Who uses the Oxbow Bender?
Coaches and players at every level, amateur and professional, use the Oxbow Bender to demonstrate and practice their pitches. For all coaches, the Oxbow Bender is a superior pitcher teaching tool to add to their collections. Some coaches even use it with hitters to teach them how to read the spin of different pitches and understand how the spin affects the flight of the ball. Go to www.pitchingprofessor.com
to see what master pitching coach, John Bagonzi, has to say about using the Oxbow Bender. You can read more about the Oxbow Bender and its uses in Coach Bagonzi's August 12th, 2008 pitching blog
entry and by clicking here
. How does the Oxbow Bender work?
Basically, the Oxbow Bender is a baseball attached to a wood handle with a nylon bearing and steel axle that allow the ball to spin so that coaches can show and pitchers can see and practice the proper grip, spin, and release of a variety of pitches.
Check out this article from a 1963 Sporting News Magazine: Johnny Sain's Gadget Article (Part 1)
Johnny Sain's Gadget Article (Part 2)Which is your most popular style of Bender?
Our most popular Bender is made with an ash handle and a raised-seam ball with a four-seam orientation.What is the difference between the ash and maple handles?
It's really a matter of aesthetics and personal preference. Some people like how the ash looks and feels and some like the maple; just like ballplayers and their bats.What kinds of baseballs do you use?
We use only the highest-quality Rawlings baseballs (R100, RLLB1, and ROML models). The youth and high school/college balls have raised seams with full-grained leather covers, wool windings, and cushioned cork pills (a cork core wrapped in red and black rubber). The professional league baseballs have rolled seams with genuine leather covers and cushioned cork centers. We do not use baseballs with synthetic covers or solid/composite cores!What is the difference between a raised seam baseball and a rolled seam one?
Youth leagues, high schools, and colleges all use raised seam balls that allow younger players to throw the baseball with more accuracy. The seams on a youth league ball are slightly more pronounced than a high school/college one, but are very similiar. If in doubt about which ball to choose, we recommend the high school/college ball for the best all-purpose Oxbow Bender. Professional leagues use a rolled seam (sometimes referred to as a "flat" or "standard" seam).What is the difference between the four seam orientation and the two seam one?
When you throw a four-seam fastball your fingers are positioned across the seams while a two-seamer (sometimes called a sinker) is thrown with the index and middle fingers placed along the seams. From a catcher's perspective that means that you would be able to see, if the ball were not spinning so fast, four seams for every revolution as the ball came toward you. With a two seamer you would only see two seams per revolution (click here for graphic
). The four seam orientation is our most popular and versatile model.Does the Oxbow Bender require any maintenance?
In order to keep the baseball spinning smoothly and quickly, the axle should be periodically lubricated with graphite (usually found wherever keys are made or sold). Avoid wet lubricants such as oil or WD40 which could discolor the ball or handle. The best way to apply the graphite is to remove the baseball, add a small amount of graphite at the tip of the axle, and gentle rotate the nylon bearing to let the graphite work its way into the axle before replacing the baseball.
What's with the name?
The Oxbow Bender is named for the curving, crescent shaped lakes found along the rivers of the Great Plains and Midwest.What are the shipping charges?
We use a heavy-duty cardboard tube, which can be used to store the Oxbow Bender, for shippng via USPS Priority Mail (USPS First Class to Canada) for speedy delivery. The charge is $6 for each Oxbow Bender. Orders ship in two to three days. Please contact us for information regarding shipping charges to countries other than the USA or Canada.Can I get an Oxbow Bender made with a customized ball orientation for a special pitch or grip?
Yes, we often get requests from coaches and players who want a ball customed mounted on the handle to teach and practice a specific pitch or grip. Send us an email, and we can work with you to custom drill a ball to match your exact needs and specifications.Are Oxbow Benders sold in stores?
The Oxbow Bender is available on-line and exclusively at the Red Dirt Emporium www.reddirtemporium.com
located in the Bricktown District of Oklahoma City.Can you recommend any interesting/useful links?
The "Sain Spinner"/Pitching Educational Device/Ball-On-A-Stick
Sain Gadget Article Part 1
Sain Gadget Article Part 2
The Complete Pitcher
The Science of Baseball
Baseball Pitches Illustrated
Making a Pitch
The Physics of Baseball
How a Baseball is Made
Arm Slots and Spin
The Optical Illusion of a Curveball
Nickle and Dime Pitches Is "Oxbow Bender" a Registered Trademark?
Yes, it is.Can a curveball really curve?
Can a fastball really rise?