Sugar Land Skeeters
The Sugar Land Skeeters are an American professional baseball team located in Sugar Land, Texas. The Skeeters play in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league not affiliated with Major League Baseball, they have played their home games at Constellation Field since the beginning of the 2012 season. The Skeeters entered the Atlantic League as an expansion team in 2010, they are the first Atlantic League team to play outside of the Northeast. The Skeeters are the first independent league baseball team in the Greater Houston metropolitan area since the Houston Buffaloes' final season in 1961, they are the first from the city of Sugar Land; the team's name, "Skeeters", is a Southern slang word for mosquito, was the result of a team-sponsored name-the-team contest. Part of the reason for the naming is that mosquitoes are common in the summer nights in Southeast Texas; the Sugar Land Skeeters have played in three Atlantic League Championships. In 2014, they were swept 3–0 by the Lancaster Barnstormers in the best-of-five game series.
They returned for the second time in 2016, where they won the ALPB title, 3–0, against the Long Island Ducks. Matched up against the Ducks again in 2018, the Skeeters won their second ALPB Championship in franchise history after a 4-1 win in a decisive Game 5. In 2008, Sugar Land residents voted for the allocation of civic revenues toward the construction of a new baseball park; the former Omaha Royals were interested in moving to the city, but declined because of the construction of Werner Park in suburban Omaha. City of Sugar Land officials contacted Opening Day Partners to build the ballpark in order to have the company's caliber of professional baseball in their region; the city knew that the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball would not approve of an affiliated team in the Greater Houston area, so Sugar Land chose the independent circuit. The American Association and the United Baseball League were considered since both organizations had teams located in Texas; the city decided on the Atlantic League because Opening Day Partners' other teams were members of that league.
Sugar Land's entry in the Atlantic League was announced on May 18, 2010. The Skeeters began using a bullpen car in 2012. On August 20, 2012, Matt O'Brien, the team's president, announced that they were signing former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens. O'Brien announced that Clemens would be the starting pitcher for the Skeeters on August 25, 2012; the Skeeters sold out the night of Clemens start, where Clemens pitched for 3⅓ innings and Skeeters won 1-0. The Sugar Land City Council approved an ownership change on October 28, 2014; the Council's action cleared the way for Houston-area residents Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, who have been one-third minority partners since the 2012 season, to assume 100% ownership of SL Baseball, LLC. In the 2014 season, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball All Star Game was held at Constellation Field, Sugar Land, Texas. In each annual All Star Game, the best players from the Freedom Division battle it out with the best players from the Liberty Division. However, in the 2014 All Star Game, the best players from all around the league faced the Sugar Land Skeeters team.
The Skeeters won on their home field and in front of their home crowd in a thriller with the score of 5-3. Nick Stavinoha was recognized with the MVP award for the game; the game attendance was 7,555, the fourth highest All Star Game attendance. On September 17, 2015, the Sugar Land Skeeters announced their signing of former MLB All-Star Rafael Palmeiro, he had been in retirement for ten years. His son Patrick Palmeiro was a member of the team that year. Shortly after signing with the Skeeters, Palmeiro said, "We discussed me playing earlier this year and it's something I've looked forward to since then; the chance to play with my son is an opportunity the Skeeters have offered me and I'm excited to make it happen this weekend." On September 18, 2015, Rafael Palmeiro debuted for the Skeeters batting third, the spot right after his son. The father-son duo combined for five RBIs to lead Sugar Land to a 10-4 victory over the Camden Riversharks. Shortly after the conclusion of the 2017 season, Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti stepped down from his position with the expiration of his contract.
Gaetti, the only manager in franchise history at the time, was hired as the club's inaugural skipper in 2011 and managed the club for six seasons. Roger Clemens – former MLB player who signed with the team in 2012 Rafael Palmeiro – former MLB player who signed with the team in 2015 Tracy McGrady – former NBA player who became a professional pitcher for the Skeeters in 2014 Scott Kazmir – MLB pitcher before and after his 2012 stint with the Skeeters Brian Barton – former MLB player who signed with the team in June 2014 Delwyn Young – former MLB player who signed with the team in 2014 Jason Lane – former MLB outfielder who pitched for the Skeeters in 2012–2013 and returned to MLB as a pitcher Scott Elarton Daryle Ward On April 24, 2014, the Sugar Land Skeeters announced a deal with ESPN that allowed for all home games at Constellation Field to be broadcast on the Internet channel ESPN3 for the 2014 season, an agreement, renewed for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Away games are heard on radio station KBRZ.
