You Are Entitled To A Mound That Is Safe!
- Updated: November 20, 2012
As a baseball pitcher, don’t be hesitant about doing your own grounds maintenance even if you have to hold the baseball game up. You are entitled to a safe pitcher’s mound and a pitcher’s mound that you can pitch properly from. As a baseball pitcher, don’t be bashful about inspecting or fixing a mound yourself before you even throw a warm up pitch.
Two very important areas are where your landing foot will hit the ground and the area right in front of the pitching rubber.
Don’t hesitate to fill up a hole that quite often is present where most pitchers land with their landing foot. I’ve seen this landing spot sometimes a foot deep and that is unsafe. And your pitch quality will suffer also. You can easily get injured landing into this unsafe, deep hole.
The area that I have the biggest problem with is those deep holes just in front of the pitching rubber where your make your pivot. Unfortunately, they are very common at amateur levels of play. I’ve seen them as deep as six inches. They are very dangerous and risk injury to the pitcher’s foot and also to his arm. Many baseball pitchers have injured their throwing arms by releasing a ball awkwardly and these deep holes in front of the pitching rubber are encouraging just that to happen.
When I was about ten years old, my father taught me how to deal with this hole that is right smack in front of the pitching rubber and does not belong there. He taught me to fill up the hole myself, using my feet to move the dirt from other areas of the mound. Sometimes if the pitcher’s mound is too hard you can’t do this. It didn’t happen often, but occasionally I would hold up a baseball game, spending close to five full minutes filling up this dangerous hole. It makes no sense at all to twist an ankle or possibly getting an injury even more severe.
I asked my father what should I tell the umpire if he says something like, “come on, we have to get this game going.” He told me to very politely tell the umpire that this hole should not be there and I’m concerned about breaking my ankle. I must have delayed baseball games on about a dozen occasions and not once did an umpire ever say a word to me because they all knew that this hole should not be present if the mound was properly maintained.
Pitching involves a lot more than just throwing the baseball properly and quite often baseball pitching tips are about the mental aspect of playing baseball and basic common sense.
Make sure your pitcher’s mound is safe and don’t let anybody rush you when you are doing your own maintenance on the mound. The more intelligent baseball umpires will be in total agreement with you and may actually join you while you fill up these holes, as was the case with me on many different occasions.
At amateur levels of play, you are not entitled to a pitcher’s mound that is perfect like professional levels of play. But a baseball pitcher at any level of play is very much entitled to a pitcher’s mound that is safe and will not inhibit their pitching or increase their chances of getting injured.
Baseball pitching is tough enough on a pitcher’s throwing arm and don’t allow yourself to be put at even a higher risk of injury. Baseball pitching tips require clever use of the mind and not just the body.
My son is a high school pitcher. If an umpire tried to rush my son Tyler when he is trying to make the mound safer, I would be forced to get involved. Most of the time, I’m on my best behavior at games and I have the utmost respect for umpires. (Maybe because I’m a certified high school baseball umpire myself.) But when it comes to my son’s well being, I would simply remind the umpire that he is going to have some very difficult questions to answer if my son gets injured because he’s putting the clock before the well being of my son.
If anyone rushes you when you’re doing your mound maintenance, have them contact me because we need to have a serious chat. Inexcusable!