Switch hitter

In baseball, a switch hitter is a player who bats both right-handed and left-handed, usually right-handed against left-handed pitchers and left-handed against right-handed pitchers.

Characteristics

Usually, right-handed batters hit better against left-handed pitchers and vice versa. Most curveballs break away from batters hitting from the same side as the opposing pitcher, making them harder to hit with the barrel (or "sweet spot") of the bat. Additionally, the pitcher's release is farther from the batter's center of vision. In switch-pitcher Pat Venditte's words, "If I'm pitching right-handed and they're hitting right-handed, it's tougher for them to see. And then, your breaking pitches are going away from their barrel rather than into their barrel."[1] Even so, many switch-hitters do better from one side of the plate than the other.

Numerous switch-hitters have achieved a higher batting average on one side, yet have more power from the other. For instance, New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle always considered himself a better right-handed hitter, but hit more home runs left-handed.[2] However, many of Mantle's left-handed home runs were struck at Yankee Stadium, a park notorious for being very friendly to left-handed power hitters due to the short right field porch, and Mantle batted left-handed much more often than right-handed, simply because there have always been more right-handed than left-handed pitchers. Mantle's longest home run, a 565-foot clout in 1953 at Washington's Griffith Stadium, came batting right-handed.

Most switch-hitters have been right-handed throwers, though–among other exceptions–there have been the following players: Lance Berkman, Dave Collins, Doug Dascenzo, Mitch Webster, Wes Parker, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Justin Smoak, David Segui, Daniel Nava, and J. T. Snow (who, in the final years of his career, hit exclusively left-handed).

Switch-hitting pitchers are relatively rare. They include Mordecai Brown, Norm Charlton,[3] Marvin Rotblatt, Sid Monge, Johnny Vander Meer, J.C. Romero, Kyle Snyder, Wandy Rodriguez, Troy Patton, Tim Dillard, Tyler Johnson, Carlos Zambrano, Dock Ellis, Vida Blue, Anthony Claggett, Kris Medlen, Justin De Fratus, Drew Storen and Kenley Jansen. Joaquín Andújar sometimes hit right-handed against lefties, sometimes left-handed. Tomo Ohka batted left-handed against right-handed pitchers in three games in 2006, but otherwise batted exclusively right-handed. Left-handed reliever Steve Kline was primarily a switch hitter, but batted right-handed against right-handed pitchers several times throughout his career.[4]

Management also had a say in the switch-hitting careers of Bob Gibson and Dwight Gooden. Both Gibson and Gooden—each right-handed, and a fine hitting pitcher—had reached the major leagues as a switch-hitter, and both their teams required them to bat only right-handed, to reduce the possibility of their pitching arms being hit by a pitch.

Vs. switch pitchers

Pat Venditte, who played college baseball for the Creighton Bluejays, regularly pitched with both arms.[5] Venditte, drafted by the New York Yankees in 2008, was called up to the Oakland Athletics' major-league roster in 2015.[6] When he opposed switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez while in the minor leagues, Venditte switched his modified glove to his left arm. Henriquez then switched to batting left-handed, and a series of changes continued for several minutes. This prompted the PBUC (Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation) to issue rules about switch-pitching: switch-pitchers must choose which way they will begin pitching before they start. Then, batters will select the side of home plate from which they will hit. The batter and the pitcher are each allowed one switch during the plate appearance, after the first pitch is thrown.[7]

Notable switch hitters

  • Mickey Mantle — The all-time home run leader among switch-hitters, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and one of a handful of players in the conversation for "greatest player ever".
  • Chipper Jones — Also a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and the most recent of only two switch-hitters with extended MLB careers (5,000 at-bats or more) to have a career batting average of .300 from each side of home plate.
  • Eddie Murray — Hall of Famer and the only other switch-hitter (apart from Mantle) with 500 career homers. Also, is one of two switch hitters (Pete Rose being the other) with 3,000 or more hits.
  • Frankie Frisch — Another Hall of Famer, and the only other switch-hitter with an extended career to hit .300 from each side of home plate.
  • Pete Rose — The all-time career hits leader in MLB. Currently barred from Hall of Fame consideration due to his betting on baseball.

