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Pitching & Throwing / Pitching Command

by Sam Ellis

Ellis is a former MLB pitcher who was signed out of Mississippi State University by the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent in 1961. He made his major league debut in 1962. After spending part of 1962 and all of 1963 in the minor leagues, he rejoined the Reds in 1964, going 10-3. In 1965, Sammy won 22 games, including 15 complete games and was selected as a National League All-Star. In 1968, after being traded by the Reds, he played for the California Angels. In 1969 he pitched for the Chicago White Sox, before being traded to the Cleveland Indians. After retiring from active playing, Sammy was a Major League pitching coach with the New York Yankees (1982-1984), Chicago White Sox (1989-1991), Chicago Cubs (1992), Seattle Mariners (1993-1994), Boston Red Sox (1996), and the Baltimore Orioles (2000). In between those stints at the major league level, he was a roving minor league coach and instructor for several organizations.

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Coach Sammy Ellis discusses the importance of pitching ahead in the count in this video segment. The statistics prove that when the count is in the pitchers favor the opposing hitters batting average goes way down, and vice versa for when the pitcher is behind in the count. It is important to stay down in the strike zone early in the count and not try to nibble at the corners until you get ahead. Remember, the best pitch in baseball is strike 1!
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