April 1, 2005
Big things can come in small packages.
Just look to the University of Washington baseball team for a perfect example. In a sport often dominated by tall and lanky pitchers like Randy Johnson, or thick and powerful hurlers such as Curt Schilling; Tim Lincecum shows that size doesn't matter.
At 6-foot-0 tall and 160 pounds, Lincecum doesn't just compete at the collegiate level, he dominates. In 2004 he compiled a 10-3 record and led the Pac-10 in strikeouts, with 12.9 per nine innings. He also ranked fourth in the Pac-10 with 3.53 ERA, second with .207 opponent batting average, fourth in innings (112.1), first in called strikeouts (60), fourth in wins (10) and third in starts (18). To add to his acclaims he was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, and was named National Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball.
Lincecum attributes much of his success to his unique arm mechanics.
"I've got a unique way of pitching," says Lincecum. "I just try to get as much out of my body as possible, because I am very small."
He learned his arm mechanics from his father, who in turn learned from Lincecum's grandfather. As with many great athletes, family tradition played a large part in Lincecum's success.
"My dad was really heavy into baseball, so right away I knew I was going to get into it."
Good teaching, and innate talent helped Lincecum overcome his size disadvantage. Now, he views his size as an advantage.
"A lot of people tell me that if I was 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, it wouldn't work to my advantage as much as my lack of size would," says Lincecum. "It kind of work both ways, those big guys are intimidating, but little guys are deceiving."
Deceiving might be a good word to describe Lincecum's pitching style. Unlike many smaller pitchers, Lincecum doesn't consider himself a finesse pitcher.
"I consider myself a strikeout guy, I try for strikeouts," says Lincecum. "I'm maybe not an overpowering guy, but I like to think of myself as a dominating pitcher."
Look for Lincecum to try and live up to the team goal of getting better everyday. If he does that don't be surprised to see his name on a list of All-Americans.