|Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services|
July 26, 2009 Adrian Daily Telegram
By John Castle
Sun Jul 26, 2009, 03:01 PM EDT
ZEPHYRHILLS, FL:  It is common during the summer to hear reports of baseball players going on the disabled list because of injuries to their pitching shoulders.
Adrian native and former National League Cy Young Award winner Dr. Michael Marshall would like nothing better than to eliminate those kinds of reports altogether.
Marshall is doing all he can to accomplish that goal through a series of instructional videos and books demonstrating proper pitching motion and breaking down what young pitchers are doing wrong.  The videos are meant to improve the effectiveness of every pitcher who takes advantage of Dr. Marshall’s expertise, as well as to prevent any future injuries to the arm.
Marshall makes himself available year-round to anyone who is serious about eliminating pitching injuries, while at the same time increasing release velocity, pitch variety, pitch quality and release consistency.  He works with individuals, teams and is available for speaking engagements around the world.
“People can visit my Website (www.drmikemarshall.com) and find out nearly everything I know about pitching arm injuries.  They can watch my videos, see pitching motion in high speed, and even read my doctoral thesis,” Marshall said.  “I feel it has been my mission in life to explain how pitchers are ruining their arms and tell them how they can stop, and even reverse some of the damage they’ve done.”
Marshall graduated from Adrian High School in 1960 and enrolled at Michigan State University, where he received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in physical education, as well as his doctorate in exercise physiology.  His specialty was motor development and skill acquisition/biomechanics.
All his degrees came at a cost, so he helped himself by pursuing a professional baseball career and completed his coursework only during the fall and winter quarters.
He was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1960, and made his major-league debut with the Detroit Tigers in 1967.  Prior to that he played in the minors as both a shortstop and pitcher.  It was on the mound that Marshall set records while playing for nine different teams over 14 years.
The jewel in his pitching crown came in 1974 while pitching for the Dodgers, when he earned the National League Cy Young Award.  He was 15-12 with a 2.42 earned run average while appearing in 106 games, pitching 208 1/3 innings, pitching in 13 consecutive games and finishing 83 of those, all records.  He was selected to the 1974 and 1975 NL?All-Star teams.  He was the NL?Fireman of the Year with the Dodgers in 1974 and the earned the same honor for the American League in 1979 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins while compiling 32 saves.
He saved 188 games in his major-league career and finished with an earned run average of 3.14.  All of his success wouldn’t have happened had he not been determined to find out why he was having trouble at one point in his career.
Marshall started as a shortstop, and in 1964 was an All-Star in the Southern League.  At age 11, he suffered a back injury that prevented him from bending over, so he focused on becoming a pitcher.  In 1966 he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, who wanted him to play shortstop.  However, his back problem forced him to play part-time at short and part-time as a pitcher.
The next year, a simple daily task led to his determination to eradicate pitching arm injuries.  While preparing to shave, Marshall discovered he was having trouble raising his arm to his face and that he had lost the extension range in his elbow.  That was all he needed to start researching the arm joints and find out what was preventing him from having the range of motion.  Many years later, he had become the authority on the subject.
A self-proclaimed applied anatomist, Marshall has had success at all levels teaching coaches how to re-train their pitchers.  However, the majority of coaches are still teaching the same motion, and that invites injuries, Marshall warned.
“I know how to eliminate all pitching arm injuries and I can tell you it would be simple to eliminate all this Tommy John surgery,” he said.  “It all starts with how you take the ball out of your glove, how far back your arm travels behind your body when you start your wind-up.  Everything coaches and players need to know is free on my Website.  If they want to stop pitching injuries, they’ll do what I teach.”
Marshall tried to interest the Detroit Tigers, whom he considers his hometown team, in his teachings, but it was met with apathy.
“I live here in Zephyrhills, FL, just a few minutes from Joker Marchant Stadium (the Tigers’ spring training home), and do you think (president/general manager Dave) Dombrowski would return my calls?” Marshall said.  “I think it’s probably because they wouldn’t want to take the time and effort to learn something new, I’m not sure.  A lot of people don’t like change, and this might be just that.”
While Marshall is now going into semi-retirement at age 66 to spend more time with his wife and family, he will accept invitations to speak about his knowledge on the subject of pitching arm injuries.  The Japanese national baseball program is now teaching Marshall’s curveball, which he says curves the opposite way of what most curveballs do, simply for the fact that the pitcher is holding the baseball correctly.
He knows every tendon and muscle and ligament in the human arm, and understands how they interact.  He stresses simple corrections in the way youngsters deliver a baseball to the plate will help extend their careers.  He just hopes people will take advantage of the free information he has to offer.
Marshall seldom makes it back to his hometown, but says he has fond memories of where his career started and playing for Meine Busack at Adrian High.