Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The advantage of left-handers


In Sports, Left-Handers Exploit Edge Every Day
by FRANK DEFORD | NPR
August 11, 2010

For the 90 percent of us who do things the right way, it has probably escaped our attention that, for the past 34 years, Aug. 13 has been designated International Left-Handers Day. As a minority that has been historically put upon, you southpaws certainly deserve your own holiday this Friday.

However, and not to be gauche about it — in sports, every day is left-handers' day.
Trust me, if you are a young parent and you want to give your son every advantage — spending a fortune sending him to all the right schools, and teaching him all sorts of cultural skills — just save your money.

Instead, tie his right arm behind his back as soon as he gets out of the crib and teach him to be a left-handed relief pitcher, and that kid of yours will still be making a good living pitching when you're in assisted living — him paying your way. A left-handed reliever can go on forever.

Listen to the Story

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Switch Pitcher - Harder to hit throwing lefty than righty
Henry Knight pitching left-handed

Henry Knight is a switch pitcher, who is naturally right-handed, but he his much harder to hit against when he throws left-handed. During the high school season he only gave up one earned run throwing lefty, vs a handful throwing righty. He throws the same pitches from both sides, but the left-handed throws have more movement and are harder for the batter to track.

As a lefty, Henry Knight had a 0.78 ERA pitching on varsity in his sophomore year.

Knight finished the 2013 season with a 11:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (22K/2BB).

Read more

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Left-handed Baseball Players Have Advantage

A brief article on the Washington University in Saint Louis website discusses how left-handed pitchers and hitters have a distinct advantage in the game of baseball.
This is probably not surprising news to most readers of this site, but the math has been done, and despite roughly 90% of the adult population being right-handed, about 25% of professional baseball players are left-handed. Two and a half times the national average is no joke.

Statistics brought out in the article to support the thesis that baseball favors lefties include the fact that 59 of the 138 hitters enshrined at the baseball hall of fame are lefties. That’s nearly 43%.
When the eight switch-hitters are added to the tally, the percentage rises to 49.
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Baseball diamonds: the lefthander’s best friend

By Tony Fitzpatrick


“Ninety percent of the human population is right-handed, but in baseball 25 percent of the players, both pitchers, and hitters, are left-handed,” said Peters, a devoted St. Louis Cardinal fan who attended “Stan the Man’s” last ball game at Sportsman’s Park in 1963. “There is a premium on lefthanders for a number of reasons. For starters, take seeing the ball.
“A right-handed batter facing a right-handed pitcher actually has to pick up the ball visually as it comes from behind his (the batter’s) left shoulder. The left-handed batter facing the right-handed pitcher has the ball coming to him, so he has a much clearer view of pitches.”
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What gives a left-handed pitcher an advantage over a left-handed batter?

Find out the answer here

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