Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ambidextrous throwers in the major league

Throwing well with both arms is very rare.

The four players officially listed by Major League Baseball as being able to throw both left & right handed are: Tony Mullane (1881-1894), George Wheeler(1896-1899), Moxie Manuel (1905-1908) & Greg Harris (1981-1995). (source: baseball-almanac.com)

There are a few players in major league baseball who are ambidextrous and can throw with both arms. They are primarily right-handed pitchers, who also learned to throw left-handed when they were young. A couple of players, in the minor league, were dominant switch pitchers in high school.

David Robertson - RHP, NY Yankees
Robertson, a right-handed pitcher, started throwing lefty as a teenager, when his right shoulder was weak. He continued to throw lefty for fun at the University of Alabama. He did not become a switch pitcher, but he did face an ambidextrous pitcher in high school.
Nicknamed "Houdini" for his ability to escape pressure situations with runners on base.
A Wacky Wannabe Southpaw
Robertson Earns a Living With His Right Arm but Has More Fun Throwing Lefty

David Robertson Stats and Bio


Yu Darvish - RHP, Texas Rangers

Darvish is ambidextrous | Texas Rangers Blog
When Texas Rangers righthander Yu Darvish took the mound at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for a photo session on Friday night, he showed his ambidextrous side.
Darvish tossed from the mound from the right and left sides. Darvish throws from the left side during workouts as a way to keep his delivery in balance. While with Hokkaido Nippon Ham of the Pacific League, Darvish would throw from the left side on the first day after a start.

Jeff Schwarz - RHP, Chicago White Sox

A former right-handed pitcher with the Chicago White Sox, Schwarz started throwing lefty when he was 13 years old.


George Brett - 3B, Kansas City Royals

Brett was well known for pitching both left- and right-handed in batting practice. He also threw both left- and right-handed in the field – right as a 3rd baseman and left as a 1st baseman.

George Fills the Royals' Flush (SI Vault, June 21, 1976)


Fred Dunlap - 2B, Cleveland Blues (1880-1883)

The ambidextrous throwing Dunlap 
played for the Cleveland Blues from 1880 to 1883, where he secured his reputation as one of the best players in the game. In 1884, Dunlap was lured to play for the St. Louis Maroons where he became the highest paid player in baseball.

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Brooks Robinson - 3B, Orioles

Robinson was ambidextrous - to a certain point. 
"I eat left-handed, write left-handed, play Ping-Pong and tennis and shoot left-handed, so from here down, I'm pretty well coordinated. But I can't throw left-handed at all. I do everything else left-handed, and I'm sure that helped me as far as being able to get the glove in the right spot and make the plays." (p231 in We Would Have Played for Nothing - by Fay Vincent)

Known as The Human Vacuum Cleaner, Brooks Robinson established a standard of excellence for modern-day third basemen. (Baseball Hall of Fame)

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Minor League Ambidextrous Throwers


Pat Venitte - BHP, NY Yankees organization
Venditte was a standout switch pitcher for Creighton University. He began throwing with both arms when he was only 3-years-old.

Drew Vettleson - OF, drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010
Vettleson pitched with both arm for Central Kitsap HS (Silverdale, WA). Gatorade Washington Baseball Player of the Year. Recruited to play for Oregon State University.

Andrew Pullin - 2B/OF, drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012
Pullin was an outfielder and switch pitcher for Centralia HS (Centralia, WA). Recruited to play for the University of Oregon.

Bijan Rademacher - OF, drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2012
Rademacher is an outfielder who has the ability to throw with both arms (since he was six-years-old). Left-handed hitter for the Peoria Chiefs in Level "A". Recruited to play for Cal State Fullerton, but transferred to play baseball at Orange Coast College where he excelled. 

Dong-Yub Kim - OF, signed by the Chicago Cubs as a non-drafted free agent out of South Korea in 2009 — as a right-handed throwing outfielder. Kim missed the 2010 season with surgery to his right shoulder. When he returned to the field in 2011, Cubs outfield coordinator Lee Tinsley spotted the young minor leaguer with his glove on the wrong hand — and throwing the ball left-handed. Read more

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