Sunday, September 29, 2013

Akadema ABX00 Ambidextrous Glove

Akadema ABX00 prosoft ambidextrous six fingered glove. Goes on both hands and is a great $130 dollar alternative to $400 dollar Mizuno Victory Stage or Louisville Slugger BRUTE. 

Ambidextrous Baseball Glove by Akadema

Order the Akadema Ambidextrous Glove for $109.99 on Amazon >>


Friday, September 27, 2013

Pat Venditte's Mizuno Ambidextrous Glove

Minor league switch pitcher Pat Venditte talks about his custom Ambidextrous Glove made by Mizuno

How to Order a Mizuno Ambidextrous Baseball Glove >>


The Shuuto pitch

The Shuuto - Tailing Fastball

Shuuto - "The Great Equalizer"
Watch batters turn into pretzels when trying to hit the shuuto pitch

The shuuto pitch breaks down and in on right-handed batters, so as to prevent them from making solid contact with the ball. The shuuto is also thrown to left-handers off the plate to keep them off balance.

Anyone who has seen Yu Darvish pitch knows that he has some really filthy stuff. His sickest pitches can make professional hitters look like beer league dropouts, swinging wildly while it appears someone has paused time and thumped the ball. What is Yu doing that is so completely baffling batters?

One of Yu’s signature pitches is called the shuuto. Several Japanese pitchers have thrown the shuuto here in MLB; among them are Hiroki Kuroda, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hisanori Takahashi, and the Rangers’ own Yu Darvish. Getting an exact definition of the shuuto is difficult.  Read more

Two-seam Fastball of Yu Darvish
Does Darvish throw the shuuto pitch?

A two-seam fastball, sometimes called a two-seamer, tailing fastball, running fastball, or sinker is another variant of the straight fastball.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Switch pitcher vs switch hitter video

4 minute video |  8 minute video

June 19, 2008 Staten Island Yankees @ Brooklyn Cyclones bottom of the 9th reliever Pat Venditte closes out the ball game.

Pat Venditte - ambidextrous pitcher with the Yankees minor league organization, faces a switch hitter - creating a lot of confusion for the umpires regarding the rules.

"This very situation might create a change in the rulebook." - states one of the commentators.

He was right – the situation did lead to a new rule for ambidextrous pitchers:

Read about the Pat Venditte Rule

Minor League Switch-Pitcher Sets Off Confusion -


Friday, September 20, 2013

Justin Bieber throws sky high Eephus pitch

Justin Bieber throws out the ceremonial first eephus pitch before the White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field on May 3, 2010.

An Eephus pitch (also spelled Ephus) in baseball is a very low speed junk pitch. The delivery from the pitcher has very low velocity and usually catches the hitter off-guard.

The Eephus pitch is thrown overhand like most pitches, but is characterized by an unusual, high arcing trajectory with a peak around 20–25 feet. (Wikipedia)

Ted Williams hit a three-run homer off the ''eephus,'' an arching blooper pitch, thrown by Rip Sewell, that reached a height of 25 feet before coming straight down toward the plate. Read more

Baseball Pitching : How to Throw an Eephus Pitch - YouTube

How To Throw A Eephus - The Complete Pitcher

Carlos Villanueva's 57-mph eephus pitch vexes Jayson Werth

A-Rod crushes eephus pitch for home run


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pitching tips

How to Throw Harder - Pitching Tips from a Former Boston Red Sox
- increase stride length
- gain momentum toward home plate
- use the lower half to drive off the rubber

23 Youth Pitching Tips For Beginning Baseball Pitchers

Mariano Rivera Teaches 3 Important Pitching Tips - YouTube


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Batting average of a switch hitter

What is the highest batting average of a switch hitter in professional baseball?

     Highest Batting Average 
(In a Season by a Switch Hitter) 
New York

Career Batting Stats for Major League Switch Hitters

Chipper Jones chalked up a .303 batting average as a switch hitter, recording 
2,726 hits and 468 home runs while playing 19 years with the Braves.

Mickey Mantle posted a .298 batting average as a switch hitter, with
2,415 hits and 536 home runs, while playing for the NY Yankees.

