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Pitching & Throwing / Throwing Breaking Balls

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 proper way to throw off speed pitches and keep your arm healthy in this video tip. The key to remember when throwing an off speed pitch according to Coach Ellis is to work from behind the baseball and over the baseball. In Coach Ellis's experience, the ones that try to work around the baseball are the ones that end up having elbow problems down the road. So next time you go out to practice your pitching ask yourself, are you working around the baseball or over the top of the baseball.
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