Having the Upper Hand

In baseball most batters hit from one side of the plate or the other. Some hitters however can hit from both sides of the plate, they are called switch hitters.

The advantage for switch hitters is that they are always able to be on the opposite side of the plate as to the pitcher’s throwing arm, thus allowing the hitter to see the ball for a slightly longer time period.

Pat Venditte, a pitcher drafted in this month’s amateur draft by the New York Yankees made a stir this past week in a minor league game against against their crosstown rivals from Brooklyn.You see Venditte is a ambidextrous pitcher. He can pitches with both arms and his father, Pat Venditte Sr. claims that Jr. can stand at home plate and throw the baseball over the outfield wall with either arm. He has an extra thumb hole sewn into his glove and switches his glove hand as he faces hitters accordingly.

Against Brooklyn when Ralph Henriquez, their designated hitter came to the plate after warming up as a lefty but stepped up to the plate from the right side, opposite sided to the arm in which Venditte had been throwing with up to that point in the game.

Venditte then switched his glove to his left hand, to which Henriquez crossed the plate again while Venditte once more did the same to his glove hand.

This went on for a few more comical turns at which point the managers and umpires had to confer on the proper course of action before the game could proceed.

The umpires ruled that a person and pitcher could only switch sides of the plate or throwing arm’s once per at bat and that the hitter had to declare his course of action first.

Henriquez struck out on four pitches. Check mate.

The value of an ambidextrous pitcher has got to be enormous for the simple fact that they have two arms to tire out.

If this kid has any talent and brain whatsoever he could be the prototype for a new kind of athlete. Imagine a basketball player being able to drain three’s with both hand’s and a golfer drilling shots from both sides of the tee, one side being able to drive the ball with more power and the other with more control.

Let the breeding begin.





One response to “Having the Upper Hand”

  1. Rick C Avatar

    I wonder if it takes him twice as long to get loose? Watching the video you can see that right side is natural for him and he has a long way to go before he can face professional hitters with either arm. Good luck to him.