Pete Rose tallied a .303 batting average as a switch hitter, with
4,256 hits and 160 home runs over a 24 year career.

Major League Baseball: Ranking the Top 10 Active Switch-Hitters

Why are switch hitters rare?


Jorge Rubio was encouraged to become ambidextrous by the Reds

Jorge Rubio

Born: April 23, 1945 (age 68), Mexicali, Mexico
Height/Weight: 6-3, 200 lbs.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right  (Ambidextrous ability)

MLB Teams: California Angels 1966-1967; Cincinnati Reds
Minor League: Seattle Angels 1965-1966

MLB Record: 2-3
ERA: 3.19

Jorge Jesús Rubio Chávez is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for two seasons. A natural right-handed pitcher, Rubio was encouraged to throw  ambidextrous by the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1960s. 

Best Performance with the Angels:
Jorge Rubio had a complete game shutout with 15 strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, October 2, 1966 at Anaheim Stadium.

Jorge Rubio - the ambidextrous pitcher

March 11, 1968
Some Hot Rookies For A New Season - SI Vault, March 11, 1968

No matter how you look at it, there is a challenge facing Jorge Rubio. Statistically, he is 22 years old and merely one of the 100 and more rookies who will be trying to force themselves into the major leagues by their performances in spring training during the next five weeks. However, Rubio, a right-hander, is totally different from the rest because the Cincinnati Reds are currently encouraging him to become ambidextrous. In all of baseball, there have been few pitchers like him.

The Two-way Kerfs Pitcher - News-Journal, 25 March 1968

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jorge Jesus Rubio has pitched two major league victories in his life. Cy Young couldn't. He can throw curves with either hand and you can't hardly find ambidextrous pitchers these days. Read more

Ambidextrous Red Gives Right Rest - The Piqua Daily Call, 15 March 1968

TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) - Jorge Rubio doesn't let his right arm know what his left arm is doing because it's more than tired. 

Rubio, a rookie acquired from the California Angels in the Sammy Ellis trade last November (1967), arrived in camp with a split baseball personality and a tired right arm. It seems his right arm, the one he has used throughout his brief professional career, was overworked in Mexico during the winter. So, Rubio did the next best thing. He broke out a southpaw mitt and began throwing batting practice from the port side. "I've got the same speed lefthanded as I do right," explained, the 22-year-old Rubio "and I can throw a slider left handed. But I need more practice and better control. My right arm is tired right now. It needs a rest." 

Rublo, whose powerful arms emanate from a rugged 6-foot-3 200-pound frame, first toyed with the idea of being double duty while in high school. In Mexico he pitched a couple of games lefthanded. "I won them both" he said.

Read more  (OCR text)

Angels Deal Chance to Minnesota Twins
"As for out pitching, I'm hopping Jorge Rubio will step in and say 'I'm it.' He has the best curve in our organization. His 15 strikeouts against Cleveland on the last day of the season impressed me. We're hoping he can join Marcelino Lopez, George Brunet and Fred Newman as our fourth starter." - said Bill Rigney, Angels manager.
The Spokesman-Review - Dec 3, 1966

Ambidextrous Rubio Says Two Pitching Arms Better Than One
Los Angeles Times | Mar 15, 1968

All the Pitchers Who Didn't Fit - Rob Neyer

Hurler Jorge Rubio, obtained from the Angels in the Sammy Ellis trade, is ambidextrous.

Jorge Rubio Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac

Jorge Rubio Trade

November 29, 1967: Traded by the California Angels with Bill Kelso to the Cincinnati Reds for Sammy Ellis.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The UCLA Fastball - Pitching up in the strike zone

After watching UCLA pitchers dominate in the 2013 College World Series, my son Henry noticed that they got a lot of hitters to swing at the high fastball – like in Little League.

We refer to the high heater as the UCLA fastball.

At UCLA they refer to the high fastball as the "one spot."

The traditional low fastball can lead to errors

Pitching coaches over the years have emphasized locating pitches low in the strike zone – to induce ground ball outs. But grounders can be difficult to field and players rush the throw, so routine ground ball outs sometimes turn into errors. And hard grounders become infield hits.

