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The Best Lefthanded Batters and Lefthanded Pitchers in Baseball

Since his minor league career started in 2008, Pat Venditte has pitched lefthanded (mostly against lefthanded batters) and pitched righthanded (mostly against righthanded batters).  He has a specially made glove that he can wear on either his left hand or his right hand.  His unique talent forced baseball to come up with a "Pat Verditte Rule" which forces a switch-hitter to declare which way he will bat once the switch-pitcher declares which hand he will be throwing with.

For his minor league career, he has 40 wins, 32 losses and a 2.57 earned run average, with 58 saves, and 729 strikeouts in 641 innings.  He made it to the major leagues with the Oakland A's in 2015, and has drawn a lot of attention since that time, but more as a novelty rather than his pitching skill.  

In parts of four seasons in the majors, Venditte has 53 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched with a 5.03 earned run average.  His best year was in 2018, when he pitched in 15 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and had a 2.57 earned run average.  

Statistics show that Venditte has been much more effective as a lefthanded pitchers against lefthanded batters, rather than as a righthander throwing to righthanders.  If he could be effective as either a lefthanded relief pitcher or a righthanded relief pitcher, he would have a successful career.  If he could be effective with both hands, he would be an extremely valuable commodity in the game.

Other Switch-Pitchers who've played in the majors

Pat Venditte had been with the Miami Marlins as a non-roster invitee in spring training,

but he was released on July 14th and currently has not signed with any other team.

Switch-Pitchers in Baseball

​​Prior to Venditte, there have not been any real Switch-Pitchers in the game.  Baseball history books mention four pitchers who pitched with both hands in Major League Baseball in the 1880’s and 1890’s…Tony Mullane, Elton Chamberlain, Larry Corcoran and George Wheeler.  Tony Mullane was a successful pitcher who won 284 games and lost 220 from 1881 to 1894.  He was a righthander who taught himself how to pitch lefthanded when he suffered an injury to his right arm.  After the injury healed he would sometimes alternate throwing right-handed and throwing left-handed in a game.  There is no record of how many games he won left-handed versus how many he won right-handed, or how often he might have thrown with his left hand.  Chamberlain, Corcoran and Wheeler were also right-handed pitchers who threw with their left hand on very rare occasions.

It was nearly 100 years before another major league pitcher pitched both right-handed and left-handed.  Greg A. Harris was a right-handed relief pitcher who pitched 15 years in the majors (from 1981 to 1995).  He would throw batting practice with both hands and he often campaigned for an opportunity to throw left-handed in a game, but his coaches would never let him.  It finally happened while pitching for the Montreal Expos on September 28, 1995.  Harris retired the first batter of the inning right-handed, then switched to pitching left-handed for the next two left-handed batters.  He walked the first batter, then got the next batter to ground out before switching back to his right hand to retire the last batter of the inning.

Pat Venditte is the first and only legitimate switch-pitcher,

or ambidextrous pitcher,

to pitch in the major leagues