How to Read a Pitch

Yesterday, we had a team offsite at USV, which included a “presentation party” where a bunch of us gave 3-minute presentations on a variety of topics. It was actually a perfect window into everyone’s personality — Andy gleaned lessons about venture capital from music lyrics (of course), Albert talked about beauty in math focusing on the Fibonacci sequence, Bethany talked about her early entrepreneurial adventures with Beanie Babies, Gillian walked us through the fun things you can find in a proxy statement, Matt introduced us to Kayfabe.  That’s just a few, but suffice to say they were all great, and were totally on-brand with everyone’s personalities.

Not surprisingly, I decided to talk about the beauty I see in Baseball, focusing on just one small thing: the way the batter reads the spin on an incoming pitch.  Here it is — enjoy (I recommend holding a baseball while you watch, if you have one):


  • jason wright

    Do you know cricket? The art of the spin bowler is worth studying. Shane Warne was the ultimate exponent of that art.

    • I don’t know the first thing about it but sounds spot on

      • jason wright

        and the ball strikes the ground before reaching the batter (spin + ‘bite’), which means two distinctly different flight pathways for the batter to assess as the ball approaches. A trifecta of sporting unfairness :-).

        • Richard Carlow

          You can add how deep into the game and how beat up the ball is as a result.

          • jason wright

            …and how rough the sandpaper ;-)

  • awaldstein

    I love wherever passion and memory has its origins.

    For me baseball, was not at all scientific, but simply family and memory.

    My Uncle a milkman in the Bronx lived near the old Yankee Stadium.
    As a young kid, we used to spend Saturdays in the bleachers with him, mitt in hand, eating hot dogs and waiting.

    As good as a childhood memory gets.

  • JLM

    If a pitcher is throwing at 97.1 MPH, spin is going to be a little lower on the decision matrix.

    Very interesting.