Such pitchers did, however, reach, and even thrive in the majors (and still do) following this approach. (The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.) In the context of how atrocious his batting support was, and how heavily his decimated staffmates leaned on him that year, Johnson's 1909 season is actually a tremendous achievement.
Originally Posted by hellborn
Nonetheless, Christy's advice was indeed absolutely good for the time; and still is today, despite the fact that changes in usage patterns have rendered this practice not nearly as critical as it used to be.
A swing--and a smash--and a gray streak partaking/Of ghostly manoeuvres that follow the whack;/The old earth rebounds with a quiver and quaking/And high flies the dust as he thuds on the track;/The atmosphere reels--and it isn't the comet--/There follows the blur of a phantom at play;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel--/And damned be the fellow that gets in the way. A swing and a smash--and the far echoes quiver--/A ripping and rearing and volcanic roar;/And off streaks the Ghost with a shake and a shiver,/To hurdle red hell on the way to a score;/A cross between tidal wave, cyclone and earthquake--/Fire, wind and water all out on a lark;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel,/Plus ten tons of dynamite hitched to a spark.
--Cobb, Grantland Rice