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The Inside Track

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January 13, 2003|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

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What: "Ultimate Infield" videotape and DVD.

Distributor: Canyon Video Inc., San Diego.

Price: $29.95, plus shipping and handling.

What sets this 38-minute baseball instructional videotape and DVD apart from most others is that it zeroes in on one aspect of the game -- in this case playing the infield.

Former major league infielder Tommy Hutton serves as the host, and Florida Marlin infield coach Perry Hill, who has 18 years of major league coaching experience, provides the instruction. Former major league infielder and current professional scout Craig Shipley assists Perry and offers insider tips and drills in a segment titled "Ship's Tips."

Perry has developed a set of skills and drills to help youngsters and advanced players alike to become better, more consistent infielders. The use of graphics in this high-quality video makes the drills easy to follow.

The first of the eight segments sets the tone. Here, Perry goes over what he calls his "six Fs." They are:

* Feet: Correct positioning of the feet.

* Field: Preparing to field the ball.

* Funnel: Fielding the ball in the middle of the body as if using a funnel.

* Footwork: Footwork and funneling go hand-in-hand.

* Fire: Firing the ball to first or another base.

* Follow: Using a good follow-through.

In other segments, Perry uses youth players of various ages to help demonstrate his teachings, making it easier for young players to identify with what they are learning.

The videotape or DVD can be ordered through www.ultimatebaseball.org or by calling (800) 700-2116.

-- Larry Stewart

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