For the 2017 season, the Skeeters dropped their deals with both KBRZ and ESPN. Telecasts moved to the Skeeters' YouTube channel, while radio broadcasts moved to SB Nation Radio flagship station KGOW. In December 2010, StarTex Power bought the rights to name the future ballpar
The Atlanta Braves are an American professional baseball franchise based in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The franchise competes in Major League Baseball as a member of the National League East division; the Braves played home games at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium from 1966 to 1996, Turner Field from 1997 to 2016. Since 2017, their home stadium has been SunTrust Park, a new stadium 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta in the Cumberland neighborhood of Cobb County; the Braves play spring training games at CoolToday Park in Florida. The "Braves" name, first used in 1912, originates from a term for a Native American warrior, they are nicknamed "the Bravos", referred to as "America's Team" in reference to the team's games being broadcast on the nationally available TBS from the 1970s until 2007, giving the team a nationwide fan base. From 1991 to 2005, the Braves were one of the most successful teams in baseball, winning division titles an unprecedented 14 consecutive times, producing one of the greatest pitching rotations in the history of baseball.
Most notably, this rotation consisted of pitchers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine. The Braves won the National League West division from 1991 to 1993, after divisional realignment, the National League East division from 1995 to 2005, they returned to the playoffs as the National League Wild Card in 2010. The Braves advanced to the World Series five times in the 1990s, winning the title in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians. Since their debut in the National League in 1876, the franchise has won 18 divisional titles, 17 National League pennants, three World Series championships — in 1914 as the Boston Braves, in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves, in 1995 as the Atlanta Braves; the Braves are the only Major League Baseball franchise to have won the World Series in three different home cities. The Braves and the Chicago Cubs are the National League's two remaining charter franchises; the Braves were founded in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Boston Red Stockings. The team states it is "the oldest continuously operating professional sports franchise in America."After various name changes, the team began operating as the Boston Braves, which lasted for most of the first half of the 20th century.
In 1953, the team moved to Milwaukee and became the Milwaukee Braves, followed by the final move to Atlanta in 1966. The team's tenure in Atlanta is noted for Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974; the Cincinnati Red Stockings, established in 1869 as the first all-professional baseball team, voted to dissolve after the 1870 season. Player-manager Harry Wright, with brother George and two other Cincinnati players went to Boston, Massachusetts at the invitation of Boston Red Stockings founder Ivers Whitney Adams to form the nucleus of the Boston Red Stockings, a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players; the original Boston Red Stockings team and its successors can lay claim to being the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports. Two young players hired away from the Forest City club of Rockford, turned out to be the biggest stars during the NAPBBP years: pitcher Al Spalding and second baseman Ross Barnes. Led by the Wright brothers and Spalding, the Red Stockings dominated the National Association, winning four of that league's five championships.
The team became one of the National League's charter franchises in 1876, sometimes called the "Red Caps". The Boston Red Caps played in the first game in the history of the National League, on Saturday, April 22, 1876, defeating the Philadelphia Athletics, 6–5. Although somewhat stripped of talent in the National League's inaugural year, Boston bounced back to win the 1877 and 1878 pennants; the Red Caps/Beaneaters were one of the league's dominant teams during the 19th century, winning a total of eight pennants. For most of that time, their manager was Frank Selee. Boston came to be called the Beaneaters while retaining red as the team color; the 1898 team finished 102–47, a club record for wins that would stand for a century. Stars of those 1890s Beaneater teams included the "Heavenly Twins", Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy, as well as "Slidin'" Billy Hamilton; the team was decimated when the American League's new Boston entry set up shop in 1901. Many of the Beaneaters' stars jumped to the new team, which offered contracts that the Beaneaters' owners did not bother to match.
