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Lee Smith said in our pre-HoF induction interview Fri. that opposing hitters "knew I had pinpoint control. If I threw a ball right on the corner, I could expand the strike zone a little bit, and you start doing that, you're going to get borderline pitches, so you can let the hitter get himself out." Smith said his repertoire was a two-seamer, a four-seamer and a slider. "I started throwing a forkball at the end, but it was really a cutter — and Harry Caray called it a slider, so I wasn't going to argue with him." Smith also said his customary slow walk in from the bullpen was calculated, to make hitters wait, think and guess at what first pitch they'd face.

William Weinbaum, ESPN3h ago

New HoF inductee Harold Baines said of himself as a hitter, in our Fri. Cooperstown interview, "I could hit to all fields. You really couldn't position me correctly, because I took advantage of what you left me, and I studied, so I'd pretty much know what side of the plate you were trying to get me out on." He said he takes greatest pride in his longevity and consistency, adding, "My last 12 years I was pretty much on one-year contracts, so I couldn't afford to fail."

William Weinbaum, ESPN3h ago

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