Has there ever been a case of “switch-pitching” in major league baseball?

By this, I mean a pitcher who has pitched the ball with both his left and right arms in the course of a single game.

I’ve never heard of it happening, but stranger things (like a midget batter) have occurred in baseball…

Yes, but it’s extremely rare.

In 1995 the ambidexterous Greg Harris, pitched one inning using both hands.

According to this umpire. switch pitching is perfectly legal:

However, I just checked the rule book and was unable to find any statement on the matter at all.

IIRC, Icebox Chamberlain used to switch-pitch back in the 1880-90s.

Of course, this begs the question:

Suppose a switch-hitter faces a switch-pitcher. The batter steps into the righty batter box. So the pitcher puts his glove on his left hand (to throw with his right). Seeing this, the batter switches sides. So the pitcher switches gloves. So the batter switches sides. So the pitcher switches gloves, etc.

So, who would have to “declare” first? The rule book is silent on the issue.

Zev Steinhardt

Switch hitters must hit from the first batters box they enter. And the whole at bat must happen in that batters box. I was asked this question while going to umpire school a few years ago.

I’m pretty certain that’s wrong. I’ve seen Eddie Murray and a few others switch sides of the plate between pitches when a pitching change occured during an at bat.

I do believe there’s a rule that states a player can’t change equipment while in the field unless something breaks. That is, Harris had to have the ambidextrous glove because he wouldn’t have been allowed to keep switching gloves.

According to the official rules of baseball, once a batter enters a batters box, the batter must bat from that side of the plate the entire at bat. When watching a baseball game, watch the batter if a pitching change is going to happen. The pitcher’s manager will wait till the batter steps in to the batters box before calling time to make the pitching change. By doing that, the manager gets to use the best pitcher for the matchup. I am entering my third year umpiring little league and junior high baseball. I have never had to deal with the situation of a batter attempting to change sides of the plate but if the batter did, I would call the batter out on the next pitch. Also, once a batter is officially announced as the batter, that player must complete the at bat (unless the batter is injured during the coused of the at bat). If the manager wants to change that batter before the end of the at bat, the batter is disqualified from the rest of the game as is that position in the batting order. That team would then only have 8 batters per rotation the rest of the game.

Favorite story about Harris. I forget exactly who the principals involved are, but I think the opponent was Andy Van Slyke. Anyway, Van Slyke is on first base and is baffled by Harris’ glove. He asks the first baseman what the deal is. “He’s amphibious,” comes the reply. Van Slyke looks at him funny and says “Does that mean he can pitch underwater?”

According to a baseball trivia book I have, written by Bert Randolph Sugar, Tony Mullane, an Irish-born 19th-Century pitcher, was the only one to pitch both right- and left-handed on a regular basis. Mullane, so Sugar states, alternated continually during his pitching stints to confuse the opposition. He won 285 games–including 5 consecutive 30-game seasons–in the majors, between 1881 and 1893. He even pitched a no-hitter. :slight_smile: According to Macmillan’s Baseball Encyclopedia, Mullane was listed as TB (“throws both.”)