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HITTING A FASTBALL WITH Chipper Jones
September 10, 2007
BRAVES THIRD BASEMAN
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September 10, 2007

Hitting A Fastball With Chipper Jones

BRAVES THIRD BASEMAN

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How to hit 'em
Get the bat head in front. It's not about how hard you swing. If you're facing a guy who throws 95 miles an hour, all you need to do is get the barrel of the bat where it needs to be—slightly in front of the plate. People think the harder they throw, the harder you swing. Usually it's the opposite. You can be shorter and quicker to the ball. The pitcher's going to provide all the power.

How he learned
My dad and I played in the yard [in DeLand, Fla.] with tennis balls. He'd throw as hard as he could from 45, 50 feet. From the time I was seven, I saw balls come at me 75, 80 miles an hour. I had to tune it up.

How he prepares
Mental drills, looking at film. It's just getting mentally ready, deciding whether you want to put in play the fastball away or the fastball in or put the fastball in play at all. I pick one side of the plate and go get it.

Greeting the greats
With guys like Roger, Randy, Schilling and Pedro, you're going to see heat painted on the outside corner. So you've got to be thinking about 'em, sleep-dreaming about 'em, and when you wake up in the morning, you're locked in.

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