Thursday, February 12, 2015

Connie Walsh Ambidextrous Pitcher 1916

Connie Walsh As An Ambidextrous Pitcher

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) 2 Mar 1916

Sporting News Connie Walsh, veteran minor league pitcher and manager from the Three-I League, says that if the only fault with Outfielder Ed Rousch is that if he has found it necessary to switch arms in throwing, then the former Fed should make good in the majors. According to Walsh some of the best work he recalls has been done by players who had to make just such a switch because of injury or otherwise. He cites the case of Frank Romine, who was about the best pitcher in the Tree-I last year as a case.


I know from my own experience says Walsh. "I always could throw with either arm and I always caused more than one argument by turning my glove and switching on batters as they came up. The funniest experience I ever had in this way was in the New England league in 1909. I signned with New Bedford as a right-handed pitcher.

I had been working out and was in good shape when I reported, but the weather was cold in New England, and I decided to take no chances I borrowed a right-handed glove from a south paw pitcher who had a bad wrist and couldn't work and went at it left-handed. Slattery, the catcher of the team was in charge while Tommy Dowd the manager was off coaching in a college somewhere.

"I took my first work out as a southpaw and Slattery said to me "I thought you was a right-hander.

"No" I told him "I'm a southpaw"

He looked me over and went on.


The weather didn't warm up and I pitched left-handed until the opening day though I tossed a few over in secret right-handed to Paddy Bauman who knew me and was on. The opening day came and I was picked to pitch the game. I went to the mound and started to throw in a few to Slattery right-handed.

"What the jumping Geegees are you trying to do" he lered at me.

 "Will, I'll tell you Slats, I said, I'm a right hander or a left hander but I'm going to be a right hander
today. Just hold your horses and I'll beat em'

And I did working easy, for the right arm was in good shape.

After the game Dowd and Slattery collared me. "If you can pitch either way, why don't you pitch
left-handed when I picked a southpaw" said Slattery.

"Wll you see,, I told him I'm a left hander in practice but my left wing loses its strength in a ball game.
And that was a fact for I did not have the nerve to go through with it in that first game.

"O tp;d upi om a letter he was a right-hander" said Dowd.

"Well, he told me different" said Slattery and I thought he ought to know left from right.

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