So keeping the ball low in the zone to induce ground balls it's always the best strategy.

Mixing in the high fastball yields outs

High fastballs, on the other hand, can lead to swinging strikes, pop-ups or easy fly outs.

This was the case in the recent Little League World Series. Players swung at the high pitches because they looked good to them. While the lower fastballs, over the plate, turned into hard grounders,  line drives or home runs.

With the new bats used in high school and college, fly balls are rarely home runs – they are typically fly outs. Many high school umpires call a high strike zone, but they don't call strikes around the knees – so pitching up in the zone can be a good strategy for pitchers.

Changing Locations

A good approach is to vary the location of the fastball and change where the hitter is looking. That's the strategy that Adam Plutko used while pitching for UCLA.

High fastballs worked for UCLA in the College World Series

UCLA baseball: Adam Plutko bewilders another team

Plutko underwhelms. Teams are tantalized by his high fastball, which mostly results in pop-ups or lazy fly balls. He has 28 career victories and is 2-0 in College World Series play. - Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times

CWS : Plutko pitches UCLA past LSU | Perfect Game USA

"We worked all week on fastballs chest high. We had a pretty good game plan, but when he threw the fastball up, it was hard for our guys to lay off of it," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "I thought we crushed three balls as hard as we could."

The tale of the tape on Plutko is impressive. He induced 13 fly balls and six ground outs in the contest, improving to an astonishing 6-0 in the NCAA postseason in his three-year college career.

From a stuff standpoint, Plutko was his typical self. He threw his fastball anywhere from 88-91, but stayed very much in the strike zone, elevating his pitches and striving for early contact, the exact recipe that has allowed him to become one of the more decorated pitchers in UCLA history.

Throughout UCLA’s 3-1 win in game one of the College World Series finals, Plutko elevated his fastball on purpose to change the eye level of Mississippi State’s hitters.
“A lot of people don’t think I throw fastballs down in the zone. But that’s completely false,” Plutko said. “I throw up in the zone because I throw down in the zone as well. It plays off each other.”
The Bruins call it the “one spot.” It’s an elevated chest-high fastball over the plate.

2013 College World Series - Game Recaps and Box Scores

Locating Up in the Zone – Better for Amateur/Recreational Pitchers

Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball makes a case for pitchers locating pitches up in the strike zone, counter to what most coaches teach.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Yank Robinson - Experimented with Ambidextrous Pitching

Yank Robinson
William H. "Yank" Robinson 
(September 19, 1859 – August 25, 1894) 

Yank Robinson was a Major League Baseball player who played ten years in the Major Leagues from 1882 - 1892.

Positions: Infielder, played every position including pitcher

Batted: Right  .241 BA
Threw: Right

In 1885 and 1886, Yank Robinson wound up playing every position except shortstop for the Brownies and in '86 stole 51 bases. He would continue on as a utility player for the majority of his career, even doing a little pitching for the Browns in 1886.
Read more

Yank Robinson, who was normally an infielder, also experimented with ambidextrous pitching 
(Chicago Journal, February 12, 1888).

World Series Champion: 1886 (St. Louis Browns)

Yank Robinson Statistics and History -

Yank Robinson Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac


A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball ...

 By Peter Morri

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Clyde "Pea Ridge" Day - The Hog-Calling Pitcher was Ambidextrous

Henry Clyde "Pea Ridge" Day
Born August 26, 1899 in Center, Missouri
Day, whose attempts to come back from arm surgery were unsuccessful, sadly took his own life in 1934.

Nicknames: Pea Ridge, Hog Calling Pitcher

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers), Kansas City Blues 

The man we know as Pea Ridge was called Clyde from a young age, though his given name was Henry.

Day was decent sized, about 6 feet and 190 pounds, and possessed a strong build chiseled from his days working on the farm. He continually bragged about being the strongest man in professional baseball.

Day made his reputation, though, for his stunts on the field. A newspaper said of him, “Pea Ridge has more color than a funny name. He is a hog caller. He made so much noise yelling, even when he was pitching, that the umpires and players protested.” Day would hoot, holler, or break into a prolonged hog call while on the mound after a strikeout or other key play.

