He was born to be on the mound.
“In my 13 years in the big leagues, this is the only guy I’ve seen who is worth the hype. The first one.”
—Former teammate Rich Aurilia
Very few pitchers at the highest level can say, “born to pitch,” or, “born to throw.” Even a smaller percentage can say both.
Tim Lincecum, ‘The Freak,’ is one of those, and he does it in Hall of Fame style. Number 55 has an unorthodox delivery that generates an amazing amount of power on his fastball and he hides the ball extremely well for his wicked breaking stuff. His stride alone is 129% of his body length! Amassing an amazing 7.5 feet. Normal pitchers can only stride out at about 80% of their body length.
Flowing black , somewhat effeminate, locks protrude out the back of his cap, which probably adds another four pounds to his cross-country runner, 170 lb. frame. There in lies the conundrum. Wirery stature with Nolan Ryan, corn fed, power. When he reaches into his pitching suitcase he finds a two-seam fastball at 90-95 mph, a change-up which he holds like a splitter, a sick curve ball, a slider and a four-seam fastball that reaches the mid-to-high 90s. He is a rock-and-roller who loves the classics; especially The Beatles. There is a bit of Washington State hippie in him. About a year ago, Lincecum was picked up for a misdemeanor marijuana possession. Not surprising, really, considering the proximity of growing up near Oregon. This is not a condemnation directed towards him as a person, or these two beautiful states and it’s inhabitants. But, let’s face it folks, there is an awful lot of tree-humpin’ going on out there in the North West and the laws for weed are pretty relaxed. So, smoke it up Timmy!
These personality traits should not distract from raw talent and dedicated work ethics. This is a 2-time Cy Younger with a ton more in the tank. Just take a gander at these career stats:
(through September 30, 2010)
Earned run average 3.04
WHIP 1.18 (Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched)
Footnote…he’s only been in the league since 2007!!
His professionalism at such a young age is pretty startling, as well.
“He’s not in awe of anything. Sometimes I wonder if he knows who’s up there.”
His father, Chris, told him, ‘NEVER let the opposing batters get a feeling that they have you
shaken up. You should have the same demeanor up there, whether you are striking out the side, or getting lit up.’ This after Tim was losing his temper a lot on the mound as a young pitcher. This refashioned attitude stuck with him as he has integrated it into his style as a major leager. Oh, sure he shows emotion and fire on the mound with signature “Tigeresque” fist pumps, but make no mistake…Tim is in control!
Chris, a Boeing employee, taught “Timmy” everything he knew about pitching and the unique delivery. Forcing him, on his follow through, to pick up dollar bills on the ground in front of him. His father told him, “NO,” when it came to Tim icing his arm. He said, ‘Ice is only used for two things. An injury or my drinks.’
Tim’s father was a pitcher in his youth and even claimed to throw 88 mph when he was in his 50s. His own career cut short by a back injury, but still enamored by the intricacies of pitching, he began imprinting his philosophies onto “Timmy.” They developed hand signals so that Tim knew exactly what he needed to adjust during game play. Chris also videoed every one of Tim’s games and they would then pour over the data after each one. There was also the weight training regiment Chris developed for Tim. It took his diminutive frame and added flexibility, strength, and grace to his game. He can do back flips from a standing, starting position and walk on his hands for “days.” This dedication that Chris showed to his son is truly laudable.
This is one of the truly amazing father to son, sharing stories that we have seen in years. It doesn’t happen enough.
By the way, “The Freak” is pitching TONIGHT in Game 1 of the World Series. He goes head-to-head with Cliff Lee and should be one of the great duels on record. Tune in and get your head in the game!!
He was born to be on the mound.