Friday, November 30, 2012

George Wheeler, ambidextrous pitcher - Philadelphia Phillies

George Louis Wheeler
born George Louis Heroux

Born: August 3, 1869, Methuen, Massachusetts
Team: Philadelphia Phillies (1896-1899)
Height/Weight: 5' 9", 180 lb.
Bats: Both
Throws: Both, ambidextrous

Wheeler, primarily a right-handed pitcher, threw left-handed on a handful of occasions to become one of the few known "switch pitchers" in MLB history.

George Wheeler Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac

George Wheeler's stats - Baseball-Reference

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Moxie Manuel, ambidextrous pitcher

Moxie Manuel, White Sox
Mark Garfield Manuel
Born: October 16, 1881 in Metropolis, IL

Big League Teams: Washington Senators (1905), Chicago White Sox (1908)

Height/Weight: 5' 11", 170 lb.
Bats: Right
Threw: Both, ambidextrous pitcher

Ambidextrous pitcher Moxie Manuel played for the Washington Senators in 1905, and the Chicago White Sox in 1908.

Moxie Manuel began his professional baseball career with the 1903 Vicksburg Hill Billies, going 12-14. The next year, he went 21-11 for Vicksburg. In 1905, Moxie went 22-18 for the Baton Rouge Cajuns and New Orleans Pelicans and made his major league debut with the Washington Senators.

He told a reporter that he pitched with his left hand against left-handed batters, making him an Ambidextrous Pitcher.

Source: The Big Book of Jewish Baseball by Peter Horvitz and Joachim Horvitz

Ambidextrous pitcher keeps 'em all guessing

Moxie was a right-handed batter, but he told a reporter in 1907, "Sure, I can slam over with one hand as good as with another. When a right-handed batter is a the plate, I serve 'em with my right hand. When a left-handed batter is at the plate, I become a southpaw. That keeps 'em all guessing."

Moxie's son, John, in a letter to the National Baseball Library at Cooperstown, wrote that he had clippings which confirmed that his father was ambidextrous and that in the minors he would often pitch doubleheaders -- one right-handed and one left-handed -- sometimes posting shut-out victories in both games.

Jews And Baseball: Entering The American Mainstream, 1871-1948

 By Burton Alan Boxerman, Benita W. Boxerman

Moxie Manuel - BR Bullpen

Moxie Manuel Stats -

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cole Critchfield, Ambidextrous Pitcher - Class of 2015

Cole Critchfield
DOB: 7/16/96 (age 18)

High School: Star Valley High School (Class of 2015)
Afton, Wyoming

Dixie HS, St. George, Utah
HS Team: Dixie Flyers, 2012
Summer Team: Caesars Baseball Club

2013 Team: Jackson Giants - American Legion
Jackson, Wyoming

Height / Weight: 6-2, 175 lbs.

Positions: 1B, P, 2B, SS, OF
Bats: Left
Throws: Both, switch pitcher
   plays 1B left-handed
Dominant Hand: Left
Velocity: 81-85 mph

Glove: Akadema ambidextrous glove (see video)

Other sport: Basketball (guard), football

Cole Critchfield pitching video - throws right-handed, then left-handed to a catcher

Dixie High School (St. George, UT) Baseball Home -

Highlights - Laramie Rangers vs. Jackson Giants at Casper - Legion Baseball 5/12/13

Cole Critchfield pitching right-handed, strikes out seven batters. Read more

Ambidextrous pitcher Cole Critchfield warms up lefty and righty. More videos

Summer League

Jackson Giants - American Legion 2013

Jackson Hole 2, Laurel 1
Highlights -- Cole Critchfield singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh in consolation championship. (Jun 24, 2013)

Cole Critchfield beRecruited profile (videos)

Cole Critchfield's Baseball Recruiting Profile - NCSA

Cole Critchfield on Facebook

Critchfield on a Cambodia Phnom Penh mission


Roland Ryan, Ambidextrous Pitcher

Roland Ryan

Knoxville West High School (Class of 2018)

Position: 1B, Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Both - natural right-hander

Roland Ryan Pitching in High School

Knoxville West High School Ambidextrous Pitcher Roland Ryan starts left handed and takes a win, 13-4, then takes the mound right handed to earn a 5-4 win against Gibbs HS. The 6'3" 210 lb pitcher has more movement from the left side, but more velocity on the right.
Watch video

A natural righty, Roland Ryan plays first base right-handed and bats right-handed. 
Watch video

Roland Ryan Baseball Profile | Perfect Game USA

velocity: 75 mph in 2015


Roland started throwing left-handed after injuring his dominant right arm
"Roland hurt his right elbow last summer and has not been able to throw, per Doctor's orders, for over six months. He has since learned how to throw lefty. He has been working with Knoxville pitching coach Eric Hill since September refining his left hand throwing, and recently, since early February in returning to pitching righty." (YouTube, 3-1-12)

This video shows Roland throwing a 2-seam fastball, change up, cutter and curve ball. He uses separate gloves for each hand, which is a good idea when starting out. Good luck to Roland in becoming a switch pitcher.

