Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ambidextrous Pitcher Greg Harris - Switch Pitched in One MLB game

Greg Harris was the last major league switch pitcher to throw with both hands in an MLB game on September 28, 1995.

Greg A. Harris - Ambidextrous Pitcher

Born: 11/2/1955
Bats/Throws: B/B
Height/Weight: 6-0/175
Position: Pitcher

RHP: 88-89 mph; two-seamer, four-seamer, curve and changeup
LHP: 80-81 mph; two-seamer, four-seamer, curve and changeup

Harris could throw strikes from both sides, but was not allowed to switch pitch in a game.

Harris' manager in Texas, Bobby Valentine, was quite a character in his own right, but Valentine never allowed Harris to pull his trick in a game despite the pitcher's urging. 
"I don't understand why he never let me do it," Harris says. "Bobby said he'd let me if I could master three things: being able to throw 25 strikes in 30 pitches, which I could do, having a curveball, which I already had, and throwing 80-plus mph, which I could. (MLB.com)

For one inning, left was right
The Majors' last switch-pitcher enjoys his place in history
Greg A. Harris is a busy man these days.

He gives private pitching lessons and baseball clinics in Orange County, Calif., he's raising an 11-year-old son, he helps out with Little League coaching and he's involved with Connie Mack and Mickey Mantle teams, too.

But there's one subject he'll always find time to talk about, and when he does, it seems like he can put off his hectic life for hours.

The tempo of his voice quickens with excitement until he's overflowing with vivid minute-by-minute details of his most precious memory.

Ten years ago today, Harris pitched in the Major Leagues -- with both hands.

The natural right-hander is the last one to do it and the only one in baseball's modern era. He was the first to accomplish the feat in over 100 years.

Read more

Expos' Harris: 2-Fisted Pitcher

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Greg Harris became the first player to pitch with both hands in a game in modern major-league history, working a scoreless ninth inning Thursday night for the Montreal Expos in a 9-7 loss to Cincinnati.
Harris, who had wanted to pitch ambidextrously for a decade but was forbidden by his own team, faced four batters in the ninth - two from his normal right side and two as a lefty.
Using a special six-finger glove, Harris became the first ambidextrous pitcher in the majors since Elton "Ice Box" Chamberlain of the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in 1888.

Harris designed a six-finger glove with two thumbs

"I was warming up with both hands every day and I really felt it helped me stay fresh," Harris says. "I just turned my glove around, shagged, loosened up and got ready to pitch."

Eventually, Harris tired of turning the glove around, so he designed a special six-finger mitt with two thumbs that made for an easy transition from hand to hand. He brought it to his glove manufacturer, Mizuno, and the Japanese company had a prototype produced for him right away.

"You look at my baseball cards from 1986 on," Harris says, "and that's the six-finger glove I used for the rest of my career."

Ambidextrous Harris Gives Special Glove To Baseball Hall Of Fame

Now presenting a six-fingered glove used by ambidextrous pitcher Greg Harris.


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