They only managed one winning season from 1900 to 1913, lost 100 games five times. In 1907, the Beaneaters eliminated the last bit of red from their stockings because their manager thought the red dye could cause wounds to become infected (as noted in The Sporting News Baseball Guide during the 1940s when each team's entry had a history of its nickname; the American League club's owner, Charles Taylor, wasted little time in adopting Red Sox as his team's first official nickname. Media-driven nickname changes to the Doves in 1907 and the Rustlers in 1911 did nothing to change the National League club's luck; the team became the Braves for the first time in 1912. Their owner, James Gaffney, was a member of New York City's political machine, Tammany Hall, which used an In
Colleyville Heritage High School
Colleyville Heritage High School is a public secondary school in Colleyville, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The school is a part of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District and serves freshmen through senior students in Colleyville and the surrounding areas. In 2018, the school met standards for student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, postsecondary readiness, earned distinction in English language arts/reading and science. Colleyville Heritage High School, the second public high school in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, opened its doors on August 15, 1996, two years after the construction that began on March 1, 1994. Jaimie Alexander, actress Annie Ilonzeh, actress Kyle Kubitza, baseball player Stephen Lambdin, Olympian in Tae Kwan Do Christian Ponder, NFL quarterback James Russell, Major League Baseball player Adam Zimmer, NFL coach
In baseball, a slider is a breaking ball pitch that tails laterally and down through the batter's hitting zone. The break on the pitch is shorter than that of the curveball, the release technique is'between' those of a curveball and a fastball; the slider is similar to the cutter, a fastball pitch, but is more of a breaking ball than the cutter. The slider is known as a yakker or a snapper. Depending on velocity, a pitch can fall anywhere on the continuum from "fastball" to "slider": fastball » cut fastball » hard slider » slider » slurve cut fastball: 3–5 mph slower than fastball hard slider: 5–7 mph slower than fastball slider: 7–9 mph slower than fastballThe difference between a slider and curveball is that the curveball delivery includes a downward yank on the ball as it is released in addition to the lateral spin applied by the slider grip; the slider is released off the index finger. If the pitcher is snapping his wrist as he throws, the movement is more downward than sideways he is throwing a curveball or slurve, not a true "slider".
It is important when throwing a slider, or any breaking pitch in baseball, not to come "around" the baseball. When the pitcher "comes around" the ball, the pitcher puts extra tension on his pitching arm to throw that pitch. A slider is thrown with a regular arm motion, just like a fastball. Slider movement is a direct result of the fingertip grip; the pitcher may visualize throwing his fingers at the catcher in order to improve follow through and finish the pitching motion. A Hall of Fame pitcher famous for his slider was lefty Steve Carlton. Right-handed pitcher David Cone was famous for his slider, which he was able to use many different ways, as was Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. To right-handed batters, Cone would throw it to hook outside the strike zone, getting hitters to chase and miss it, he threw the pitch from various arm angles to further confuse the hitter. Cone's slider was a strikeout pitch to left-handed hitters, throwing it to curve back over the outside corner and catch the hitter looking.
Cone used the slider during his perfect game on July 18, 1999—the final out was recorded via a slider resembling a wiffle ball. In the first game of the 1988 World Series, Dennis Eckersley tried to strike out Kirk Gibson with a backdoor slider, but Gibson was sitting on that exact pitch and hit a game-winning home run. Joe Carter ended the 1993 World Series with a home run on a slider thrown by Mitch Williams. A remarkable slider was John Smoltz's, which would come in looking like a strike and break out of the strike zone. Brad Lidge featured a slider in his perfect season as a closer in 2008, used the pitch to strike out the final batter of the 2008 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. Closer Francisco Cordero throws a slider. Other top pitchers to throw a slider included Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, who used the pitch to win a Cy Young Award in 1981,and Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson, whose slider's lateral movement spawned its own nickname, "Mr. Snappy".
At times, Johnson's slider was faster than most pitchers' fastballs. Mike Jackson, who tied Paul Assenmacher with the most games pitched in the 1990s threw a slider. Ron Guidry threw a slider. Armando Galarraga threw sliders 38.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starting pitcher in the majors, Ryan Dempster threw them 32.9% of the time, more than any other NL starting pitcher. In 2008 CC Sabathia had the most effective slider, among major league starting pitchers. Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young award in 2009 in large part because of his slider, one of the better pitches in all of baseball. In 2011, Clayton Kershaw won the Pitching Triple Crown by allowing only a.117 average against his slider. The innovator of the slider is debated, but some credit Chief Bender as the first to use the slider George Blaeholder was credited with using it with the St. Louis Browns called a "nickel curve", in the 1920s. Others have credited George Uhle with developing the pitch. Bender used his slider to help him win 212 games in his career.
