Sunday, April 4, 2010

Billy Wagner switched from throwing right-handed to left-handed

William Edward Wagner 
"Billy the Kid"

Born: July 25, 1971, Tannersville, Virginia
Tazewell High School, Baseball Player of the Year in 1990
Ferrum College, Ferrum, Virginia

Position: LHP, relief pitcher
Batted: Left
Threw: Left  (ambidextrous; natural right-hander)

Height/Weight: 5' 10"  180 lbs
135 lbs as a senior in high school

MLB Draft:
Wagner was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft in June 1993 by the Houston Astros, and he played exclusively as a starting pitcher in minor league baseball.

Teams: Houston Astros, Philadelphia Pillies, NY Mets, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves

Pitcher Billy Wagner goes from right to left (March 12, 2010)

Billy Wagner’s Journey from 5′3″, 135 pound, Right-handed, High School Football Player to Left-handed, 16-year Major League Closer

On throwing left-handed:

“When I was younger, probably 6, 7, 8 years-old I lived with my grandparents and afternoons I would come home and play hat football. We couldn’t afford a football so we played with a hat. And a guy from across the street named Chip – I still can’t remember his last name after all these years – comes in. He was about 2-3 years older than me and we were playing around and he fell on my right arm and broke my right arm. So I was in my cast and as a kid you want to play, so I played left-handed. And then I get my cast off my right arm. He comes over and breaks it again. He falls on me and breaks it playing football. Having a cast on your right arm for that long, you figure things out a little bit if you want to play and compete with the older kids. So I ended up being left-handed. But that’s the only thing I can do. I can’t do anything else left-handed.” - Billy Wagner

Now that's a good reason for switch pitching - injure one arm, just use the other one to throw to with. The strategy worked out for Billy Wagner.

During his career, Wagner has established himself as one of the best closers in baseball, and he is perhaps best known for his ability to throw a 100 mph fastball despite having a relatively slight frame for a pitcher (Height: 5' 10", Weight: 180 lb.). Nickname is Billy the Kid.

Billy Wagner Statistics

Billy Wagner - Wikipedia


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