Dick Hall: Former RHP Several MLB teams



1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

It was a gradual process, I used to throw straight over the top. Used to short arm the ball, never got the best extension. I threw sidearm but it was close to my ear. I was actually an IF/OF for my first four seasons of pro ball. I was down in Mexico playing winter ball and pitched a little in relief because our team was short on pitching. I came in relief one game and the Pirates head scouting director was watching and liked what he saw. I was sent to A ball and pitched 153 IP while still playing LF on days wasn't pitching. I got sent back to Mexico to play winter ball again and started a Friday game but only pitched a few innings before got rained out. The game was replayed on the Monday so I started again. Teams would only carry a few starters since just played Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was the freshest arm. I hurt my arm guess it was biceps tendonitis. Pittsburgh sent me to go see the Dr. He asked me to show him my pitching mechanics. When throwing sidearm the Dr. could see the back of my jersey and suggested that this would be a lot easier on my arm since using more of my body.


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

I threw the best that way. My strength was my control and was able to throw more strikes sidearm. It felt more natural to me.


3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

I think I still might have had some success. With 2 strikes I would still sometimes come over the top to surprise the batter and had success with that.


4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

I would say that it can definitely be a lot less strain on the arm. In my professional career I threw for over 2000+ IP. The only way I can throw the ball now at 83 is underhand.


5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

The key to pitching is to repeat the same mechanics every time. Doesn't matter what arm angle you are. You will get better control that way. You are pitching from 60feet '6inches and if that foot lands just an inch either way it can effect your ability to throw a strike. I would always try to visualize the flight of the ball when pitching. The more you throw to a specific spot the more you are likely going to come at least close to hitting it over and over, opposed to just throwing the ball wherever with no plan.


6. What pitches did you throw?

Sidearm- 4 seam rising fastball, which is a little different then sidearmers these days it's more sinkers, hard slider, cut fastball and slip-pitch. Threw the slip-pitch towards end of my career, it's basically fastball but when releasing the ball you keep your wrist like a deadfish and then comes out like a change up. I was a fly ball pitcher and hitters just didn't have some pop like they do now, so just want the ball to keep the ball in the park and let my OF's do the work.


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

For both I would pretty much pitch the same, away. I loved the outside corner. In my 16 yr MLB career I would pitch the same to that outside corner both high and low. I figured it was harder to hit 3 singled off of me for a run then one home run. I was sneaky with my delivery though too. I was 6'6 all arms and legs, hitters had trouble picking up the baseball, was told it came out of my uniform. Nowadays they keep track of ground ball/pop fly ratio, my flyball ratio would have been interesting to see. Like I mentioned I had great control, only had 1 wild pitch in my MLB career. (1259 IP)


8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

I guess simply it was natural for me, it just kind of worked for me really.