Bender was the first pitcher to win six World Series games. More New York Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry mastered the pitch to great effect in 1978 when he went 25–3 and won the Cy Young Award, it is the name of the Cleveland Indians mascot, inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame
John William Grabow, nicknamed "Grabes" is an American retired Major League Baseball left-handed reliever. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. In his major league career, he held opposing batters to a.218 batting average and a.293 slugging percentage when there were runners in scoring position. He made 340 appearances between 2004–08, which ranks him fourth in the majors and first among left-handed relievers in the National League for that period. In nine years in the majors he played in 506 games and had a 24–19 record, using a fastball and change up. Grabow grew up in Arcadia and was a Dodgers fan, playing first base. Grabow is Jewish, as is his mother, his Lebanese-Jewish maternal grandmother had the surname Mizrachi and immigrated from Beirut, Lebanon. There were 13 Jewish players in the majors in 2008, including Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Braun, Jason Marquis, Ian Kinsler. Grabow was one of three Jewish ballplayers on the Team USA 2009 World Baseball Classic team, joining Braun and Youkilis.
His 448 career games pitched through 2010 placed him 3rd on the all-time list for Jewish major league pitchers, three games behind Ken Holtzman. Grabow married Kindra Townsend Grabow in 2016, he was a pitcher at San Gabriel High School in California, was named his league's most valuable player as well as All-California Interscholastic Federation in baseball in his senior year in 1997. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round of the 1997 amateur draft. In 1998, Grabow was hit on the ear by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout and spent some time on the disabled list. In 1999 Grabow led the Hickory Crawdads in victories and innings pitched, ranked third in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts with 164, in 156 innings. Grabow matched the Altoona Curve record for career wins, with 24; until 2003, he had pitched only 10 times in relief as a pro. That season Altoona manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Jeff Andrews asked Grabow to make the switch, suggesting it might be a good career move.
"I didn't know if it was a step backwards", Grabow said. But Grabow was promoted to Class AAA Nashville in July, pitched as a relief pitcher there before joining the Pirates for the final weeks of the year. Through 2003, he averaged 7.6 strikeouts per 9 innings in the minor leagues, striking out 9.5 batters per 9 innings at the AAA level. In the summer of 2003 he made six appearances with Team USA in the Olympic qualifying team trials. Grabow was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, after having spent six years playing in the minor leagues, it was the most memorable moment of his life. Grabow appeared in 68 games in his first year with the Pirates, a team record for the number of appearances by a rookie left-hander. Used both in short stints and long ones, Grabow said: "That stuff where there are guys in certain roles, there are some guys who have roles set, but I don't think I'm one of them. I just pitch. Whether it's one or two innings, or to one batter, it doesn't matter to me."On the light side, for his rookie hazing he had to wear a Tweety Bird backpack during batting practice and carrying all the snacks to the bullpen, go through an airport wearing a cheerleader outfit, two sizes too small, serve drinks on the plane.
In February 2005 Grabow signed a contract pursuant to which he would make $327,000 in the majors, but $240,000 if he pitched at Class AAA Indianapolis. He was a workhorse in the Pittsburgh bullpen in 2005, appearing in 63 games in his second full major league season, he held opposing batters to a.186 batting average and a.186 slugging percentage when there were runners in scoring position. He stranded a major-league best 89.7% of his inherited runners, allowing just 4 of 39 inherited runners to score. In 2006, he appeared in 72 games, he held opposing batters to a. 217 batting average. Grabow stranded 82.5% of the runners he inherited, the best in the National League. In February 2007, Grabow and the Pirates avoided arbitration, agreed to a 1-year contract for $832,500. Grabow was in a position to make $10,000 to $70,000 in incentive bonuses if he finished 20–35 games, but was not able to cash in as he only finished 14 games, he was in a position to make an additional $10,000 to $45,000 in incentive bonuses if he made 75–85 appearances, but again was not able to cash in as he made only 63 appearances.
