Slugger retires P72 in honor of Jeter

(L to R) Lawrence Writer, James Sass, Holly Clark, Rick Redman, John Hillerich and Lisa Hillerich all with Louisville Slugger make the presentations to Derek Jeter (photo courtesy New York Yankees)

(L to R) Lawrence Writer, James Sass, Holly Clark, Rick Redman, John Hillerich and Lisa Hillerich all with Louisville Slugger make the presentations to Derek Jeter (photo courtesy New York Yankees)

by Rick Redman

First times are rare when you’ve been in baseball as long as Louisville Slugger®, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball®. But the storied company did something at the end of the 2014 season that it’s never done in 130 years in the game. It retired a bat model in honor of a player.

In an unprecedented display of respect and admiration from a sporting goods manufacturer, Louisville Slugger announced it was retiring Derek Jeter’s famous P72. The company surprised Jeter with the announcement in a private pre-game ceremony in Yankee Stadium on September 24.

“We didn’t do this for Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron or any of the other great players we’ve been associated with dating back to 1884,”said James Sass, Director of Professional Baseball Sales for the Louisville, Kentucky-based company. “Derek has swung one bat model from one bat company his entire career. He made over 12,500 plate appearances in his 20 seasons in MLB, and every single one of them was with a Louisville Slugger P72. With Derek’s retirement, we thought it was fitting to retire his bat model in recognition of his brilliant career. We are grateful for his enduring and unwavering loyalty. Louisville Slugger won’t be making the P72 anymore – in honor of Derek.”

Louisville Slugger officials gave Jeter an award to commemorate the retirement of his bat model. A P72 Jeter model bat was mounted on a three-foot base inscribed with “The Last P72” to commemorate the company’s decision.

“I signed out of high school and I was looking for a wooden bat,” Jeter said. “Louisville Slugger, it goes without saying, how reputable they are, how long they’ve been around, how much success people have had with it. In terms of the model, I just picked the bat that was shaped like my aluminum bat. It was the P72, and, in my entire career, I’ve never swung another bat.” Continue reading

ABCA Proud Partner!

I’m thrilled to announce that Inside Pitch Magazine is now an official partner of the American Baseball Coaches Association!

article by Publisher Keith Madison

article by Publisher Keith Madison

My first experience with the ABCA was during my second year as a high school baseball coach at Lake Wales High School in Central Florida. The annual ABCA Clinic took place in Miami that January, but my principal said there was no money in the budget to attend. My friends at nearby Florida Southern College (head baseball coach Joe Arnold and his assistant Chuck Anderson) invited me to stay in their room and ride down with them. Little did I know that two other coaches (totaling five adult men) would stay in the same room! It was worth it. I met Ron Polk at the clinic and was offered a graduate assistant position at Mississippi State University for the following year. Two years later I would become the head baseball coach at the University of Kentucky! Continue reading

Excited to announce our official partnership with the ABCA!

ABCA_LogoThe American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the leading professional organization for amateur baseball coaches, announces its newly forged relationship with Inside Pitch as an official partner of the ABCA. “The Inside Pitch magazine has been provided to attendees of our annual convention for the past three years. The quality of the magazine and its contents are excellent and the goals of Inside Pitch are consistent with those of the ABCA,” says ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. “Through this relationship, our entire membership will have access to Inside Pitch and will be afforded opportunities to contribute to the magazine.”

Both the ABCA and Inside Pitch were busy in 2014. Along with a new design for its Covering All Bases newsletter, the ABCA recently launched a new website which offers new features, an updated look and simpler navigation for its members and others interested in the organization. The website redesign also includes the site, which offers special discounts and free access to members and convention attendees. The ABCA has also enhanced the registration processes for both its membership and its annual convention, made its online Job Postings and Open Dates pages free for anyone to view, and has increased its presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help spread news and encourage networking among members.

After unveiling its Summer issue at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fl., Inside Pitch launched a new-look website of its own, which is more content-focused and easier for visitors to navigate. Inside Pitch also announced that its online publication can now be downloaded and viewed across all platforms, including iOS, Google Play, Amazon and HTML5. The updated app includes full issue content along with exclusive extras such as videos, slideshows, music, hyperlinks and other multimedia.

“I have tremendous respect for the members, board of directors and the executive committee of the ABCA,” said Inside Pitch Publisher Keith Madison, who is an ABCA Hall of Famer himself. “Our relationship with this organization will broaden our reach and provide both the ABCA and Inside Pitch with a larger platform to promote quality instruction, cutting edge information and character in the game we all love. Saying that I’m excited about this initiative would be an understatement.”

About the American Baseball Coaches Association

Established in 1945, the American Baseball Coaches Association is the foremost professional organization for amateur baseball coaches. Its membership has grown to over 6,600 members representing all 50 states, more than 20 different countries and eight divisions across amateur baseball: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, Junior College, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.  The Association is involved in numerous programs that promote the integrity of the profession and the development of the game of baseball. Each January, the ABCA hosts the largest baseball convention in the world.

For more information on the ABCA, visit

About Inside Pitch

Inside Pitch is a quarterly instructional baseball magazine for players, parents, coaches and fans that promotes integrity, thought, development and improvement of the game of baseball in a direct, unique, and first-class manner. Inside Pitch will continually strive to be informative, entertaining and inspirational for the reader and fan of amateur baseball, whether coach, player, instructor or administrator. Inside Pitch is a cross-platform publication that can be downloaded and viewed with iOS, Google Play, Amazon and HTML5 and includes full issue content along with exclusive extras such as videos, slideshows, music, hyperlinks and other multimedia.  For more information see:

Fall 2014 recap

fall14Publisher Keith Madison wants us to enjoy the ride. Don’t miss his take on what every player needs.

