​​​​​​​​​​LEFTHANDED BASEBALL

The Best Lefthanded Batters and Lefthanded Pitchers in Baseball

In our article on Lefthanders Not In Sports we have explained that many lefthanded children do not play sports because the early resistance to their lefthandedness stifles their physical development.  At the age where they might begin to play sports, they may not have the strength, coordination and confidence to compete against righthanded children whose development may be further along.

Hand preference is significant in baseball as players are clearly defined as being lefthanded or righthanded, both in throwing/fielding and in batting.  Right-handed children are taught to throw with their right hand and taught the proper footwork to create distance and accuracy as they throw.  For a lefthanded child, these directions on how to throw a ball properly are backwards, and often get lost in translation as they are generally told to "do the same thing, but do it in reverse".  

As children are taught to throw the ball with their right hand, they are taught to catch the ball with the left hand, and given a glove that fits properly on their left hand.  Many right-handed children start playing baseball with gloves that are handed down from older siblings or other people they know.  Right-handed players can get away with showing up to play baseball without a glove, because they can get usually borrow a glove from a player on the opposing team.

For a lefthanded child the odds of finding a used glove or borrowing a glove from a player on the opposing team are much more remote.  If their parents aren't willing to buy them a glove to help them get started in the game, the potential for that child to play and develop their skill in baseball is limited.  And even when parents are willing to buy a glove for their lefthanded child, they may not find one appropriate for their age and size, and may be forced to pay much more than the same glove for a righthanded child.

Assuming that a lefthanded child has a baseball glove and can throw and catch well enough to have interest in playing, they still face the limitations on the positions they can play.  Even at the earliest levels of the game, most lefthanders are not allowed to play catcher, second-base, shortstop, or third-base.  Even if these theories are true on a major league level, that does not mean that lefthanders should not be given a chance in little league, in junior high and high school, and other levels of amateur ball.  

With limited opportunities at an early age, many lefthanders lose interest in the game before they have a chance to develop their skills.  Since many baseball players change positions on their way to the major leagues, allowing lefthanders to play all positions on the diamond will keep more of them interested in the game and give more of them a chance to grow up to be major league ball players.

Why Aren't There More Lefthanders in Baseball?