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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hitters bible
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...
Published on April 18, 2000 by Josh Hanford

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good starter book for young hitters
A good read for young players to understand the need for practice and to help them understand the importance of being a good hitter.
Published 10 months ago by Alexander Csorba III


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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hitters bible, April 18, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (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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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Reference, Less Practical, November 18, 2009
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This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
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.) One side is often called "level swing" or "linear", where the swing is more level to the ground, and the other side (where Williams stands) promotes a swing level to the flight of the pitch (where the pitch is following a downward arc from the pitcher due to gravity and the elevation of the pitcher in relationship to the strike zone.) Therefore, the "level" swing that Williams promotes is, in practice, what is commonly known as an "upper-cut" at the ball. This method is commonly adhered to by those who teach "rotational" hitting (as opposed to "linear" hitting.)

Williams himself states several times throughout this book (although the statements are made in passing, and never really expounded upon) that his method for hitting would NOT be recommended for players that don't have the power to hit the ball out of the ballpark. This is where the problem really begins. How many baseball players aspire to be homerun hitters? ALL OF THEM! How many of them truly can be? Very few. An analyst on ESPN recently made the statement, "Just because some guy hits 20 homeruns in a season, people want to label that player a homerun hitter. Not so!" It is a very difficult thing (and quite counter-intuitive to an athlete's competitive nature) to identify and yield to the limitations of your athletic ability. However, Branch Rickey, one of the greatest talent evaluators and baseball minds in history, held the firm belief that it is impossible to teach a player to hit with power. You either have the skill from birth, or you don't. Ted Williams had it. Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, ARod, Chase Utley, Josh Hamilton have it, just to name a few. This isn't just a matter of getting in the weight room and pumping iron. It pertains to the player's natural ability to generate fast, efficient motions of the body that will result in maximum kinetic energy. You are either born knowing how to generate optimal force or you are not. For those that are, then a technique similar to Ted Williams' is probably best for you.

Some of the biggest truths in the book are what make the book both universal and, at the same time, less useful for baseball instruction. Williams makes very general statements about proper mechanics, but then says that the 10 greatest hitters have 10 different styles. The times that he does make a concrete argument (like "upswing is the only way to go") it is placed under the caveat "if you have enough power to make it work." Which, as I have said, very few players truly possess.

Williams also covers his personal strategies for facing pitchers - how he takes more pitches in early at-bats and uses the data he collects for strategies later in the game (i.e., his third, fourth, and fifth at-bats in the game.) Well, if it's not obvious, this advice is nothing more than a fossil of a bygone era. In the modern age of the relief pitchers and situational substitutions, practicing this type of strategy is almost impossible. A professional hitter will be fortunate to get three at-bats against the same pitcher in one game. Hitters at the lower levels of amateur baseball usually play shorter games, and even if one does face a pitcher multiple times, the performance at that level usually lacks the kind of consistency needed to successfully make any sound assumptions.

To summarize this review, I think this book provides an excellent reference point for any student of the game of baseball. Translating the instruction in this book into improved success in the batter's box will require a more thorough understanding of the mechanics of hitting, and a disciplined, discerning athlete to cherry-pick the portions of this book that can actually be applied with his own ability level.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential to both hitting and understanding baseball, February 1, 2001
By 
Gary Huckabay (Concord, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Science of Hitting, December 29, 1999
By 
L. R. Holt (Mission Viejo, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
Regardless of which hitting philosophy you subscribe to, this book is the best overall technical reference for the mechanics of hitting. I own all of the hitting reference books and have taught hitting to over 200 little leaguers.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on hitting you can buy!, January 13, 2001
By 
Mike (South Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, December 7, 1999
By 
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
Boy, this was a very,very, helpful book for my hitting. Up until I read this book, I was an average hitter. After I read his book and saw his diagram, I could not wait to hit in front of everybody to show off. If you just get one baseball book in your life, GET THIS ONE! Teddy Ballgame was truly the best hitter ever.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn & Live from the Bible of Hitting, May 17, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
A MLB scout of 40yrs...and current college hitting instructor...told me to "get Ted's book and throw the rest away." I got the book, but kept the others (Today i'd toss em out except Mike Epstein's book on hitting...it's worthwhile.) At first reading the Williams' book appears disappointing...too many old-time stories from Ted's days as a ballplayer and coach. Yet like a the game of checkers, the more you analyze (and read) the book, the deeper your understanding of hitting becomes. The most amazing concept is that Mr. Williams "discovered" his hitting mechanics by trial and error...without the use of high speed video, etc. His concepts are rather simple...1) get a good pitch to hit (study the pitchers and their tendencies), 2) use a lighter bat for quickness, 3) hips initiate the swing, 4) swing up (slightly) to increase your chances of hitting the ball "on plane" and 5) practice, practice, practice.
My daughters play softball and its mindboggling how poor the hitting instruction is at nearly all levels...including high school. The forward weight shift, "hands thrown to the ball," and early wrist roll are wonderful ways to hit soft groundballs to second base. (And unless your daughter has amazing speed...mine don't...she'll hit about .180.) Many players and coaches are amazed that my average-sized daughters possess such "power." I'd love to think it's talent, but alas it's technique...proper hip rotation leading the hands...just as described by Williams, and an upward swing plane.
The next time you're at a ballgame, see how many kids are actually swinging "upward"...pick those kids out and you'll immediately know the good hitters that have gotten good instruction.
Get the book, study the drawings & photos...it makes so much sense.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Home Run!, June 24, 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
When your son or daughter asks you how to hit better --- don't just make stuff up as if you really were a good hitter (and you weren't) --- buy this book, instead. Read it yourself so you can help give truly practical advice, instead of guessing.
Ted Williams really shows the true science of hitting and anyone who wants to develop good hitting skills should read this book.
I gave this to my son to read when he was 13 and by the end of the season he was hitting 400 points higher and with more power. Would he have developed that way without reading the book? I'll never know, but I'm sure the book made a difference in how he "aproaches" seeing a baseball.
It certainly helped me to know what to "look for" in his swing so I could give him constructive feedback based on what I learned from Ted Williams.
Get this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Timer helping old timers, August 28, 2005
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This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
I am 50 and playing in a Men's Senior Baseball League in Atlanta. This book has been perfect for me and the result are astounding. "Science" is a good work to have in the title of this book because Ted Williams distilled hitting to its essence. There is such great logic behind his approach that it is very easy to remember. The mind is not clouded with an endless list of do's and dont's. I wish I had know of this book earlier. It makes a world of difference. Last fall when I played, I got maybe 2 hits the entire season. This summer I am hitting .457. Ted Williams was a very smart player and, as it turns out, was a great teacher as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The all time classic book on hitting, November 8, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Science of Hitting (Paperback)
Ted Williams does what no other man could or will ever do in the greatest book ever written on hitting. Complex, yet simple, Williams discusses the makeup of a successful hitter not just from a mechanical standpoint, but from a philosophical view also. His "three rules to hit by" should be used by every hitter regardless of skill level. Williams also details the cat and mouse game between hitter and pitcher, discussing how to think along with any pitcher. No other book does what Williams does so beautifully in this book, and that is to break down the most difficult skill in the world of sports so that any non-athlete can gain insight and understanding into the science of hitting.
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The Science of Hitting
The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams (Paperback - April 29, 1986)
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