Grabow was 3–2 with the Pirates, with a 4.53 ERA. He had held batters to a.215 batting average and a.231 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position, while leading the team by only allowing 5.3% of batters he faced to get extra base hits. Grabow planned to have minor surgery after the 2007 season to remove bone chips in his left elbow, but after receiving a cortisone shot in August, he changed his mind. "I've been symptom-free for the past few weeks", Grabow said. "I want to see. I don't think I'll need to have surgery. Maybe I can manage it, pitch through it." He had his left elbow examined by Los Angeles Angels orthopedist Lewis Yocum, who suggested that rest would be an effective alternative to arthroscopic surgery. Grabow decided against surgery, instead followed a program of rest and rehabilitation, extending his period of rest from three to eight weeks, concentrating his workouts more on strengthening his legs and shoulders. Grabow earned $1.135 million in 2008. He had the potential to earn an additional $75,000 based on appearances.
In 2008, he had the third-lowest ERA of all NL left-handed relievers, stranded all but 8 of his 33 inherited runners. Batters hit only.215 against him, he struck out a team-
The Philadelphia Phillies are an American professional baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League East division. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park, located in South Philadelphia; the Phillies have won two World Series championships and seven National League pennants, the first of which came in 1915. Since the first modern World Series was played in 1903, the Phillies played 77 consecutive seasons before they won their first World Series—longer than any other of the 16 teams that made up the major leagues for the first half of the 20th century, they are one of the more successful franchises since the start of the Divisional Era in Major League Baseball. The Phillies have won their division 11 times, which ranks 6th among all teams and 4th in the National League, including five consecutive division titles from 2007 to 2011; the franchise was founded in Philadelphia in 1883, replacing the team from Worcester, Massachusetts in the National League.
The team has played at several stadiums in the city, beginning with Recreation Park and continuing at Baker Bowl. The team's spring training facilities are located in Clearwater, where its Class-A minor league affiliate Clearwater Threshers plays at Spectrum Field, its Double-A affiliate is the Reading Fightin Phils. From 1883 to 2018, the team's win-loss record is 9744-10919. After being founded in 1883 as the "Quakers", the team changed its name to the "Philadelphias", after the convention of the times; this was soon shortened to "Phillies". The nickname "Phillies" first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer for April 3, 1883, in the paper's coverage of an exhibition game by the new National League club. "Quakers" continued to be used interchangeably with "Phillies" from 1883 until 1890, when the team became known as the "Phillies". Though the Phillies moved into a permanent home at Baker Bowl in 1887, they did not win their first pennant until nearly 30 years after the likes of standout players Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, Ed Delahanty had departed.
Player defections to the newly formed American League to the cross-town Philadelphia Athletics, cost the team dearly over the next several years. A bright spot came in 1915, when the Phillies won their first pennant, thanks to the pitching of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the batting prowess of Gavvy Cravath, who set what was the modern major-league single-season record for home runs with 24. Poor fiscal management after their appearance in the 1915 World Series, doomed the Phillies to sink back into relative obscurity. Though Chuck Klein won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1932 and the National League Triple Crown in 1933, the team continued to flounder at the bottom of the standings for years. After lumber baron William D. Cox purchased the team in 1943, the Phillies rose out of last place for the first time in five years; as a result, the fan base and attendance at home games increased. Cox revealed that he had been betting on the Phillies, he was banned from baseball; the new owner, Bob Carpenter, Jr. scion of the Delaware-based DuPont family, tried to polish the team's image by unofficially changing its name to the "Bluejays".
However, the new moniker did not take, it was dropped by 1949. Instead, Carpenter turned his attention to the minor league affiliates, continuing an effort begun by Cox a year earlier; this led to the advent of the "Whiz Kids", led by a lineup of young players developed by the Phillies' farm system that included future Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts. Their 1950 season was highlighted by a last-day, pennant-clinching home run by Dick Sisler to lead the Phillies over the Brooklyn Dodgers and into the World Series, where the New York Yankees swept them four games to none. In contrast, the Philadelphia Athletics finished last in 1950, longtime manager Connie Mack retired; the team struggled on for four more years with only one winning season before abandoning Philadelphia under the Johnson brothers, who bought out Mack. They began play in Kansas City in 1955; as part of the deal selling that team to the Johnson brothers, the Phillies bought Shibe Park, where both teams had played since 1938.
