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View Full Version : BASEBALL: WHY DO ALL CATCHERS THROW RIGHT-HANDED


007
05-19-2004, 09:36 AM
I need to know. There are no, and never have been, any catchers that throw left-handed. WHY?

chad shaver
05-19-2004, 10:00 AM
The majority of batters are right-handed. Catchers usually need to have their throwing arm farther away from the batter's body, so as to have a clear throwing path.

It seems like there is a left-handed catcher in the major leagues though. Can anybody help me out on this one?

Camilio Pascual
05-19-2004, 10:16 AM
There are 6 people who have caught since ~1906 and not very often at that. Before that there were about 2 dozen lefty catchers. Why so few? Righties fall off the mound to the left, so that would not be a factor. I'd rather be taking a throw from the outfield to home with my mitt on my left hand, maybe that is a factor. Maybe the coriolis effect? My real suspicion is that it is for the pitchers' benefit for consistency and predictability. Who knows?

ProStaffTour90
05-19-2004, 10:44 AM
Maybe the coriolis effect?

:lol: I like it, but i don't reckon that the majority of players in the southern hemisphere throw lefty!

Camilio Pascual
05-19-2004, 01:03 PM
Yeah, coriolis effect is always fun. My best guess: There are no catcher's mitts made for lefties?

Capt. Willie
05-19-2004, 07:35 PM
It is much easier and natural for a right hander to throw to second and third than it is for a lefty. Also, when taking a throw from the outfield a right hander is in better position to tag out an incoming baserunner as the glove is closer to the runner whereas a lefty catcher would need to reach across their body. Left handed 2B, 3B and SS are also rare if you stop and think about it. Again, the right-handers body is in better position to take a throw and tag out baserunners. On a throw to 1st base a lefty would have his back to the runner whereas a righty would be looking at him. So lefties are destined to become pitchers, 1st baseman or outfielders.

Phil
05-19-2004, 09:08 PM
The catcher is the natural field leader-the General-he needs to keep his pitchers calm and focused and shift the defense accordingly-he must know the capabilities of every batter in the league. With that kind of responsibility, would YOU put a lefty out there? No way. Lefties are FLAKES!

drakulie
05-19-2004, 09:19 PM
Capt. Willlie, I could not have said it better myself.

bcaz
05-20-2004, 12:30 AM
I grudgingly concede the reasons lefties aren't allowed to play 2nd base, shortstop and 3rd base. In baseball/hardball, the obstacles are too great in making the quick throw to first base.

But catcher? In the big leagues, there are many lefty batters, negating that argument. At this point, lefties are excluded from catching simply because of long-standing discrimination. We just are not encouraged or allowed, from the very earliest stages of development. It's just wrong.

Phil
05-20-2004, 12:39 AM
Cheer-up, bcaz...best that your "kind" aren't given the responsibilities of the catcher-the Field Commander-you would just blow it. Just be happy that you're allowed 1B, OF and pitcher.

Signed,

Best of Both Worlds (throws: normal, bats: lefthanded)

chad shaver
05-20-2004, 06:45 AM
Bcaz,

I've never heard anyone say that lefties were discriminated against in baseball. Being a lefty myself, I can think of a lot of situations where lefties get the short end of the stick, but that's just life.

I said that the MAJORITY of batters are right-handed. Of course, there are many lefty batters, but would you agree that the majority are right-handed? Isn't there a bit of a premium on lefty power-hitters?

Phil, Do you play tennis righty or lefty? I'm a natural lefty, but I play tennis righty and am pretty much a natural switch-hitter.

007
05-20-2004, 09:28 AM
Thanks to all...I am satiated.

Rocky Top
05-20-2004, 06:13 PM
Good info in this short article, most of which has been stated above. The author does name some obscure lefties who did spend time behind the dish, and one slightly more famous chap who started out there:

http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20000725.html

Capt. Willie
05-20-2004, 07:17 PM
and one slightly more famous chap who started out there:

http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20000725.html I don't mean to be a wiseguy but I feel the Babe Ruth thing is misleading. It was at St. Mary's School that the Babe also played catcher when he wasn't pitching. I'm sure at that level he was so much better than the other kids that he could get away with this. When he was signed to a pro contract it was as a pitcher.

Phil
05-20-2004, 07:29 PM
Phil, Do you play tennis righty or lefty? I'm a natural lefty, but I play tennis righty and am pretty much a natural switch-hitter.

Chad - I play tennis righty. In baseball I can switch hit, but without much power from the right side. Also golf and play hockey (that's played, as in back in high school) lefty, use the mouse with my left hand, but everything else I do the right way;-) Variety must be in the genes; my Dad batted and threw righthanded, but was a natural lefty-writing, eating, combing his hair, etc.

aahala
05-21-2004, 06:42 AM
Having a lefthanded catcher might throw off the pitchers.

I looked at the ML rosters, and about 80% of catchers bat only right handed, and the rest are nearly an even split between switch hitters and lefties only.

If a team carries three catchers(many teams don't), I bet they would be willing to carry one who was a total lefty to get that bat in the lineup. One usually bats the way they throw. Most of the game is played where throwing to third, the major disadvantage, isn't a possiblity.

