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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Kurkjian: The Most Unappreciated Baseball Trait? Strength.

The strength of the players, especially in their hands, wrists and forearms, goes largely unappreciated: I’ve never met a position player who wasn’t really strong in those areas, even dinky, little middle infielders. Indeed, after Michael Jordan’s one year in baseball in 1994, one of his many observations about the game was that virtually every player on his Double-A team was stronger than him from the tips of their fingers to their elbow.

Awesome MLB Feats of Strength anecdotes at link.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2018 at 03:27 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aaron judge, bo jackson, feats of strength, frank howard, giancarlo stanton, home runs, nelson cruz, prince fielder, yasiel puig

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   1. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 06:35 PM (#5630073)
Nice fun little read, with some great anecdotes.

   2. Adam Starblind Posted: February 24, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5630084)
I think it was appreciated by those in the 90s and early aughts who drugged themselves into looking like the Incredible Hulk.
   3. Stormy JE Posted: February 24, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5630087)
Nice fun little read, with some great anecdotes.
Speaking of little, who's littler: Kurkjian or Robothal?
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5630094)
The most unappreciated baseball trait? Strength. Strength, and speed. Speed and strength. The two unappreciated baseball traits are speed, strength, and ability to concentrate.... the three unappreciated baseball traits are speed, strength, an ability to concentrate, and the drive to give 110%. The *four* ... no ... Amongst the unappreciated baseball traits are elements such as speed, strength ... I'll come in again.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5630103)
I have heard that Joe DiMaggio used to build his strength by holding solid wooden chairs out in one hand, at arm's length.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5630114)
The Bo's bow story is stolen from the Odyssey.
   7. WKRP in Cincinnatus Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5630146)
The most unappreciated baseball trait? Strength. Strength, and speed. Speed and strength. The two unappreciated baseball traits are speed, strength, and ability to concentrate.... the three unappreciated baseball traits are speed, strength, an ability to concentrate, and the drive to give 110%. The *four* ... no ... Amongst the unappreciated baseball traits are elements such as speed, strength ... I'll come in again.


Excellent!
   8. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5630159)
In grad school I did a lot of assembly and disassembly of gas flow systems, basically glorified plumbing. One of the undergrads in the lab was a petite 19 year old woman who didn't look particularly strong, but her plumbing connections were by far the strongest and least likely to leak (and hardest to disassemble). Turns out she was a high school softball player and had incredibly strong wrists.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5630169)
I have heard that Joe DiMaggio used to build his strength by holding solid wooden chairs out in one hand, at arm's length.

I'll consider the source of that comment, but on a related note: Has anyone else ever known a human flag? By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there? Since the only person I ever saw perform that feat was an overweight 50-something dude who didn't look particularly strong, I figure it's probably more a matter technique than strength, but still.....
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5630175)
By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there?
Wait, this is actually a thing??
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 25, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5630186)
Has anyone else ever known a human flag? By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there?

Wait, this is actually a thing??


All I know is that I once saw a guy do it, and I was wondering if it's something that requires an inordinate amount of strength, or just a mastery of some technique. I've never even seen anyone else try to do it, which is why I threw out the question.
   12. Hecubot Posted: February 25, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5630315)
Has anyone else ever known a human flag? By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there?


I have two circus schools on my block and I've seen the 14 year old boy acrobats do this regularly. But gymnasts are basically stronger than their own body weight so they can do things like that.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5630318)
I have two circus schools on my block . . .

Clown shoes zoning laws, eh?
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: February 25, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5630325)
Has anyone else ever known a human flag? By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there?


Probably a lot of male gymnasts can do it. Those guys have the most incredible combination of strength and agility of any athlete in any sport.

   15. dejarouehg Posted: February 25, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5630357)
My brother and his buddy decided to get themselves into great shape in HS and after about 3 months he'd periodically walk by a light pole and do this. My brother was probably 5'10" and 170 at the time. Wasn't perfect 90 degrees but probably closer to 75 degrees. Freaky!
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 26, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5630488)
Thanks for the responses, and I'm not too surprised at them. FTR the guy who I witnessed doing this was a Cadillac salesman, about 55, 6'2", 225 with a paunch, and didn't appear to be in particularly great shape. And while I could be misremembering this part, IIRC he capped off his feat by holding the pole with one hand while waving his other arm in triumph with a big grin on his face, like he'd done it many times before and was just saving the best part for last. In any case that's the mind picture I have of it.

