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Left-Handed Catchers

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by Pete Rose Rounding Third
    Bill James wrote (I edit for the sake of brevity), "The notion that a left-handed person could not be a major league catcher is absurd...on a ball tapped along the third base line, a left-handed catcher would have an advantage, since a right-hander has to reach across his body to grab the ball...The biggest reason there are no left-handed catchers is natural selection. Catchers need good throwing arms. If you have a [lefty kid with] a strong arm, what are you going to do with him?"

    Interesting. I wonder if it has really played out that way in little leagues and pony leagues? (I read "lefty kid" as in, "pre-high school age" kid) It certainly sounds plausible, but as James said himself, it's the biggest reason, not the only one.
    Like
    Most batters being righties and difficulty in throwing down to 2B cleanly
    Finding a catcher's mitt for a lefty

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  • Pete Rose Rounding Third
    replied
    Bill James wrote (I edit for the sake of brevity), "The notion that a left-handed person could not be a major league catcher is absurd...on a ball tapped along the third base line, a left-handed catcher would have an advantage, since a right-hander has to reach across his body to grab the ball...The biggest reason there are no left-handed catchers is natural selection. Catchers need good throwing arms. If you have a [lefty kid with] a strong arm, what are you going to do with him?"

    Interesting. I wonder if it has really played out that way in little leagues and pony leagues? (I read "lefty kid" as in, "pre-high school age" kid) It certainly sounds plausible, but as James said himself, it's the biggest reason, not the only one.
    Last edited by Pete Rose Rounding Third; 03-20-2007, 02:05 AM.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by zsbaseballmom
    Thank you all for all of this information posted over the years about lefty catchers. My son is 10 and is left handed. He has caught before but it's been awhile, he generally plays 2nd and now one of his coaches tells me that he should not be on 2nd, that he should not catch and that he should only be in the outfield. My son is devastated he loves playing 2nd and would love to catch but the coaches won’t even give him an opportunity, it’s breaking his spirit. So I am going to have my son read this about lefty catchers and it will hopefully cheer him up. Does anyone have any information on lefties’ playing 2nd base?
    George Marquez did. It was more frequent in the 19th century, like with Billy Hulen, Thomas Evers, Bill Greenwood, John Hiland, William McClellan, Ernest Mohler, and John Swandell
    As far as lefty catchers, Jack Clements, John Donahue, Mike Hines, John Humphries, Fergie Malone, John Mullen, Dave Oldfield, Elmer Sutcliffe, Edward Tate, Sam Trott, and Art Twineham

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  • s.f.
    replied
    Mike Squires, one of those lefty catchers, also played 13 games at third base (without error) one season.

    Don Mattingly played three games at third in 1986 and is credited with one game at second in 1983 (since he had no fielding chances, I'm not sure if he actually played the position or if this might be a clerical technicality).

    Going back, Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler played 19 games at second base, two at shortstop and 44 at third base during his career.

    btw, let me say that I find it unfortunate that a coach of a team at the 10-year-old level is handling his players as though he's managing a team of pros.

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  • zsbaseballmom
    replied
    What about lefties playing 2nd base

    Thank you all for all of this information posted over the years about lefty catchers. My son is 10 and is left handed. He has caught before but it's been awhile, he generally plays 2nd and now one of his coaches tells me that he should not be on 2nd, that he should not catch and that he should only be in the outfield. My son is devastated he loves playing 2nd and would love to catch but the coaches won’t even give him an opportunity, it’s breaking his spirit. So I am going to have my son read this about lefty catchers and it will hopefully cheer him up. Does anyone have any information on lefties’ playing 2nd base?

    Leave a comment:


  • Utility07
    replied
    Because it takes you at least a second longer to wheel around to throw to third compared to a right handed catcher.

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  • flea45
    replied
    I'm left-handed and i have caught a bit myself and i didnt find it difficult to throw the ball to both 2nd base and third base...which did make me wonder why that is the argument for there not being left-handed catchers. In saying that, i do understand why it may be concieved as being harder for a lefty...i just never had any difficulty.

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  • Royals Dad
    replied
    He's 10 years old

    Originally posted by longkim
    My 10 year old son has been pitching for a year now and has been enhancing his skills through private lessons. He joined a new team this year where the coach wants him to catch, against my sons wishes. How should my son handle this situation with his coach without making his coach think he's whining? My son gives 110% at any position he's assigned but his heart is at the pitcher's mound and 1st base. I don't want him to be stuck in a position where his future as a pitcher is dampered.
    He's only 10 years old! As a former Little League coach for the past 10 years, I have a question for you. Are we talking about the All-Star team or house league. I've used plenty of left handed catchers in the past 10 years in house league. I never used a lefty catcher in All-Star. I should point out that I'm a lefty (with a catchers mitt) and my son is a lefty pitcher. He caught twice and didn't like it.

    Private pitching lessons at age 10, wow. Here is a bit of advice for you and your coach. If your son doesn't want to catch, then he shouldn't catch. Pass that on to his coach from me. I'm sure there are plenty of other players on the team who would love to give it a try. I use to tell them how cool they looked in the gear. As for your son's pitching asperations, private lessons cost a fortune so you must have deep pockets. My son took lessons along with six other pitchers when he was 13. If he's learned how to stay balanced and he's been show a proper delivery, you can stop spending your money for a few years. His next lesson is how to hold a runner (they don't lead off until the age of 13 in Little League). He should focus on pitching location and a good change of speed. Stay away from curve balls until he's at least 15.

