For Youth Pitchers: 3 Reasons Why Giving Up A Home Run Could Be A Good Thing
Having pitched in my youth all the way through college, I have given up my share of home runs. There is one in particular that I do not know that I will ever forget. It just landed about a week ago. The positive to that is it was a solo home run. There was no one on base.
And that is reason number 1 that giving up a home run could be a good thing.
When you walk hitters, and fall behind on counts, giving up a home run can definitely be a bad thing. When you work quickly and stay ahead, every now and then a hitter will run into one, and put one over. Just tip your hat and say, “he got me.”
Then you go right back to competing and pitch to the bottom part of the strike zone.
Former high school teammate of mine, Josh Beckett gave up 36 home runs in the 2006 regular season for the Boston Red Sox. That was 2nd in the league behind Carlos Silva. You can see that on this link: http://proxy.espn.com/mlb/stats/pitching?year=2006&league=al&sort=homeRuns&type=opponent-batting. Josh won 16 games that year. He won 20 games the next season along with the ALCS MVP in route to winning his 2nd World Series Championship. It is safe to say that all those home runs he gave up did not affect him in the least bit, emotionally but also from a team standpoint. He kept competing and most importantly, limited his damage.
The next reason that giving up a home run good could be a good thing is it is part of the game. Lo and behold, you are playing baseball. You get an opportunity to stand atop that mound and throw a baseball to a hitter. That in its own-self is a good thing.
Check out this list for most home runs allowed in a career: Frank Tanana, Jamie Moyer, Warren Spahn. Are you kidding me? Those are some legends. You can see that list here: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/home_runs_allowed_records.shtml.
As long you are competing and pitching to contact, you can live with the results.
The 3rd and final reason why giving up a home run could be a good thing is something that I was told when I played Little League.
A coach of mine once told me, “you are not a pitcher until you give up a home run.” So I guess I became a pitcher when I finally gave up a home run. All youth pitchers, keep in mind: you are not a pitcher until you give up a home run.
So enjoy pitching, pitch to contact, and tip your hat if you give up the long ball!!