Many thought that the "Whiz Kids", with a young core of talented players, would be a force in the league for years to come. However, the team finished with a 73–81 record in 1951, except for a second-place tie in 1964, did not finish higher than third place again until 1975, their lack of success was blamed on Carpenter's unwillingness to integrate his team after winning a pennant with an all-white team. The Phillies were the last National League team to sign a black player, a full 10 years after Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Dodgers, their competitive futility was highlighted by a record that still stands: in 1961, the Phillies lost 23 games in a row, the worst losing streak in the majors since 1900. Though Ashburn and Roberts were gone, the 1964 Phillies still had younger pitchers Art Mahaffey, Chris Short, rookie Ray Culp.
A four-seam fastball called a rising fastball, a four-seamer, or a cross-seam fastball, is a pitch in baseball. It is a member of the fastball family of pitches and is the hardest ball thrown by a pitcher; the name of the pitch derives from the fact that with every rotation of the ball as it is thrown, four seams come into view. A few pitchers at the major league level can sometimes reach a pitch speed of up to 100 mph, it is compared with the two-seam fastball. The four-seam fastball is designed purely for velocity; the ball is gripped with the index and middle fingers set on or across a line of the "horseshoe" seam that faces outward, i.e. away from the pitcher's body. The thumb is placed directly underneath the ball; the four-seam fastball is thrown with a straight overhead swing of the throwing arm. The ball leaves the thumb at the top of the throwing motion as the index and middle fingers play their grip on the "top" seam to roll it down the "back" of the ball, which imparts backspin to the ball that lasts the distance of the pitch.
The backspin affects the exchange of momentum between ball and surrounding air such that a lifting force called the Magnus effect offsets the downward pull of gravity on the ball. Further, backspin combined with the steady rotation of four seams in alignment with the direction of the pitch stabilizes the ball's flight-path. A successful four-seam fastball overpowers the batter with velocity zipping through the strike zone before the batter can timely commit to swing; the faster a four-seamer pitch is thrown, the more effective it will be. It is difficult for a batter to get "around on" the pitch—to swing the bat around to meet the ball—because he/she must swing early to "catch up" to the speedy pitch. One of the most dramatic and frequent tableaus in baseball is that of a frustrated batter helplessly swinging "empty" on a fastball that has passed the hitting zone, has made the catcher's mitt. Conversely, because the four-seamer doesn't break, it is quite hittable by the quick, "good-eye" batter who can "see" where the pitch will arrive.
Moreover, its extreme velocity helps experienced batters to hit it hard. Further, a fastball's effectiveness decreases if it is not thrown, i.e. if the pitch is not under control. Due to its straight and level flight an errant fastball will not fool many batters as to its direction; as a pitcher's fastball loses "heat", more batters will have sufficient time to read and hit the pitch. Pitching or throwing a fastball "comes naturally" to most athletes who throw baseballs; the fastball is one of the first pitches taught to young pitchers. It requires little unnatural motion of the arm, elbow or shoulders, the ball comes off the fingers when the pitch is completed as it is intended to be thrown; the fastball is the most common of pitches, as all pitchers throw a fastball as part of their standard repertoire. Scientific studies have shown that the four-seam and two-seam fastballs have the same flight paths and speeds, but a batter perceives a difference between them; the perceived difference is due to flicker fusion threshold, defined as the frequency that a flashing light appears "steady" to the human eye.
For example, for a series of flashed still-pictures to appear steady, the frequency of flashing has to be at a rate greater than the flicker fusion threshold, which for humans is about 60 Hz, or 60 cycles per second. A major league pitcher throws a baseball with a spin of around 20 rotations per second. With each rotation, a four-seam fastball presents four seams crossing the vision of the batter, producing a flicker rate of 80 Hz, which results in the batter not perceiving any features on the ball and having fewer visual cues than with the two-seamer to track it. Thus, the batter perceives the four-seam fastball as faster and higher than a two-seam fastball