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Go to Clubhouse Go to Celebrity Guest PanelINTERVIEW with Pitcher Chris Hook!

Biographical Info:  Has began pitching for the San Francisco Giants organization in 1996.
Endorsements:  His brand web site attheyard.

Guru:  Chris, do you have any pitching tips you'd like to share?

TIP #1:  "How do you throw a cutter?"

Chris:  The best way to throw one is to start with your four seam grip (fastball) and for you tilt your wrist to the left make a slanted L ==not too much make sure you are still have your fingers behind the ball . If you throw a fastball your wrist will be almost a true "L" . Once you have the grip throw the pitch just as you would a fastball with the usual attempt to stay in on the hitter. And remember a cutter is different than a slider you want it to be hard and without alot of break --you just want a little cut in on the hands of batters ala Andy Pettite.

Good Luck and if you want more from pros like me around baseball check out there are lots of little things that can help you become a pro too!!

Guru:  Chris, why did you decide to have a web page?

Chris:  I decided to do the web site because I wanted to get my idea out to the masses --and combining baseball and the web (my two favorite things) the only thing to do was create a website of my own. My idea is making sports fun again --I think we have too much grunting and groaning and guys trying to be tough guys all the time..I play sports because I love to play. That is my play. That is where play hookey (tm) comes from. So with the combination of baseball and play hookey comes AT THE YARD. I hope we can show people out there that we the people who play the game professionally have fun at what we do and that we love to play the game.

Guru:  What's in your website?

Chris:  The content of the site is all baseball related -we have player journals from professional players all around the country. We do interviews with players with interesting stories to tell in REAL AUDIO. We are also going to have how to sessions where a visitor can come to our site and learn how to throw a curve or learn a batting stance etc.. the way the pro's do it. I think that will be a big part of our site. We also have all the REAL AUDIO links to all the major and minor leagues games that support REAL AUDIO. I think the big thing is to be interactive and on the cutting edge of technology and I think with the audio and video on our site we will do that .

Guru:  Who were your idols as a kid?

Chris:  I had alot of idols as a kid --Roger Clemens -Tom Seaver -Dwight Gooden -Nolan Ryan --you can see a definite pattern here. I loved the power guys.

Guru:  Who were some of the influential people such as managers, coaches, players, etc., who have helped you get to where you are?

Chris:  There have been alot of people that have helped me along the way -I probably wouldn't have kept at baseball at a early age if my parents wouldn't have taken me to every practice and game --they went out of their way to help. I think that is a big difference these days -parents don't get involved like they used to. My first year in A ball I had a manger named Jim Lett (bench coach for Blue Jays) he was a perfect example of what a true professional was all about. He was a guy who was a leader, a leader by example. He didn't help me by talking to me but he showed me how things were to be done like a professional ballplayer. And pitching wise I have to credit guys like Mack Jenkins, Grant Jackson, Joel Horlen, Greg Minton and Mike Couchee for giving me pieces of what it takes to be a good pitcher and for me it that has taken quite a bit.

Guru:  Do you have anything personal or funny that you like the fans to know?

Chris:  I hope when people hit my site that they leave with the good feeling about baseball and hopefully change their thoughts that every person who plays a professional sport is a money grubbing, self-centered idiot. I hope they can realize that sometimes you can spend years making pennies at the minor league level and never sniff the big leagues, but at the same time you can have fun at what you do and meet some fans and friends that will touch your life. And if I can touch a life, make someone smile.. that my friend is all I'm after.

Guru:  Thanks Chris!  I think that your web site has great potential and I'll look forward to watching it grow.

Celebrity Guest Panel

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