Day 54 : southpaw

From where does the term Southpaw originate?  Baseball!


For awhile, when all games were played during the day, early baseball diamonds were built so the pitcher faced west and the batter faced east. That way the late afternoon sun wouldn’t be in the batter’s eyes, keeping him safe from a pitch careening towards him. This meant the pitcher’s left hand was at his south side, hence the term Southpaw.

In 2012, there were about 39% left-handed pitchers in the MLB! That’s a lot considering left-handers make up only 10% of the overall world population. The World Series Champion San Francisco Giants had 5 lefty out of 12 pitchers. Most regular season rosters typically use about 4 lefties and 12 righties. Currently, the Giants 2013 active roster has 8 lefty pitchers and 12 righty.

Sandy: When I was young, my favorite pitcher was Sandy Koufax, a left-handed pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers. I never, never cheered for the Dodgers; I just felt a kinship for Sandy (left-handed, same name). Silly me.

The Cactus League starts today. The Giants play L.A. Angels.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


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