In other sports

Boxing and mixed martial arts

In boxing and mixed martial arts, switch-hitting refers to the ability to change boxing stances mid-fight between an orthodox stance (Right-handed preference straight and left-handed preference jab) and a southpaw stance (Left-handed preference straight and right-handed preference jab).[8][9]

Cricket

The term switch hitting in cricket is used to describe a move in which the batsman changes stance during the bowlers run-up or shortly after the ball is bowled. The move was first done by Kevin Pietersen, and he attributed his own success in executing the move by having strong wrists from playing tennis, hockey and squash[10], and likened it to playing a backhand shot with the right hand. It also ties into the reverse sweep, which also involves the bat being extended to the non-dominant hip without changing stances with their leg, i.e. for Glenn Maxwell to play a reverse sweep, his left leg stays in front of the right.[11] David Warner, who is normally a left-handed batsman, had practised batting right-handed in his youth. He is known to switch his batting hand during and before the bowler's run-up. Warner reports that he plays golf right-handed and also bowls with his right arm.

See also

References

  1. ^ ESPN E:60 Pat Venditte segment, 2009 on YouTube
  2. ^ "Mickey Mantle Obituary", Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on July 14, 2008.
  3. ^ Stone, Larry (16 July 2006). "10 great moments in switch-hitting history". Seattle Times. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Tomo Ohka Career Batting Splits", Baseball Reference. Retrieved on November 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Schwarz, Alan (April 6, 2007). "Throwing Batters Curves Before Throwing a Pitch". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Snyder, Matt (June 5, 2015). "Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte coming to majors with A's". CBSSports.com. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Hill, Benjamin (July 2, 2008). "Venditte's versatility prompts new rule". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  8. ^ https://www.myboxingcoach.com/switch-hitting-boxing-drill/
  9. ^ http://fightland.vice.com/blog/jack-slack-how-prince-naseem-became-the-king-of-boxing
  10. ^ BT Sport (2017-12-25), Masterclass: KP, Gilchrist, Ponting and Vaughan on the art of attacking batting, retrieved 2017-12-27
  11. ^ cricket.com.au (2016-12-30), Masterclass: KP and Maxi on switch-hits, retrieved 2017-11-22
Arrested Development (season 2)

The second season of the television comedy series Arrested Development aired between November 7, 2004 and April 17, 2005, on Fox in the United States. It consisted of 18 episodes, each running approximately 22 minutes in length. The second season was released on DVD in region 1 on October 11, 2005, in region 2 on January 23, 2006 and in region 4 on March 15, 2006.

The show's storyline centers on the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a continuous format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.

Augie Galan

August John "Augie" Galan (May 23, 1912 – December 28, 1993) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He played sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1934 to 1949 for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Athletics. Galan threw right-handed and began his career as a switch hitter, however, starting in the latter part of 1943, he became strictly a left-handed hitter until the end of his career.

Chipper Jones

Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones Jr. (born April 24, 1972) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) player. Jones was the Atlanta Braves' number one overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft and their primary third baseman from 1995 to 2012 (with the exception of 2002–2003 when he primarily played left field). He was also a member of their 1995 World Series championship that beat the Cleveland Indians. An eight-time All-Star, Jones won the 1999 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player Award and the 1999 and 2000 NL Silver Slugger Award for third basemen. He was the MLB batting champion in 2008 after hitting .364.

Jones ended his career in 2012 with a .303 career batting average, 468 home runs, and 1,623 RBI. He has the most career RBI for a third baseman and holds the Braves team record for career on-base percentage (.402); Jones ranks third on the Braves career home run list. He spent his entire 19-year MLB career and all 23 years as a professional baseball player in the Atlanta organization.Among switch hitters, Jones ranks second behind Eddie Murray for career RBI, and he is the only switch hitter in MLB history with a career batting average of at least .300 and 400 or more home runs. He was the 18th player in MLB history to accumulate 5,000 at bats and finish with at least a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging percentage—and the only switch hitter to reach all of these milestones.On June 28, 2013, the Braves retired Jones' number 10 and inducted him into the team's Hall of Fame. On July 29, 2018, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Eddie Smith (baseball)

Edgar Smith (December 14, 1913 – January 2, 1994) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Philadelphia Athletics (1936–1939), Chicago White Sox (1939–1943, 1946–1947) and Boston Red Sox (1947). Smith was a switch-hitter and threw left-handed. He was born in Mansfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.

