Every pitcher I knew in college had serious shoulder injuries and I understand how they could have all acquired such injuries, but is this common or were we possibly over using our pitchers?
The mechanics of pitching make it pretty easy to get a bum shoulder, but it also sounds like your college might have been low on pitchers perhaps...resulting in injuries that never had time to heal.
Shoulder injuries are really common in pitchers and I'm one of them whose career was short lived because of over-use on the mound. The pitching motion is anything but natural and your arm can definitely pay the price if not taken care of.
pitching is considered the most unnatural motion in sports which is why many of your pitchers got hurt im sure. But if a pitcher is over worked then they are more likely to get injured. Some pitchers change thier style so that it is not so tough on thier shoulder and thier career can be longer. For example a side arm pitcher or a knuckle ball pitcher is much easier on the arm....thats why my boy wakefield will pitch till he is 87.
pitching is considered the most unnatural motion in sports ....
What do you mean? Do you mean aiming, then throwing and hitting a target? Then you would be incorrect. Anthropologists believe the ability to aim and throw overhand is what made us walk tall on 2 feet and made us intelligent. Throwing overhand is not unnatural...For humans. Here are a couple of scholarly articles:
BY P. J. DARLINGTON, JR. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Throwing (of stones and weapons) exemplifies both the possible importance of a difficult-to-measure evolutionary factor and the role of reinforcement; in human evolution throwing may have been decisive in food getting and fighting, in shifting emphasis from brute force to skill, and in inducing evolution of a brain able to handle three-body geometric problems precisely and thus preadapted for more complex functions.
Here is the 2nd article:
By Richard W Young, Professor emeritus, Department of Anatomy, University of California Medical School: Natural selection must have acted strongly on the hands from the outset of aggressive throwing and clubbing behaviour. Evolution of the hand gave the unprecedented ability of modern humans to throw missiles and swing clubs with power and accuracy. Selection for improved throwing and clubbing produced an innovative, instinctive, whole-body motion performed from an upright stance that begins with a thrust of the legs. Improved dynamic upright balance on more powerful legs and resilient feet in the service of throwing and clubbing would have made upright locomotion more efficient, leading to its increasing use and eventually culminating in habitual bipedalism. (Several other unique human anatomical and behavioural features can also be accounted for by this approach: Young, 2002).
The throwing and clubbing motion that begins in the legs progresses through the hips, torso and arms and ultimately imparts accumulated kinetic energy to the hand or hands holding the weapon. The entire body is involved, but the role of the hands is crucial. Natural selection must have acted strongly on the hands from the outset of aggressive throwing and clubbing behaviour. Indeed, analysis of the evolution of the human hand provides an opportunity to falsify or lend credence to the throwing-and-clubbing proposal.
Grasping a spheroid and precisely controlling its release, required for accurate throwing, demands a grip that differs from one that can firmly grasp a cylindrical club-handle and absorb the reaction force of impact without release of the weapon. This implies that the human hand should manifest two unique grips - one specialized for throwing, the other for clubbing. The following report will show that the two predicted grips are the two fundamental human handgrips first identified by the British anatomist, Napier (1956).
The later article goes on to compare the chimpanzee hand (great for hanging in trees, not so great for throwing) to the human hand, which enables a human man to launch round projectiles to 300 feet and 100 mph (and more) with precision.
I believe the statement refers to the art of pitching a baseball, and the fact that it is done over and over, in a variety of physical situations. The occasional throwing of a rock or the swinging of a club would seem to be a different matter altogether. Though I do know a number of long-time house framers that have difficulty swinging a hammer over their heads.
I'm certainly no expert on the subject, just the unfortunate owner of 4 separate sets of scars for 4 shoulder surgeries (and yes, I pitched at the collegiate level as well).
Best of luck. Ben
P.S. - My 9 yo will NOT be taking to the mound anytime soon.