Card: 2015 Topps Update US-81
"He has quite possibly thrown more baseballs than any other man his age in history because he's had twice as many arms with which to throw them." - Chris Jones in ESPN: The Magazine (May 12, 2015, Show of Hands)
In 2015, Omaha, NE-born Pat Venditte became the first ambidextrous pitcher in the major leagues in 20 years. He is one of very few to truly throw with both hands, rather than just occasionally as most ambidextrous hurlers have done.
A natural right-hander, Venditte threw with both arms since he was a child, and his father, a baseball fanatic, encouraged it, even building a baseball field in his backyard, complete with artificial turf and lights, to be able to practice with his son every day. His father figured out rightly that being ambidextrous would make his son stand out and give him opportunities that similarly talented youngsters might never have.
Pat was selected by the New York Yankees in the 20th round of the 2008 amateur draft. One of his first appearances with the team on June 19th became a "YouTube" sensation, as he was facing switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez of the Brooklyn Cyclones; the two engaged in a bizarre routine, with Henriquez repeatedly switching sides in the batter's box and Venditte moving his glove from one hand to the other.
There was no explicit rule to handle the situation (this was changed after the season) and after a seven-minute delay in which both teams' managers discussed with the confused umpires and Pat threw warm-up pitches with both arms, Henriquez stepped into the box as a right-handed batter and Venditte, pitching right-handed, struck him out.
Pat uses a six-fingered glove with two thumbs. In 2008, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation created a new rule ("Pat Venditte Rule") pertaining to ambidextrous pitchers stating that a "pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter" because of Venditte. This was then added to the official baseball rules the following off-season as rule 8.01.
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Pat is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See all of Pat’s baseball cards at TCDB
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