Video of Roland Pitching 3-1-12

Takeaway Message

- work with a qualified pitching instructor to develop good mechanics
- older players can quickly learn to throw with both arms
- pitching takes a lot of practice

Take care of your arm
- warmup your muscles and joints before throwing
- limit the number of pitches thrown to avoid arm injury
- rest your arm between throwing sessions
- see a doctor if you have elbow, arm or shoulder pain

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Relacing an ambidextrous glove

Yikes! My glove broke. While throwing long toss at the UW, the middle lace on my son's Akadema ambidextrous glove snapped. Over time, the laces connecting the glove fingers, become worn and stretched, especially in the center of the glove near the pocket.

Fortunately, the middle lace on the Akadema ambi glove is easy to replace with one foot of black rawhide. It took about five minutes to re-lace the middle fingers using a $6 glove lacing kit and a pair of scissors.

How to Relace the Akadema Ambidextrous Baseball Glove

Broken rawhide lace - between the middle fingers.
Tip: Take a photo of the glove before removing the old lace.

Start relacing the glove.
 A lacing tool guides the rawhide through the holes

Pulling the new lace through holes using a lacing tool

Lacing is almost complete - in five minutes

Tie the knot, then trim off the extra rawhide.
Relaced Akadema Ambidextrous Glove - ready for use

How to Relace a Glove - instructions with pictures

Tools and Materials
- Glove lacing kit (high-grade rawhide lace and lacing needle with handle)
- scissors
- needle nose pliers
- leather conditioner or petroleum jelly

Baseball Glove Lacing Kit
Steps to lacing a baseball glove:
1) Examine the damage - look at the lacing pattern and where the leather is tied off
2) Pull the rawhide lace through the glove holes, using a lacing tool or needle nose pliers
3) Tie the leather and trim off the excess lace

Lesson Learned
It's a good idea to practice baseball using a standard glove and save the ambidextrous pitcher glove for games.

How to Lace a Baseball Mitt | (video)

Baseball Glove Repair - relacing and conditioning

Glove-Works - relacing and repair

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tanner Kilmer ambidextrous pitcher

Tanner Kilmer
High School: Lawrence High School 2010

Colleges: Pratt Community College | Emporia State University
Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas

Height/Weight: 5'11", 175
Positions: LHP/
Bats: Right
Throws: Both, but primarily throws left-handed

How Tanner got started throwing with both arms

Tanner first started using both hands at a young age after having corrective surgery. Tanner was born with two thumbs on his right hand, and when he was 11 months old, his parents decided to have the extra part of the thumb removed. Tanner, who was wearing a cast, started rolling balls around with his left hand. His father knew the premium baseball teams put on left-handed hurlers and sought to develop Tanner's south paw as he grew up playing the game.

"We just kind of let it play out for a while," Wilson Kilmer, a former pitching coach at Kansas University, recalled. "Once he started doing some stuff left-handed, I wanted to try to bring that along, but I didn't force it. I got him a glove for both hands - whichever way he wanted to go - and we worked on both sides a lot." (

He prefers to throw left-handed, but he bats and bowls right-handed. Tanner also plays first base left-handed.

What the coach said ...
"He's a coach's kid," Stoll explained. "His baseball IQ is off the charts. He understands how to pitch; he knows how to set people up and understands the value of hitting locations."

LHP in College

Tanner Kilmer is a left-handed pitcher from Pratt Community College and a native of Lawrence, Kan. He compiled a career record of 6-1 for the Beavers and last season had a 4.21 earned run average in 56.1 innings pitched. He was named All-Metro at Lawrence High School. 
Kilmer will join the Emporia State Hornets (NCAA, Division II) in 2013 as a left-handed pitcher.

Switchpitcher  Whoa’ indeed: LHS soph ambidextrous

By Benton Smith | Lawrence Journal-World

When coaches and fellow players hear about Tanner Kilmer's unique baseball talent, they usually have the same response: Prove it.
There is reason for skepticism among Kilmer's baseball compadres. Switch-hitting is something that plenty of players have pulled off. Switch-throwing, on the other hand, is seldom seen.
Note: It's not clear if Tanner Kilmer was a switch pitcher in high school.
"I'm usually just all lefty," he said, pointing out that if he hopes to pitch right-handed in the future, he'll have to work at it more because the right arm has fallen a bit behind the left when it comes to the velocity and movement on his pitches.