In a 10-season career, Smith posted a 73–113 record with 694 strikeouts and a 3.82 ERA in 1,595​2⁄3 innings pitched.

Joe DiMaggio started his 56-game hitting streak on May 15, 1941 by getting one hit in four at bats against Smith. Later that year, Smith was selected to represent the White Sox on the American League's All-Star team. He entered 1941 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 8 at Briggs Stadium as a relief pitcher in the eighth inning and allowed a two-run home run to left-handed-hitting shortstop Arky Vaughan, putting the AL at a 5–3 disadvantage. But he set down the National League squad in order in the ninth, and came away with the victory when Ted Williams hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the ninth, capping the Junior Circuit's rally.Smith died in Willingboro Township, New Jersey, at the age of 80.

Fernando Seguignol

Fernando Alfredo Seguignol Garcia (born January 19, 1975 in Bocas Del Toro, Panama) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder. Seguignol also played 8 years in Nippon Professional Baseball. A switch hitter, Seguignol is regarded as the best switch-hitter ever to play in Japan, along with Orestes Destrade.

Grant Jackson (baseball)

Grant Dwight Jackson (born September 28, 1942), is an American former professional baseball pitcher and coach, who played from 1965 to 1982 in Major League baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos, and Kansas City Royals. While Jackson threw left-handed, he batted as a switch hitter.

Isao Shibata

Isao Shibata (柴田 勲, Shibata Isao) (born February 8, 1944 in Yokohama, Japan) is a former professional baseball outfielder who played his entire career with the Yomiuri Giants from 1962 to 1981.

A speedy switch-hitter, he won the Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award in 1966, after he hit .565 with 13 hits in the 1966 Japan Series. With 579 career stolen bases, Shibata is third on the all-time Nippon Professional Baseball list. With more than 2,000 career hits, Shibata is a member of Meikyukai, otherwise known as the Golden Players Club.

Joey Jay

Joseph Richard Jay (born August 15, 1935) is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1953 through 1966, Jay played for the Milwaukee Braves (1953–1955, 1957–1960), Cincinnati Reds (1961–1966) and Atlanta Braves (1966). He was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed.

In a 13-season big league career, Jay posted a 99–91 win-loss record, with 999 strikeouts, and a 3.77 earned run average (ERA), in 1546.1 innings.

In July 2008, he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

List of Major League Baseball career hits leaders

Below is the list of the 285 Major League Baseball players who have reached the 2,000 hit milestone during their career in MLB.

Pete Rose holds the Major League record for most career hits, with 4,256. Rose and Ty Cobb second most, are the only players with 4,000 or more career hits. George Davis was the first switch hitter to collect 2,000 hits, doing so during the 1902 season.

Mike Hart (switch hitter)

James Michael Hart (born December 20, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He played five games for the Texas Rangers in 1980, getting one hit in four at bats. Following his major league career, Hart has had a long career as a minor league manager and coach. His most recent managerial stint was in 1998 with the Shreveport Captains.

Park Jong-ho

Park Jong-ho (Hangul: 박종호, Hanja: 朴鍾皓) (born 27 July 1973) is a South Korean second baseman who plays for the LG Twins in the Korea Baseball Organization. He is a switch hitter, and throws right-handed. Park is the first player to win a batting title as a switch hitter in KBO history.

Reggie Smith

Carl Reginald Smith (born April 2, 1945) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder and afterwards served as a coach and front office executive. He also played in the Nippon Professional Baseball league for two seasons at the end of his playing career. During a seventeen-year major league career (1966–1982), Smith appeared in 1,987 games, hit 314 home runs and batted .287. He was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed. In his prime, he had one of the strongest throwing arms of any outfielder in the big leagues. Smith played at least 70 games in 13 different seasons, and in every one of those 13 seasons, his team had a winning record.

Roy Smalley III

Roy Frederick Smalley III (born October 25, 1952) is a former professional baseball shortstop. From 1975 through 1987, Smalley played in Major League Baseball for the Texas Rangers (1975–76), Minnesota Twins (1976–82; 1985–87), New York Yankees (1982–84) and Chicago White Sox (1984). He was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. His father, Roy Jr. was also a former major league shortstop, and his uncle, Gene Mauch was a long-time major league manager.

