Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ambidextrous Pitcher Stories

Paul Richards - Ambidextrous pitcher, faces a switch hitter

Ambidextrous Duel Won Finally by the Batter
The Pueblo Indicator - Aug 18, 1928

An ambidextrous pitcher encountered a batter likewise talented in a recent game and the result was a base on balls.

Paul Richards, shortstop, who throws equally well with either hand, was put in the Muskogee box in a Western association game with Topeka after two regular pitchers had been knocked out. All went well until Wilson, a switch batter, came to bat.

Richards wound up left handed and Wilson took the right hand side of the plate. The pitcher changed his glove and Wilson hopped to the other side of the plate. After several changes Richards discarded his glove and wound up with both hands in the air. Pitching alternately with his right and left hand, Richards walked the batter.

-- Muskogee, Oklahoma, July 23, 1928


"Switch-Pitcher' Richards Sets Record Straight

Bob Hersom | May 12, 1983
According to baseball legend, Paul Richards once pitched both games of a high school doubleheader, one right-handed and one left-handed. It's a good story, but it isn't true.
It's close to the truth, though.
During a lengthy interview, Richards was asked about the report of his ambidextrous high school hurling.
"That's not exactly right," said Richards. "I did pitch two complete games in two days, but I pitched with both arms in both games.
I'd pitch right-handed against right-handed batters and left-handed against left-handed batters. That was in 1926, when I was a senior at Waxahachie (Texas) High School."
Richards also pitched with both arms in the minor leagues.

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Tony Mullane

July 16, 1882 -- Ambidextrous pitcher Tony Mullane of Louisville pitched with both hands in a major league game at Baltimore. Normally a right-hander, Mullane switched to the left hand in the fourth inning. He eventually lost 9-8. 

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Greg Harris

Harris Longs to Turn Lefty -- Seriously
By Rob Gloster, AP Sports Writer, Sun Journal - Mar 1, 1994

Greg Harris stood on the mound, his right foot on the pitcher rubber and the ball in his right hand.

Suddenly he pivoted and fired a pickoff throw to first base with his LEFT hand. In an instant, he had switched hands with the ball in order to make the pickoff move more effective and deceptive.

It was just a simulated pickoff during Red Sox pitcher's fielding practice on a spring training morning, but the sleight of hand was a potent symbol of what the ambidextrous Harris someday hopes to accomplish -- pitching both as a lefty and a rightly.

Read more

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Calvin Coolidge McLish

Says Pirates Had Two-Handed Pitcher
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 19, 1955

Editor, The Post-Gazette:
Your editorial (August 16, 1955) chiding the Pirates for not accepting the services volunteered by an ambidextrous Texas pitcher reveals how greatly you underestimate our progressive ball club. Long before the Pirates went in for left-handed catchers and five-man infields they had an ambidextrous pitcher -- Calvin Coolidge McLish of Andarko, Okla.

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Fans Cheer Truman At Opening Game


Pittsburgh Press - Apr 16, 1952

WASHINGTON, April 1 — President Truman, the only ambidextrous pitcher in the major leagues, made his farewell appearance in organized base ball yesterday. He threw out two "first balls" with his left hand.

Mr. Truman, in the seven years he has been President, always has kept baseball writers guessing over which arm he will use to toss out the first ball of the season. In recent years he has shown a preference to be a southpaw. In earlier years, he used his right arm.
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