Funny guy in many respects, a pool room trick shot artist who once said he'd "swim a sea of sewage to play Minnesota Fats", and yet his fear of serious gambling was so great that the standard line about him was that "he wouldn't bet his dick could get hard". He'd never bet more than $2.00 a game, because that way "nobody gets hurt."

(Okay, maybe you have to have lived in pool rooms for as long as I did to appreciate the humor in that.)
   17. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 26, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5630496)
The Bo Jackson anecdotes were fun.
   18. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 26, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5630498)
Has anyone else ever known a human flag? By that I mean someone with the ability to grip a pole with both hands and extend his body parallel to the ground, and hold it there?


One of the jits guys at my gym does this, and a lot of other "bar" tricks of the same type. On the mat you can beat him with technique or raw power from the ground, but breaking his damned grips is near impossible.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5630511)
And while I could be misremembering this part, IIRC he capped off his feat by holding the pole with one hand while waving his other arm in triumph with a big grin on his face,


That part sounds impossible.
   20. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5630515)
I have two circus schools on my block

This is more interesting than Bo Jackson stories.


That part sounds impossible.

Yeah, that's "in bed before the room was dark" territory.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5630517)
Yeah, do the two circus schools have competitive circus events? Did one split off of the other? Do you live in the circus district? We need more detail here.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5630518)
and a lot of other "bar" tricks of the same type.

Years ago, my grandfather liked to walk around on his hands after he had had a few beers. Other guys, often much younger, would try to keep up with him. Many could do it on a flat surface, but grandpa went up and down hills and staircases. A stroke in his early sixties ended this ability, but you still didn't want to shake the hand on his stroke-affected side because he'd forget how strong that hand was and would accidentally squeeze way too hard.
   23. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5630527)
That part sounds impossible.


Nope. I've seen it done. They shift their body weight "up" and hold with the core while doing a one-handed hand stand horizontally on the pole. It's amazing.
   24. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5630531)
My brother was probably 5'10" and 170 at the time.


This does seem to be more of an "elf" trick than a "dwarf" or "ogre" trick.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5630540)

Nope. I've seen it done. They shift their body weight "up" and hold with the core while doing a one-handed hand stand horizontally on the pole. It's amazing.


Only for like a second or two right, as their body goes up and then comes back down?

Youtube of a kid doing it for like 1.5 seconds. Ridiculously impressive. He doesn't bob up and down, he just holds it. I just clicked on several other videos. In two of them the man cheats by using his head against the pole.
   26. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5630541)
Nope. I've seen it done. They shift their body weight "up" and hold with the core while doing a one-handed hand stand horizontally on the pole. It's amazing.

Not to demand to see the holes from the crucifixion, but I'm still doubtful. Youtube appears to have scant corroboration. But maybe. I suppose it's kinda possible, kinda?


Youtube of a kid doing it for like 1.5 seconds. Ridiculously impressive.

Saw that one but discounted it because his feet are out of the frame.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5630544)
Saw that one but discounted it because his feet are out of the frame.

Good catch.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5630551)
About a year ago I set a fitness goal for myself of learning how to walk on my hands. Man, that is not easy to do. Just standing on my hands with my feet touching the wall is difficult. Abandoned due to laziness, danger, and the scuff marks I kept putting on the wall.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5630592)
Indeed, after Michael Jordan’s one year in baseball in 1994, one of his many observations about the game was that virtually every player on his Double-A team was stronger than him from the tips of their fingers to their elbow.


So ballhogging doesn't build muscle. Who knew?
   30. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5630602)
I had no idea Jordan had insulted Steinbrenner.
   31. Greg Pope Posted: February 26, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5630620)
Saw that one but discounted it because his feet are out of the frame.

If you watch his feet, just before he's horizontal, you can see that they're rubbing up against something. I'm guessing there's a wall just outside the frame.
   32. Batman Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5630630)
My future brother-in-law could do the human flag thing in high school. He was a soccer player, so he was in good overall shape, but didn't really have to do anything involving upper body strength. Maybe you just get bored playing youth soccer and start hanging on to the posts.
   33. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5630646)
If you watch his feet, just before he's horizontal, you can see that they're rubbing up against something. I'm guessing there's a wall just outside the frame.


As one of the YouTube commenters notes, you can see a hand enter the frame briefly near his feet at the 10 second mark.

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