Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paul Green - Ambidextrous Pitcher and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Paul Eliot Green
Paul Eliot Green
17 March 1894 - 4 May 1981
Harnett County, North Carolina
Buie's Creek Academy, Class of 1914

Colleges: University of North Carolina, Cornell

Positions: LHP/RHP (ambidextrous pitcher)

Paul Green, Harnett County’s Native Son, was a powerful pitcher – AND he could pitch with either hand and DID, without declaring which one – back in the good old days of baseball!

How Paul Green started switch pitching - 
"When he was 10, he got osteomyelitis in his right arm and had to have a serious operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, another terrifying experience. But he showed a typical Paul Green resilience and determination when, during his convalescence, he learned to pitch ball with his left arm, a talent that brought him money later in life as an ambidextrous sandlot league pitcher. (It was still legal in those days to disguise which hand the ball was to emerge from.") -- from A Daughter's Biography of Paul Green

"In addition to working the farm, Paul and [brother] Hugh hunted together and played semiprofessional baseball in towns up and down the river. Paul became such a fine ambidextrous pitcher that he supported himself a couple of summers with his baseball earnings." -- from A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981 (Laurence Avery, editor).

Green's switch pitching strategy - 
According to teammate Daniel Stewart, Green usually pitched right-handed to right-handed batters and left-handed to lefties, but occasionally changed hands while pitching to the same batter. Stewart played baseball several summers with Green and thought him the only one of his acquaintances with major league potential.


Author Paul Green (1894-1981) was one of the South’s most revered writers, and one of America’s most distinguished. The first playwright from the South to gain national and international recognition, he was part of that remarkable generation of writers who first brought southern writing to the attention of the world. Read More

Paul Green Wins Pulitzer
The Pulitzer Prize for drama was awarded to Harnett native Paul Green in 1927 for his work In Abraham's Bosom.

Paul Green was born and raised in Harnett County near Buie's Creek. In his early years, he gained notoriety in the area as an outstanding, ambidextrous baseball pitcher. Following graduation from Buie's Creek Academy in 1914, Green attended the University of North Carolina before being called away to serve in the 30th Division during World War I. Upon his return from service, Green did graduate work in philosophy at both the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Cornell, before returning to UNC as an assistant professor of philosophy.


Harnett County:: A History

 By John Hairr


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