Baseball Art - Bill Anderson Gallery Sunset Beach, California


Sunset Beach, Calif.--Poetry in motion could easily describe the what crowds see when watching baseball. In the artist's rendering pictured, artist Bill Anderson of Anderson Art Gallery in Sunset Beach portrays the pitcher's torso perpendicular to his leg that mounts the pitcher's plate for the throw. In focus at viewer's and pitcher's eye level is the ball, no doubt zooming toward you at a high rate of speed.


Bill Anderson's baseball art springs from a passion for the sport. He once played semi-pro ball and was a pitcher, in fact. Today Anderson mostly creates fine art and sells the works of several artists, including his own, in his Anderson Art Gallery in Sunset Beach.  Stop by to look at this exciting collection of baseball art originals. 


While many claim to have the fastest pitch on record, Nolan Ryan was officially clocked by the Guinness Book of World Records at 100.9 miles per hour in a game played on August 20, 1974. According to Dick Mills "All About Pitching", Nolan Ryan's velocity was produced before the pitching arm even moved. By building maximum forward momentum using a big step back and by moving explosively away from the pitching rubber using a hard push, he shifts the mass of his body and creates maximum kinetic energy which produces a long stride and thereby puts as many muscles of his body on stretch as possible. This allows his body to act just like a huge rubber band that whips the arm through like a jet powered sling shot. His front and back hip are only slightly rotated and the front shoulder is not rotated at all. The pitcher's shoulders are lined up between home and second base while his throwing arm is up, extended back and in a cocked position. Using an explosive lunge to drive the body away from the rubber rather than a glide or a stride toward the plate, once the pitcher's front foot lands, he cannot develop any more velocity. All he can do after landing is transfer that energy from his legs to hip and trunk rotation and then finally this stored elastic energy is what whips his arm through at high speed.  In Nolan Ryan's case, for example, his stride length was over 100% of his body height. Most coaches recommend that pitchers only stride from 80-90%. Striding too short reduces elastic energy production which is the driving force for building arm speed. Short strides not only reduce velocity but force the pitcher to try to get more on the ball using his arm. If pitchers don't know how to use their lower body to maximize their stride length they will never throw with above average velocity.

Nolan Ryan, dragged his back foot across the mound surface 17" away from the many power pitchers. This provides more stability and better transfer of energy. And of course this is discouraged by many coaches because they do not understand mechanics and how the body produces force.

Anderson Art Gallery, 16812 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, CA. 90742. (562) 592-4393. Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 1 to 10 p.m., Sundays 1 to 8 p.m. or by appointment.





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