Tim Lincecum, Hideki Okajima and the Top 15 Most Unusual Wind-Ups in MLB History
Ah, the art of pitching.
Most coaches teach their little-leaguers the most standard of pitching wind-ups, hoping that mimicking the mechanics of the majority will grant them success.
But while the top pitchers of today—the Cliff Lees, C.C. Sabathias and Felix Hernandezes—might all have pretty standard deliveries, for every few of them there's always a Tim Lincecum—a guy who achieves success with a wind-up unlike anything we've ever seen.
And in the 100-plus year history of MLB, guys like Lincecum are nothing new.
Here's a list of the 15 most unusual wind-ups in MLB history.
15. Warren Spahn, Et. Al.
His delivery seems incredibly unique, but he wasn't the only old-time pitcher with a delivery like this.
Still, there's nothing like it in modern times.
14. Fernando Valenzuela
Fast-forward to 12:39.
12. Dontrelle Willis
If not for his patented high leg-kick and stellar rookie season, Willis would be completely forgotten by now.
11. Satchel Paige
Not the most unusual, but the softball-like windmill at the beginning is a nice touch.
10. Dennis Eckersley
An obvious member of this club.
9. Byung-Hyun Kim
One of the worst pitchers on this list.
8. Chad Bradford
The truest submarine pitcher ever.
Also, he was pretty successful.
7. Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez
The greatest leg-kick of all-time.
6. Tim Lincecum
The fact that he can reach the mid-90s with his frame is remarkable. I'd say "The Freak" is a fitting nickname.
5. Jeff Sparks
It's tough to find MLB videos with the league cracking down on YouTube, but you can trust me on this one.
Sparks used Mike Marshall's invented delivery that he claims can completely prevent arm injuries.
Read a little bit about his theory here.
4. Hideki Okajima
At first glance, Okajima's delivery is pretty standard.
But as you can see in the picture, he turns his head towards third base right before delivery.
3. Bob Feller
Feller died just this month after losing a battle with leukemia at the age of 92.
He was one of the greatest pitchers of all time.
2. Hideo Nomo
So much hype, so little production.
Except for his two no-hitters.