knowing the situation, and doing what is best for your team. A must read for players of all skill levels. This book will grow with you as your hitting experiences expand. Ted Williams deserves more stars than I am allowed to give him for this book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By C. Hester on November 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is "must-have" reading for any aspiring slugger or student of the game of baseball. Be aware, however, that the book's value does not lie in the specifics of technical hitting instruction. This is much more hitting "theory" as relayed by Ted Williams from his years of experience. There is little, if any, practical detailed instruction on developing mechanics for swinging the bat. On one hand, the book is absolute gospel; I don't think anything in it could be seriously disputed, and to do so is to question the genius of a man whom baseball history shows to be one of the greatest hitters (and philosophers of hitting) that has ever lived. On the other hand, for Ted Williams to offer his personal philosophy and methods for hitting is similar to Tiger Woods trying to teach someone how he hits a golf ball. It might be great information for the rare few that can in some way duplicate Ted's or Tiger's physical abilities, but for a vast majority of players (especially very young players) who lack power, 20/10 eyesight, and one-in-a-million type hand/eye coordination, this book will (at best) offer little to improve their performance and (at worst) may actually lead to swing techniques that make the game more difficult.

For anyone who has spent any time studying the instruction of mechanics for the baseball swing, you already know that the methods of hitting fall into two primary camps. These methods can be differentiated by their beliefs on what is the "proper" swing plane (i.e., what path the bat takes in route to intercepting the pitched ball.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gary Huckabay on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book and Robert Adair's _The_Physics_of_Baseball_ are essential to being the best player, executive, or fan possible. This book is timeless, and focuses on the 'real playing field' of baseball -- the strike zone where the hitter and pitcher battle it out. This book covers technique well, but more importantly, it teaches approach, and the earlier in your life you can learn that, the better you will be.
Williams' emphasis on plate discipline and mental approach, combined with his teaching of how to analyze your own swing gives you the basic tools you need to be an excellent offensive player. For pitchers, this book is a must to understand the weapons available to the batter.
For fans, this book will help you understand what's important and what's just filler by the broadcast team. If you're under 14 years old, buy this book, or go get from your local library, and study it on a field with a tee and a bag of balls. Then read it every day before you do your hitting reps.
This book turns bad hitters fair, and good hitters great. You just need to put in the work.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the greatest book anyone an possibly buy on hitting. It is written by one of the top 3 hitters in baseball history, Ted Williams, and he definitely knows what he's talking about. Take it from me, I know. Im a 15 year old baseball player, whenever I get into a slump I can read this book and it will automatically get me out of it. If you read this at the beggining of a season it's possible your batting average could at least increase by .200, depending on how good you are. He explains the importance of having a good swing, stride, and everything essential to being a good hitter. This is a must have for every little leaguer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the past 2 years I have read EVERYTHING there is to read on the subject of hitting preperatory to teaching my gifted 8 year old son and while I tell you that in virtually each and every book there exists some gem that you can apply to help increase chances of success THIS BOOK is the definative work on hitting.
What amazes me the most is that Williams, only a HS graduate, but yet possessing of an incredibly gifted intellect, as is exhibited by his becoming a fighter pilot etc, taught himself through trial, error and DETAILED analysis what the incredibly complex physics of the swing are. Recently, with the publication of Rob't K Adair's THE PHYSICS OF THE SWING we have the definitive confirmation of what Williams came to understand himself but now from a scientific and scholarly source. Williams doesn't articulate it in his book but he employed a law of physics called The Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Simply stated as it applies here it means that when you hold the arms close to the body and start the swing with your hips rather than your arms you will generate greater bat speed. Williams stated this simply in his book when he talks about starting the swing with the hips and holding the hands back as long as you can.... the farther the hands get away from the body the slower the bat speed. It's a law of physics that simply cannot be overcome. The hands, wrists and arms add nothing to the speed of the bat. They are mere conduits through which the power which is generated by the legs and the torso are transferred to the bat. Williams was intelligent enough to figure this one out on his own.
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