Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ricky King - Alabama State 1989


Pitcher puts new twist on old idea

The San Bernardino County Sun, 15 May 1989

Switch-hitters are not an uncommon sight in baseball, so Alabama State University's Ricky King figured he'd try pitching with both arms.

King, who is ambidextrous, made his season pitching debut against Samford, starting out as a left-hander, then throwing as a right-hander.

As a left-hander, he walked the leadoff man John McCleney. As the next hitter strode to the plate, one of King's teammate emerged from the Hornet dugout to bring King a different glove.

"Ricky King is now making an equipment change," the public address announcer said. "Have you ever heard of switch batters? Well, here is a switch pitcher. Ricky King is now pitching right-handed."

Samford apparently was not amused by the novelty of King's switch. Robert Alvarado smacked the first pitcher – right-handed, that is – into right field for a single. Jayce Allen walked to load the bases, and Joe Connick belted King's next pitch into left field to score two runs.

The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the inning to neutralize Alabama State's secret weapon and eventually win, 16-5.

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