Rich Brady, ambidextrous pitcher for Holy Ghost Prep

Rich Brady
Philadelphia, PA

High School: Holy Ghost Prep 1993
College: Rider College

Positions: RHP/LHP, 1B, 3B
Bats: Right
Throws: Both

How Rich Brady got started throwing with both arms

"I was 7, (throwing a baseball) with my uncle," Brady recalled. "I'm lefthanded, but I threw righthanded. So I guess he figured I could throw lefthanded if I worked on it."

Rich Brady was a successful switch pitcher for Holy Ghost Prep, a small high school in Philadelphia.

Found on

Ambidextrous Pitching Highlights

Red-hot Holy Ghost Moves Past Bristol to top of Bicentennial, May 14, 1992 |

In the win over Morrisville, Rich Brady pitched 4 innings, righthanded, for the win, and hit a home run when he moved to first base after pitching, playing lefthanded. The ambidextrous junior is now 6-0 overall, 3-0 with each arm. Read more

Holy Ghost Prep Pitcher Switches Arms in Rout of Lower Moreland, April 22, 1993 |

Holy Ghost Prep coach Ted Grabowski has always said he didn't want Rich Brady, his ambidextrous pitcher, to throw righthanded and lefthanded in the same game. He's avoided the temptation to use him that way for two seasons.
But Brady finally did it when his coach wasn't looking in the Firebirds' 17-1 rout of Lower Moreland on Tuesday.
"He was supposed to pitch righthanded, but said he felt stronger lefthanded when he was warming up," Grabowski said. "I got to the game late, and when I saw him pitching in the first inning, he was throwing lefthanded. Read more

Switch-pitcher 6-0 for Holy Ghost Rich Brady Won Four Games Righthanded and Two Lefthanded this Season, May 28, 1993 |

Rich Brady writes with his left hand, shoots a basketball with his right hand and plays first base lefthanded and third base righthanded.
He pitches with his right hand.
And he pitches with his left hand.
The Holy Ghost Prep senior might seem a bit mixed up, but on the baseball diamond, he features a two-armed approach to pitching that is no novelty act. He finished this season with a 6-0 record - four wins righthanded and two lefthanded. He first became intrigued by his emerging ambidexterity at an early age, and he has worked at it ever since.

3 Area Graduates Make it to Baseball Tourney
by Beth Onufrak, June 9, 1994 |

Joe Doto, Tom Kerr and Rich Brady all made the NCAA Division I baseball tournament as members of the Rider College team. The Broncs lost two straight in the tournament and finished the season with a 33-18 record.

Brady, an ambidextrous relief pitcher from Holy Ghost Prep, appeared in seven games and had an 0-1 record.

Read more

Three Local Graduates Helping Rider Squad Glitter on Diamond
by Beth Onufrak, April 27, 1995 |

Rich Brady, a Holy Ghost Prep graduate, is a sophomore who pitches both righthanded and lefthanded for Rider.
"We've used Rich primarily as a middle reliever," Pittaro said. "He's been fairly effective with both arms. He probably has better control lefthanded, but maybe more speed righthanded."

Pennsbury's Doto Sets Rider Longevity Mark
by Beth Onufrak, May 2, 1996 |

Doto is one of three graduates of Bucks County high schools playing for the Broncs. Council Rock grad Tom Kerr is a junior outfielder, and Holy Ghost Prep grad Rich Brady is a junior who can pitch with either hand.
Kerr is hitting .257, has appeared in 36 games and has two game-winning hits. Brady has a 2.92 ERA as a relief pitcher.

Baseball Coach Resigns at HGP His Enthusiasm Gone
by Frank Bertucci, Jan 20, 1998 |
Like so many veteran coaches, Ted Grabowski had said he would quit when he no longer had the enthusiasm for the job as the new season approached. ...

Grabowski's teams compiled a record of 404-185, dominated the Bicentennial League, and were in the District 1 playoffs in either Class AAA (currently) or Class AA nearly every season.