Tatsuhiko Kinjō

Tatsuhiko Kinjoh (Japanese: 金城 龍彦, Korean: 김용언, Hanja: 金龍彦, born July 27, 1976) is a Japanese professional baseball player of Korean descent from Higashinari-ku, Osaka, Japan. He plays center field for the Yomiuri Giants. He throws right-handed, and is a switch hitter.

Ted Simmons

Ted Lyle Simmons (born August 9, 1949) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. A switch-hitter, Simmons was a catcher for most of his Major League Baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals (1968–80), the Milwaukee Brewers (1981–85) and the Atlanta Braves (1986–88). Although he was often overshadowed by his contemporary, Johnny Bench, Simmons is considered one of the best hitting catchers in Major League baseball history. While he didn't possess Bench's power hitting ability, he hit for a higher batting average. A volatile competitor with an intense desire to win, Simmons once fought with teammate John Denny during a game at Busch Memorial Stadium, in the runway between the club house and the dugout.At the time of his retirement, Simmons led all catchers in career hits and doubles and ranked second in RBIs behind Yogi Berra and second in total bases behind Carlton Fisk. He also retired with the National League record for home runs by a switch-hitter despite playing several years in the American League. Simmons hit .300 seven different times, hit 20 home runs six times, and caught 122 shutouts, eighth-most all-time. In 2017, he missed being elected to the Hall of Fame by one vote.

Tom Tresh

Thomas Michael Tresh (September 20, 1938 – October 15, 2008), was a professional baseball infielder and outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees (1961–1969) and Detroit Tigers (1969). Tresh was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He was the son of the late MLB catcher Mike Tresh.

Tommy Tucker (baseball)

Thomas Joseph Tucker (October 28, 1863 – October 22, 1935) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball who played with six different teams between 1887 and 1899. Listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 165 lb., Tucker was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed.

Tucker was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he started his baseball career playing for the Springfield and Newark clubs. He was a flashy first baseman in an era when using two hands was normal, making one-handed scoops of wild throws and pick-ups with his small glove, in contrast to the big-sized gloves employed by today's first basemen. He entered the majors in 1887 with the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association, playing for them three years before joining the National League with the Boston Beaneaters (1890–1897), Washington Senators (1897), Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1898), St. Louis Browns (1898) and Cleveland Spiders (1899). His most productive season came in 1889 with Baltimore, when he led the AA hitters with a .372 batting average (still the highest league-leading average ever for a switch-hitter) and 196 hits. His .372 average was 118 points above the Baltimore team average of .254.In a 13-season career, Tucker was a .290 hitter (1882-for-6479) with 42 home runs and 932 RBI in 1687 games, including 1084 runs, 240 doubles, 85 triples, 352 stolen bases, and a .364 on-base percentage.

Tucker had the reputation of being one of the toughest players of his era. He was notorious for hip-checking a base runner off first base, and then tagging them out.Tucker died in Montague, Massachusetts, just six days short of his 72nd birthday.

Víctor Caratini

Víctor Manuel Caratini (born August 17, 1993) is a Puerto Rican professional baseball catcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Listed at 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) and 215 pounds (98 kg), he throws right-handed and is a switch hitter.

Walt Wilmot

Walter Robert Wilmot (October 18, 1863 – February 1, 1929) was a professional baseball player. He played all or part of 10 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Washington Nationals (1888–89), Chicago Colts (1890-95) and New York Giants (1897–98), primarily as an outfielder. Listed at 5 ft 9 in, 165 lb., Wilmot was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He was born in Plover, Wisconsin.

While playing for the Nationals in 1889, Wilmot led the league with 19 triples and 139 games played. The following season, he tied with Oyster Burns and Mike Tiernan for the National League lead in home runs with 13, also a career-high. He also set a career best with 76 stolen bases while driving in 99 runs in 1890. On August 22, 1891, he became the first player in major league history to be walked 6 times in 1 game.

Wilmot's most productive season came in 1894, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.330), runs scored (134), hits (197), RBI (130), doubles (45) and extra-base hits (62) in 133 games.

Overall in his ten-season career, Wilmot was a .276 hitter with 58 home runs and 594 RBI in 962 games, including 727 runs, 152 doubles, 92 triples, 381 stolen bases and a .337 on-base percentage.

Wilmot died in Chicago, at the age of 65.

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