Dick Hyde: Former RHP Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators


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

He hurt his arm pitching in 1952 in the Army in a semipro game in Augusta Georgia. They paid him 10 dollars to pitch and expected him to finish the game so he threw through the pain and ended up really hurting his arm. He found by dropping down to sidearm the pain was less. By throwing this way he could pitch and started to get more movement. After getting out of the army and going back into the minor leagues with Washington he continued to throw down there and basically taught himself through the minors and into the bigs. He did feel he was influenced by watching Ewell Blackwell pitch during the 40's. He saw him in an all star game in Chicago and felt he had some similarities in common with his motion.


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

He felt he had advantages over right handed hitters and could throw harder at that angle. He also felt he had an advantage because he was awkward towards many of the hitters because they hadnt seen that type of delivery. Jimmy Piersall once screamed at him to stand on his head and throw the ball right.

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

 He believes if he didnt drop down he wouldnt have made it to the big leagues.

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

His advice would be to keep their normal arm angle as long as possible but if your backs to the wall with getting released or dealing with arm problems or lack of success why not try it. He said that Johnny Sain once said take the ball drop it behind you and pick it up and throw it. That should be the arm slot (angle) you use.

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

 Some of the tips he mentioned were to bend the front leg through the follow through to help keep the ball down (try not to lock out the knee). Also to think of yourself as a rotational (swing) pitcher.


6. What pitches did you throw?

He threw fastball (sinker) curveball and change.

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

With righties he had more success trying to sink the ball in off of the plate. Everything he threw to them he tried to stay in the bottom half of the strike zone.
Against lefties he would try to run the curveball up and in early in the count and then sink it away late. He struck out Ted Williams twice on changeups which he would also use to lefties.


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

 His favorite part of throwing sidearm was that it allowed him to pitch in the big leagues for 5 years where if he had stayed with a normal delivery he would have never made it there.


Thank you to his son former pro pitcher Rich Hyde for the help with interview!