Several years ago, Grabowski also had Rich Brady on his team. Brady, who later played for and graduated from Rider, threw just as well righthanded as he did lefthanded, and Grabowski tried to find the right game situation for having him switch pitching arms. He promised reporters he would let them know whenever he thought he could get away with it, but it never happened.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ryan Perez, switch pitcher - Judson University

BHP = Both Hand Pitcher (ambidextrous)

Born: October 27, 1993
City: Hampshire, Illinois

High School: Westminster Christian2012
College: Judson University, EaglesElgin, Illinois

Height: 6-2
Weight: 190
Positions: RHP/LHP; IF
Bats: Switch hitter
Throws: Both, ambidextrous

Pitches | mph:
FB 89; CH 80; CB 86; SL 78
(source: Perfect Game 2011)

Ryan Perez is a sophomore switch pitcher who plays for Judson University -- a four-year Christian College near Chicago. The Judson Eagles, led by Rich Benjamin, compete in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference of the NAIA.

Perez uses a six-finger ambidextrous glove, from Akadema, for switch pitching.
He throws a fastball in the upper 80's with both arms and touches 90 mph. 


College Pitching Stats for Ryan Perez

Judson University Stats - 2014  Sophomore
2.43 ERA, 12-3 record, 2 saves 
95 SO in 111 IP, 45 BB 

Judson University Stats - 2013 Freshman
4.34 ERA, 5-4 record, 1 save 
71 SO in 56 IP, 32 BB 

Westminster's Perez Picks his School
by Sean Duncan, PBR, April 14, 2012

Judson University landed a major coup when it received a commitment from the No. 12-ranked player in the Illinois, LHP/RHP Ryan Perez from Westminster Christian HS – marking the first time a top 20 player has picked an NAIA school in recent memory. Read more

Ryan Perez | LockerDome

Friday, November 23, 2012

Peter Taraskevich, college switch pitcher

Pete Taraskevich
Hometown: Sunrise, Florida
High School: American Heritage HS 
College: Cumberland University (Class of 2010)

Height/Weight: 6'0"  229
Bats: Left
Throws: Both (ambidextrous)
Glove: In high school, used two gloves for pitching

Draft: Selected by the Twins in 27th round of MLB Draft in 2003

Taraskevich eats, golfs and bats left-handed (.408), shoots baskets and bowls with both hands and writes right-handed. He has always tinkered with the two-handed special delivery in fall and summer league games. At a national showcase in December, he was rated the fourth-best pitcher and the 12th-best prospect overall. (Sun Sentinel)

How he got started throwing with both hands

His rare skill began at 11, when he would throw a tennis ball for hours against the wall of his home in Sunrise, Florida. His father, Steven, a physiology professor at Nova Southeastern and a former high school pitcher, told him to switch hands or he'd become "the youngest candidate for Tommy John surgery."

Throwing Smoke

Whether Pitching Right- Or Left-handed, Peter Taraskevich Confounds Hitters.

June 11, 2003|By Christy Cabrera,
The Twins were likely intrigued not only by Taraskevich's mid-90s fastball, but by his ability to throw both right- and left-handed. Although he always was ambidextrous, it wasn't until he accidentally hit a teammate in youth league play that Taraskevich realized he could use his left hand almost as well as his right. This season, he closed several of his own starts by switching arms, and would like to use the next year to continue developing his left-handed pitches. Read more

The Right-handed Southpaw

May 3, 2002|By Harvey Fialkov,
Switch-hitters are becoming more commonplace in baseball, but switch-pitchers?
When the state's top-ranked American Heritage Patriots (29-2) host Pope John Paul II (16-13) in today's Class 3A regional semifinal, coach Todd Fitz-Gerald has the option of starting a left-handed pitcher and right-handed pitcher -- at the same time. 
Junior starter Peter Taraskevich, who may be held out for Tuesday's possible regional final, would like to become the first effective modern-day ambidextrous major league pitcher. But first he has to convince his high school coach to let him try his unusual talent on a regular basis. Read more

Zion Lutheran Perfect In Quarterfinal Victory

May 3, 2000|
DEERFIELD BEACH — Peter Taraskevich and Rory Mulcahy combined to pitch a perfect game, leading Zion Lutheran to an 11-0 win over Broward Christian in the Class 1A regional quarterfinals Tuesday.
Taraskevich, a freshman, threw just 38 pitches in striking out all nine batters he faced. 
"Peter was able to overpower them," coach Paul Liotti said. "To face nine guys and strike out nine, that's a heck of an accomplishment."

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at American Heritage School … Selected First Team All-State … Voted Player of the Year … Selected in 27th round of MLB Draft in 2003 … Recorded 135 strikeouts with 0.98 ERA and 10-1 record as senior.
Peter Taraskevich  - Cumberland University
2010 (SENIOR): Ambidextrous pitcher ... Appeared in nine games with five starts and one complete game, posting 2-0 mark with 6.75 ERA in 22.2 innings with 19 strikeouts