Hog-calling pitcher, Pea Ridge Day
For a time in the minors, he also experimented with throwing ambidextrously. Al Lopez, who caught Day on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1931, said of Day, “He was a character, big barrel-chested guy. Had a helluva screwball, never could pitch, though.”

source: Clyde Day Biography | SABR, by Brian McKenna

The Hog-Calling Pitcher faces the Babe

Hall-of-Fame catcher Al Lopez caught for Day in 1931. In an Associated Press interview, Lopez recounted a story about a 1931 exhibition game against the New York Yankees. 

"The fans had been reading about him being a champion hog caller, so they all started calling 'Yip, yip yeeee!' He strikes out the first hitter, puts the ball and glove down and lets out this call. He strikes out the next batter and does it again. Babe Ruth was on deck, and he gets a big kick out of it. He’s laughing at this guy. Then he has Ruth with two strikes. It gets real quiet. The fans are hoping he'll strike out Ruth so he can yell again. On the third pitch, Ruth hits one a mile over the fence. Pea Ridge never did his hog call again.” (source: Wikipedia)

The Screwball, Ambidextrous Pitching and the Strongest Man 

“Pea Ridge” Day was just like the only decent pitch he could throw: a screwball. The strawberry farmer from Pea Ridge, Arkansas was fun-loving and played ball with the enthusiasm of a little boy - he just wasn’t all that good at it. Pea Ridge was known more for his eccentricities than he was for his pitching.

To make up for his lack of speed, Day began pitching both left and right handed. When the ambidextrous routine failed to improve his record, Day began billing himself as the strongest man in the game. To demonstrate, he would take a teammate’s belt, strap it tight around his chest and breath in deep, busting the belt buckle. Tired of buying new belts, one of his teammates replaced a standard belt with a heavy-duty horse harness. Pea Ridge inhaled deeply and promptly broke half his ribs. (source: Gary Joseph Cieradkowski)
Read more

Loss of Arm Behind Day Tragedy
Costly operation had failed to restore Pea Ridge's whip to form.
March 21, 1934

Grief over a pitching arm that lost its thunder caused Clyde Day's suicide at Kansas City last week.

Members of his family hold  to that version of Cyde's actions when he slit his throat with a hunting knife, an act which puzzled much of the baseball world which knew him-- for all his eccentricities -- as a care-free, fun-loving figure who gave the game one of its most widely-known characters.

But the powerful right arm of the solidly-built Pea Ridge--a name he carried through ten years of baseball since his professional debut with Joplin in the fall of 1921--was shot, and the hurler, more than anyone else, knew it, and brooded almost continually over the fact.

Pea Ridge saw fame, glory and fortune that he once knew fading away. Last spring he tried to catch on at Little Rock, Ark., and they sent him to Minneapolis. There he was released. 

Day did what he thought was the last thing left for him to do. He went to Rochester, Minn., and underwent a delicate and expensive operation on his arm, which he thought would restore to it the old snap and endurance it once knew. Day told members of his family he had spent almost $10,000 on the arm; and when he returned, crest-fallen, to his home, he said the operation did no good. He knew the arm was gone, but he wanted to carry on. (source: Obit by Porter Wittich)
Read more

Pea Ridge Day Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac

Goold: Meet Pea Ridge Day, the Cardinals' hog-calling pitcher

Clyde "Pea Ridge" Day (1899–1934) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Pea Ridge Day: The Hog Calling Pitcher Gets Another Chance

Pea Ridge Day Memorial 
Memorial plaque at a park named in his honor in his hometown in the Ozarks.
Hog calling, or pig calling is the art of making a call to encourage pigs to approach the callee. The skill is mainly used by pig farmers, and to a lesser extent by hunters. Competitions in hog calling are held.

Nick Bohannan - Ambidextrous Pitcher

Nick "Bo" Bohannan

Hometown: O'Fallon, Missouri
Fort Zumwalt North High School (Class of 2016)

Summer Team: Missouri Renegades Select 18U

Height/Weight: 6'1", 175
Positions: RHP/LHP, OF, 1B
Bats: Both 
Throws: both - ambidextrous
Dominant hand: right

Velocity: 78 mph with both arms (2015)

Glove: Mizuno custom made six-finger glove

HS Sports: Basketball and baseball

Nick Bohannan is a hard throwing ambidextrous pitcher from Missouri. An online video shows that he has good mechanics and control from both sides.