There are no left handed catchers in the majors because there are so few of major league quality. Lefties are pushed at the beginning into the pitcher and first base positions and how many little league teams have a lefthanded catchers mit?

Camilio Pascual
05-21-2004, 11:41 AM
I googled "left handed catchers" and saw some reasons given. I totally agree with aahala, having a lefty catcher would have thrown me off for sure. I didn't read all the things google coughed up, but it does seem it would be much easier to put pressure on a hit-and-run or throw runners out at 2nd right handed. A lefty might have an easier time throwing out runners at third, but third is not stolen nearly as often and that would not change if all catchers were lefties.

Capt. Willie
05-21-2004, 11:48 AM
Lefties are pushed at the beginning into the pitcher and first base positions and how many little league teams have a lefthanded catchers mit? Maybe someone wants to do a search of online sporting goods stores to try and find one (I don't feel like it) but I'd be willing to bet lefthanded catchers mitts are very hard to come by....where as any model fielders glove or 1st basemans mitt would be available in both right and left.

Capt. Willie
05-21-2004, 12:00 PM
A lefty might have an easier time throwing out runners at third, but third is not stolen nearly as often and that would not change if all catchers were lefties. Sorry but I must Disagree. Even going to 3rd is a much easier play for a righty. A righty can come-up throwing to third from the squatting position where the lefty would need to swing the right side of the body toward thirdbase before getting off the throw. This split second delay can be the difference in a baserunner being safe or thrown out. Also, from the throwing position the righty would have a better visual of the baserunner.

Sean Dugan
05-21-2004, 12:28 PM
http://members.tripod.com/bb_catchers/catchers//catchleft.htm

southpawwarden
04-29-2008, 05:13 PM
You are all wrong about it would mess up a pitcher, both as a lefty catcher and pitcher, who throws to a lefty cathcer, all you do is look at the glove when you throw. I caught for 4 years and experianced no problems. My coaches were reluctant at first but soon i was the starting catcher until it was my turn to pitch.

It seems the coaches are just taught that lefties can not be a catcher, when really there is no big difference.

cghipp
04-29-2008, 05:38 PM
I've never heard anyone say that lefties were discriminated against in baseball. Being a lefty myself, I can think of a lot of situations where lefties get the short end of the stick, but that's just life.When I was growing up, playing baseball and FP softball, it was common knowledge that lefties didn't play certain positions - it just "wasn't done."

Forehand Forever
04-29-2008, 05:49 PM
When I was growing up, playing baseball and FP softball, it was common knowledge that lefties didn't play certain positions - it just "wasn't done."

I agree with this. When I was playing Little League Baseball a few years ago, the big positions for lefties were 1st and pitcher. Nobody could hit lefty pitchers and the 1st base was a good spot for the lefty because it was easier to catch on your right hand or something I forget the whole reason.

cghipp
04-29-2008, 06:05 PM
... and the 1st base was a good spot for the lefty because it was easier to catch on your right hand or something I forget the whole reason.Because the glove is on the "inside," so you wouldn't have to reach across your body to field the ball.

quest01
04-29-2008, 07:15 PM
I don't know of many lefty catchers to be honest. Even when I played since I was very young and into High School I have never seen a lefty catcher. When I played, I played second base and pitched. Also Phil, your not a switch hitter, your just saying that to be cool. lol

Steve1954
04-29-2008, 08:19 PM
Why is this still being debated? Captain Willie basically got this one right on his first post. At the HS or college level, because there isn't a big difference between a left handed or a right handed catcher, you could see a left handed catcher there. At the major league level, there isn't a big difference either, but that small difference determines whether a runner at third or at home is safe or out on occasion. So you won't see a left handed catcher at the major league level.

That said, generally it is an advantage to be left handed in baseball. Left handed major league pitchers are over .500 for their careers, while right handed pitchers are under .500 for their careers, in the aggregate. And left handed hitters generally hit for a slightly higher average than right handers, in the aggregate, because the left hander is a step closer to first base. So I don't feel too sorry for the lefties.

The Home Run Kid
04-29-2008, 08:49 PM
I caught for like 6 years, and I think Capt. Willy is right on... though it always used to bug me when someone tried stealing third when there was a righty in the box. They never moved!

Douggo
04-30-2008, 08:31 AM
What an odd thread to be brought back from the grave.
As has been said, it has nothing to do with pitchers, and nothing to do with hitters. It only has to do with throwing to third. Same reason you don't see lefties playing third, short or second - because of the pivot the lefty would have to make in order to make the throws he needs to make.

cghipp
04-30-2008, 08:44 AM
That's funny - I didn't realize it was an old thread!

max
04-30-2008, 09:01 AM
Great thread. I used to be a catcher and didn't realize the benefit of being righty.

tbini87
04-30-2008, 09:45 AM
i am a lefty and when playing little league i thought i wanted to be a catcher. my dad said i couldn't, but i found a left handed catchers glove at play it again and bought it. i never ended up playing catcher, but it was fun playing with a catchers glove. went on to be a pitcher, center fielder, and first basemen... go figure...