We heard what our readers would do if they called the shots in our Fall 2014 From the Bleachers. Our 3 up, 3 down section covered what baseball’s past three commissioners have done in office.

Coaches Corner featured Top Coach Podcast‘s Jack Warren.

We know that recruiting is a two-way street, and coaches from across the country chimed in on how to get recruited.

New Mexico State head coach Brian Green was the subject of an excellent Inside Interview.

Read why Eddie Comeaux thinks that Little League World Series players should be compensated, and check out Louisville Slugger’s 2015 performance bats.

The ultimate walk-off was registered towards the end of the 2014 season. Did you miss it?

Drs. Michael Ciccotti and Ben Kibler address the arm injury epidemic in Part 1 of our Arm care double feature.

Also don’t miss three resolutions we should all try, Chris Burke’s Frame by Frame breakdown of Giancarlo’s Ground Force, how to love the game more by playing it less, and the ABCA offering clinic videos to all.

Keep your internet browsers pointed this way for all the Winter 2015 articles coming soon!



Arm care part two

Check out Arm care part one here

The second half of our two-part “Armcare” series features a Q&A with two of the foremost experts on shoulder and elbow injuries.

Why do you think we haven’t seen a pronounced spike like this in injury rates before?

Michael Ciccotti

Michael Ciccotti

Michael Ciccotti: Part of it might be that we didn’t understand these injuries quite as much at the time as we do now. Ballplayers today, with the way they’re recruited into high school, college and ultimately professional baseball, it almost necessitates that they start focusing on exclusively baseball at incredibly early ages. Arguably, they have more mileage on them than the elite level ballplayers decades ago, and more mileage on them than multi-sport athletes today.

Up until college and sometimes through college, players used to play multiple sports; there was a broad balance of stress throughout the musculoskeletal system, rather than years and years of competitive stress in the same areas of the body. It’s like having two beautiful cars; one of them has a thousand miles on it and the other has 50,000 miles on it. They look the same, they’re both beautiful, but the car that has 50,000 miles on it is more likely to have problems than the other car.

What can coaches do to mitigate the occurrence of arm injuries with their players?

Ben Kibler

Ben Kibler

Ben Kibler: Coaches are very observational and analytical. They can pick out a lot of things and compare them to the standard that they’ve developed. We need to look for the cause of the observed motions: the elbow dips because the shoulder is tired, the shoulder blade is slumping down or the legs are weak. Arms are slow because of hip weakness, resulting in the arm being behind. If you look at the legs, you can find most of the problems associated with the hand, you can find hip weakness or a tight back. It is possible to observe these things, so coaches and doctors need to work together to agree on what is happening.

I worked with the Houston Astros for several years, and we got the point where the coaches and I were talking the same language, talking about the same things. Now I’m working to make that happen with the Kansas City Royals. The point is that sitting down across the table from each other is the best way to do it- ‘this is what I see, what do you see?’
Ultimately, it’s our goal to provide information through research to the coaches, allowing them go get the best players possible on their teams programs. The players benefit because things are getting done right and the professional teams are benefitting because in general, they’re getting a higher-quality product with less miles on it. It’s a big win all the way around if we can do this right.

MC: One of the things that coaches can provide has to do with mechanics of throwing. Some coaches are brilliant with that and other coaches are novice, but I think the majority of coaches have a sense of [the mechanics of throwing] and how to optimize mechanics. Number two is encouraging athletes to be well-conditioned from the ground-up. We’re focused on the shoulder and the elbow, but coaches can help make sure these athletes are involved in some sort of conditioning program that involves the legs, hips, and core along with the upper extremities.

When you’re a collegiate coach, it’s really hard; you’re there to win and your job security is often dependent on winning with 18, 19, and 20-year olds. You want the best players and you want them to be available.

How would you explain these injury rates in Latin American countries?
Continue reading

From the Bleachers, Fall 2014

Rob Manfred (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Manfred (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Will Pete Rose be reinstated?

With Rob Manfred set to become baseball’s new commissioner in January, Inside Pitch took to social media to ask, ‘what would YOU do if you called the shots?’

via Twitter

@insidepitchmag end All-Star game determining World Series home field advantage.
Chris Miller @CoachMiller12

@insidepitchmag make the schedule 120 games. Every game would mean more. Players stay healthy. Pitchers have longer careers.
Mike Stawski @MikeStawski

@insidepitchmag Pete Rose to the HOF
Matt Marziale @recball43 Continue reading

Three resolutions we should all try

New Years marks a fresh beginning for all of us, representing a time where we can get things in order mentally, physically, spiritually and in many other ways.

Of course for baseball people, New Years represents a clean slate in preparations for another spring in the sunshine. Coaches assure themselves that this will be “the year;” players vow to get stronger and work harder than they ever have before; even parents promise that they will watch the game from an objective perspective. Good luck with all of that, by the way.

It (almost) goes without saying that most New Year’s resolutions are much easier said than done.

However if coaches, players and their parents are to truly enjoy everything that our pastime has to offer, then it’s important to put yourself in the right mindset before the first pitch is ever thrown. John Wooden put it best: “When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.”

Here are a few resolutions that players, parents, and coaches alike can make:

Continue reading