Switch Pitcher meets Switch Hitter

The video is from 2008.  It was an example of a switch pitcher versus a switch hitter in a minor league game.  Switch hitters are rare but not exceedingly so.  There are always a collection of them in the majors and have been plenty in the history of the game.
Switch pitchers on the other hand – very rare.  4 pitchers who pitched in the 1800s were known to use both hands.  Modern times have only seen one – Greg Harris who did it in 1995.

The thought of a switch pitcher facing a switch hitter was the type of third world play that would have driven umpire instructors crazy.  A third world play is something that would be so rare why should people waste time thinking about it.

Except on this night in the minors, the third world became the first world.  The ultimate result was an rule addition.

Rule 8.01 (f) outlines the rules for switch pitchers.  Basically, the pitcher has to break the stalemate and declare what hand he is using.  Once he declares, he cannot switch back until the batter is done batting, the inning ends, a pinch hitter is used, or he injurers the one arm.  To remove gamesmanship, if the pitcher claims an injury, he is not allowed to use that arm for the remainder of the game.  Other codes have similar rules now as well.

The pitcher in this video is named Pat Venditte.  He is still active in baseball making news earlier in spring for getting outs during the same appearance using both arms.  Whether Mr. Venditte ever makes the show is still a story being written.  But, not many people can lay claim to being the driving force behind a new rule.

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