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bigsixfive

Two Armed Pitcher

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Man, talk about the potential to be the ultimate pitcher. Confuse batters, and keep your arms rested.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,369826,00.html

The umps working a game Thursday night between the Class-A Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones had nothing to go by when Venditte made his professional debut, less than two weeks after getting drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees.

He pitched the ninth, and after retiring two batters and allowing a single, a switch hitter stepped to the plate for Brooklyn. That's hardly unusual. But it becomes intriguing against Venditte, a switch pitcher.

Things got a tad dizzying when designated hitter Ralph Henriquez, who had taken his on-deck circle swings as a lefty, entered the batter's box from the right side.

Venditte put his specially made glove (it has six fingers, two webs and fits on both hands) on his left hand, and got ready to pitch right-handed.

Henriquez then changed his mind and switched sides of the plate, because a batter sees the ball sooner when it is thrown by a pitcher using the opposite hand.

So Venditte shifted his glove to the other hand.

Then it happened again.

And again.

And again.

...

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I trained a ambidextrous pitcher from the time he was 12 years old. He is my best friend's youngest brother and since his dad knew I worked with pitchers, he had me start working with his son. Joey Watson is his name and he pitched at Hartselle High School and then Wallace State Community College (they finished third in the JUCO CWS his sophomore year). He transferred to UAT and was on the team there, but he never got any time on the mound.

His dad had special gloves made for him that would fit both hands, because he could not change gloves in the middle of a batter, so this way he could change arms if he wanted too. However, he very rarely changed arms in the middle of a batter. Most of the time, it was pretty much set which way he was throwing to a particular batter.

I stopped working with him when he got to college. When I was working him out, we would through a certain amount of pitches with one arm, then turn around and throw the same amount with the other arm. Joey was naturally right handed, but he actually became more accurate and a better pitcher left handed.

Funny story...one time I was working him out by catching him and thought I had signaled a curve ball. Well somehow he missed it and threw me a fast ball, and he threw in the high 80s to low 90s. Me thinking he was throwing a curve moved my glove to where his curve normally moves. I totally miss the pitch and his fastball hit me square in the knee and I was not wearing any shin guards. Worst pain I ever felt at the time and I blacked out for a few seconds. I wore shin guards from now on when catching him.

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