    My boy is now 16 and pitching for an elite league ball club that work towards university and college scholarships. A good lefties is worth his weight in gold.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    There needs to be more information given. Size of the child, skill level of the child, the skill level of the other players. It could simply be that the coach has better options at first and pitching and the only way to get your son in the game is through catching. It could be that your son has the "body" of a catcher and a good head for the game, and perhaps realizes that as he gets older it is more likely for him to be play as a catcher then as a pitcher or firstbasemen. Who knows perhaps your kid is the smallest on the team or the least skilled or athletic.

    Or perhaps the coach doesn't know what he is doing. Again more info would be needed. It isn't as simple as what your child wishes or desires. It is a team game and simply because your child wishes to be a pitcher doesn't mean he has the skill and build to be a pitcher on this team or any team as of right now. But again more info would be needed.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluesteve32
    The fastest way to the majors is a lefty, except at catcher where it would be an impediment as most HS coaches would not consider it and college coaches would never give a lefty catcher a scholarship nor would pro scouts consider signing or drafting any lefty catcher.

    Pitcher, first base, outfield are the positions for leftys, and they are at a premium especially at pitcher. So I don't feel necessary to shed too many tears for leftys in baseball.
    She didn't specify whether her son was a lefty thrower or not. If he is, look for a new coach, or team

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  • Bluesteve32
    replied
    Originally posted by longkim
    My 10 year old son has been pitching for a year now and has been enhancing his skills through private lessons. He joined a new team this year where the coach wants him to catch, against my sons wishes. How should my son handle this situation with his coach without making his coach think he's whining? My son gives 110% at any position he's assigned but his heart is at the pitcher's mound and 1st base. I don't want him to be stuck in a position where his future as a pitcher is dampered.
    Tell coach, that having your son play "emergency" catcher, when no one else can play that position for that day, you have no problem having your son play catcher. However, tell coach that you are concerned (actually insist)that he will not be playing that position in high school and would rather have him concentrate on those positions he would likely play when he reaches HS ball.

    Another thing, having kids play both catcher and pitcher in the same game (especially when going from catcher to pitcher) is normally not wise due to the throwing motion and the fact that catcher is a rather tiring position and after catcher a few innings, his pitching would not be nearly as effective.

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  • Bluesteve32
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond
    I know this refers to higher-up levels ,but they say the fastest road to the majors is catching. 1st base, at high levels, requires great hitting. If he's a great hitting catcher, so much the better. Maybe if your son agreed to catch at least half the time, the coach would agree to let him be the starting pitcher one out of four?
    The fastest way to the majors is a lefty, except at catcher where it would be an impediment as most HS coaches would not consider it and college coaches would never give a lefty catcher a scholarship nor would pro scouts consider signing or drafting any lefty catcher.

    Pitcher, first base, outfield are the positions for leftys, and they are at a premium especially at pitcher. So I don't feel necessary to shed too many tears for leftys in baseball.

    Leave a comment:


  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by longkim
    My 10 year old son has been pitching for a year now and has been enhancing his skills through private lessons. He joined a new team this year where the coach wants him to catch, against my sons wishes. How should my son handle this situation with his coach without making his coach think he's whining? My son gives 110% at any position he's assigned but his heart is at the pitcher's mound and 1st base. I don't want him to be stuck in a position where his future as a pitcher is dampered.
    I know this refers to higher-up levels ,but they say the fastest road to the majors is catching. 1st base, at high levels, requires great hitting. If he's a great hitting catcher, so much the better. Maybe if your son agreed to catch at least half the time, the coach would agree to let him be the starting pitcher one out of four?

    Leave a comment:


  • longkim
    replied
    Concerned mother of little leaguer

    My 10 year old son has been pitching for a year now and has been enhancing his skills through private lessons. He joined a new team this year where the coach wants him to catch, against my sons wishes. How should my son handle this situation with his coach without making his coach think he's whining? My son gives 110% at any position he's assigned but his heart is at the pitcher's mound and 1st base. I don't want him to be stuck in a position where his future as a pitcher is dampered.

    Leave a comment:


  • BAILEY2002
    replied
    Left Handed Catcher

    I've been reading all I can about leftys. My son plays aau baseball. He is a lefty. 12 years old. Pitches, first base and also catches. I am very proud of every position he plays. I don't expect him to go to the big leagues as a catcher. I realize he is more valuable at pitching and first. But, when he told us he wanted to catch, why not? It really keeps him focused we have noticed. He has done a great job. He can throw down to second much better than the other catchers and he can really snag those balls. I feel at this level he is very valuable to his team and if some coach wanted to use him as a catcher in middle school, high school and college, he would have that option. I can absolutely see what you are saying about the other positions being important, but we want him to keep his options open. We just have to find him a good pitching coach to make him all he can be because we feel that is the "ticket".

    I have really enjoyed all of the discussions I have seen on this site and will continue to read and learn. Knowledge is power and this is a very powerful site. Thanks.

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