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HITTING ACADEMY

Monday, July 8, 2019

    Thank goodness for air conditioning in July as Coach Pete Mulry welcomed 60 attendees on Monday, July 8th at the Hitting Academy in north Tampa on a hot Monday evening outside. With about 20 baseball and softball players in attendance, Mulry encouraged all to take charge of the opportunity to listen and learn during the evening. Next, Mulry introduced Nadi Contreras — a 48-year coach who worked twice with the New York Yankees and later with the Seattle Mariners as the team director of pitching/pitching coach. Contreras started his pitching lesson explaining the balance position imitating the animal “the flamingo” and further stating “If you are not a flamingo, then you drift.” Next, separation is important in the power position between your arms and legs. Then, the direction in the pitch is important where the ball of your foot lands in the forward direction of the catcher. Finally, there is the finishing part. Contreras next focused on Pitch Development, covering the four-seam fastball, two-seam grip for movement and fewer fingers, changeup, breaking ball and curveball.

    The big point is “you pitch the fastball for strikes” as now the average fastball in the major leagues is 94 mph and continues to rise. Contreras stressed the importance of training, stretching and physical readiness to play baseball. Running, sprints, throwing in advance of the game is so important - warm-up procedure, arm exercise program,” You throw a baseball to command a baseball — from setup to full delivery.” Contreras also urged the children to avoid smokeless tobacco as it is dangerous. Coach Jimmy Pitisci added, “coaches are looking for players who are good at all sports.” 

    Next Coach Mulry introduced John Tamargo, who played for the Cardinals, Expos and Giants for five years in the big leagues. Tamargo told the group “The biggest thing in hitting is balance, be aggressive.” Tamargo focused on the athletic stance, plate coverage, balance “like a football linebacker”, small movements v. Large movements at the plate, head still “load that gun” .....”it does not matter how you start, it is how you finish.”  Tamargo quoted his friend Pete Rose who told him, “ When I go to the plate. I am thinking of a fastball. Treat each pitch like a strike.” Tamargo adding his main take, “be aggressive.”

    Finally, Coach Mulry ended the presentation by telling the students “When the waters calm, do your best. Performance is all that we have....we all have fear of performance.” Mulry told the parents about the books, reading and mentoring pilot program at Ballast Point Elementary and the Aces Nation scholarship program, including the 00 men and women program. Mulry ended by charging all “Win with class and have humility.” All attendees retired to enjoy some food, watch the home run derby and enjoy each other’s company. Parent Heather Crowe — with her son in attendance — stated “It is great to be here. I want to spread the word. It would be nice to have this in Pasco County.. I think it is phenomenal. Best program ever. How do I get involved?” Next, parent Donald Nolen, with his nine year old son Matthew and 12 year old daughter Sarah said he loved the program too. I especially like the emphasis on teaching and being a good person. These are life skills that are so important.”

    Eric Alvord whose two sons, twins age 7, said he thought the program was very educational, good points from the speakers and he very much appreciated the evening.  Board member Teresa Delatorre stated “it was a very interesting style on what to do and what not to do in hitting. I want to thank the host of the hitting academy. They are very gracious here and I hope we get invited back next year.”

    • Peter J. Mulry

      President Peter J. Mulry Foundation
      Speaker/Author

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