Thursday, February 5, 2015

William Herrmann 1907 - Uses Both His Wings

The Salt Lake Herald (Utah) 30 Dec 1907


Pitcher Who Uses Both His Wings

Ambidextrous Twirler May Get a Trial With Eastern League.

New York, Dec. 30, 1907 - An ambidextrous pitcher, one that can pitch equally well with either hand, has come to the surface in New York. How rare it is to find such a man may be gathered from the fact that there is no record of an ambidextrous twirler except Elton Chamberlain having played in any league in the country.

Baseball men are inclined to regard the development of such a man as an impossibility. They say that even if a twirler could use either hand for pitching, he would be so much better with one hand that he would seldom risk using the other in an important contest.

But William Herrmann, of the Manhasett club of the Bronx, is a twirler who pitches with either right or left hand with perfect confidence. He did this all last summer, to the great confusion of opposing batsmen, and he is now regarded as a veritable freak by the baseball enthusiasts of the upper part of the city.

Always in Shape for Game.

Manager W. E. Pfaff of the Manhansett club, who is a cousin of the ambidextrous one, says it
is fascinating to see the ease with which Herrmann shifts his delivery from one side to the other.

"He has got it down so fine that many spectators might watch him pitch several innings without noticing it." said Manager Pfaff. "I never have any doubts about Herrmann being in shape for a game, for if one arm happens to be a trifle overworked I know that he is there with the other."

Like most good ball players, Herrmann began on the lots when a youngster in knickerbockers. He has played every position on the diamond, but up to three years ago thought that catching was his real forte. Then he discovered his ability to pitch with either hand, and, to his surprise, a little practice made him perfectly ambidextrous. Herrmann is a steady young fellow of 22 and lives with his wife and children at 774 Prospect avenue, Bronx. This fact has made him stick pretty closely to the trade of retail butcher, but his heart is with the diamond and he is trying hard to be given a trial in one of the important leagues.

Wants League Try Out

He hopes that either the Jersey City or Newark club of the Eastern league will give him a chance next spring.

His friends feel sure that Herrmann will make good wherever he goes, for he is not only a good natural ball players, but has made a thorough study of the art of twirling. He knows every curve and shoot used on the diamond and can deliver them all with either hand. He also has a new curve of his own that he intends to use some day when he has thoroughly mastered it.

Hermann pitched nine game for the Manhasett team last season and won six of them. In these nine games he struck out eight-three men.

Read the Article

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A Modern Day Pitcher Like Herrmann ...

William Herrmann reminds me a lot of high school ambidextrous pitcher Henry Knight, who played all positions on the diamond, including catcher. He once switch pitched an 11-inning game -- averaging 11 pitches per inning -- in 90 degree heat.
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