For switch pitching, Nick uses a unique six-finger glove that was custom-made by Mizuno ($450). Visit Bohannan's website

Why he started pitching with both arms

Nick was about two years old when he started throwing wiffle balls playing catch with his dad.
Over time he learned to throw the balls back with both hands for fun.

His dad said that his son liked to catch the ball with his dominant right hand, so he bought Nick a glove for a lefty.

As Nick kept catching with the lefty glove, he eventually learned to throw the ball back with his left hand.

At nine, he had more controll with his right hand, but threw harder left-handed.

His goal is to play college baseball and pitch with both hands.


Do college coaches like switch hitters?

Some college coaches like switch hitters and others don't. There are coaches at every level who think that switch hitting is a waste of time or just a gimmick.

Coaches who like switch hitters know that the players are self-motivated and put in a lot of extra work. College coaches like players who are used to putting in the work every day to get better.

Over the past decade, coaches were focused on recruiting power hitters – especially left-handed hitters. Switch hitters tend to hit above average, but are not typically power hitters from both sides.

What College Coaches say about switch hitting

One D1 college baseball coach told my switch hitting son:

"If your coach tells you to stick to hitting from only one side, then it's time to find a new team."

The coach believed that switch hitting was an advantage and he suggested that Henry should keep hitting right- and left-handed.

Another college coach suggested that my son should focus on hitting left-handed, since he has a better swing from that side. Plus, he only has a couple years left of playing in high school and an estimated 3,000 practice swings. If you balance hitting on both sides, that's only 1,500 swings per side. It is something to think about.

Switch Hitting in High School is Very Rare

About 90% of high school pitchers throw right-handed.  The remaining 10% are left-handed.

Maybe 1% of high school players are switch hitters, and most focus on swinging lefty.

With the new BBCOR bats, that hit like wood, it is very unlikely that you will see many switch hitters in high school.

In game situations, switch hitter Henry Knight bats lefty about 90% of the time since he faces mostly right-handed pitchers. He switches to bat righty vs left-handed pitchers -- about 10% of the time.

One week, he hit 4-for-5 batting right-handed against left-handed pitchers.

When he was young, he used to hit equal on both sides and would swing left in one game and right the next. He struck out only once a season using this balanced approach to switch hitting.

50% more work

Initially, a hitter needs to put in twice as much work to groove their swings on both sides. After a couple of years of switch hitting, a player can make adjustments to the time spent hitting.

Now during practice, Henry swings left-handed about 70% of the time, and right-handed about 30%. Plus, he takes about 50% more swings than most players. The training strategy worked out well and he was one of the top hitters on the team. During the summer, he hit .500 as a switch hitter, with a .677 OBP in a 15U league.

Switch Hitting in College is also Rare

In college baseball, about one-third of the pitchers are left-handed and two-thirds are right-handed. So switch hitting in college could be a good strategy. Most teams average only one switch hitter on a 35 man roster, but some of the best teams have two or three switch hitters.

Since there aren't many switch hitters in high school, college coaches mainly recruit right- or left-handed batters with solid swings and bat speed.

Aubrey McCarty, a switch hitter and ambidextrous pitcher, will be playing for Vanderbilt in 2014 -- one of the top college baseball teams. McCarty was drafted by the Giants, but decided to get a good education and play college baseball.


Why are switch hitters rare?


Baseball workouts for pitchers

Real Workouts: Justin Verlander

Developing Rotational Power

Eric Cressey gives MLB pitcher Tim Collins step-by-step instructions in these videos: 

Hot Feet Recoiled Shotput exercise

Half Kneeling Deceleration Catch

Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Carry

Lateral High Knee Skips

Baseball Workouts | STACK >>

Special Conditioning for Pitchers
A pitcher completes a very explosive movement that lasts about 3 seconds and then rests for 20 seconds. The goals for pitcher conditioning should be to mimic the physical stresses of competition and train the same energy system.