Monday, December 3, 2012

Ed Head, ambidextrous pitcher, Brooklyn Dodgers

Ed Head - Ambidextrous Pitcher
Edward Marvin Head
Born: January 25, 1918 in Selma, Louisiana
High School: Ouachita Parish HS, West Monroe, LA

Team: Brooklyn Dodgers 1940-1946
Position: Pitcher
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 175 lb.
Bats: Right
Throws: RHP in MLB; LHP in high school

Ed Head was a southpaw in high school, but switched to his right after breaking his arm in a bus crash in 1935. Here is the story:

Ed Head wasn’t the first—or last—Louisiana high school pitching standout who went on to big league stardom. But he is the only one who was a lefthander in high school and a righthander in the big leagues.

For the first 17 years of his life, Head was a southpaw. But his left arm was crushed in a head-on collision of two school busses on a narrow country road near the Arkansas state line in 1935, when Head and his teammates were on their way back to Bastrop after a baseball game.

The doctor in Mer Rouge wanted to amputate, but Head vetoed that motion and Dr. Lucian Larche was able to save the arm. The only thing Ed wouldn’t be able to do with his left arm was pitch.

Head went back to the farm with his left arm in cast and started throwing things—starting with corncobs, and working his way up to baseballs—with his right arm. Four years after the accident he signed a pro contract, and one year later Edward Marvin Head was pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers with his right arm.

That’s the one he used to pitch a no-hit, no-run game against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field on April 23, 1946.

source: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

Ed Head in the headlines
The Maple Leaf - Apr 29, 1946

Switch Pitching in the Big League
Prior to Harris the last major leaguer to use both arms was a Brooklyn pitcher with the poetic name of Ed Head. In the 1940s, he once pitched with both arms against the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Baseball Digest reported he did so briefly, in just one inning, "after injuring his right arm," throwing "a number of pitches with his left arm in a 9-7 loss to Cincinnati." - Wayne Stewart

You're the Umpire: 139 Scenarios to Test Your Baseball Knowledge

 By Wayne Stewart

Ed Head Stats - Baseball-Reference

Ed Head - Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame


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