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Oakland A's call up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

Top 10 Weird Sports


By JOHN DORN


For almost all of baseball's history, batters have had the luxury of being able to hit with either hand—whichever gives them the advantage—while sorry pitchers have had to just stand there on that lonely mound and take it.

To this, the Oakland Athletics and Pat Venditte say: No more!

The A's have called the 29-year-old ambidextrous pitcher up from Triple-A, and he'll be with the team this weekend against the Red Sox in Boston. He's spent the previous eight seasons in the minor leagues with a 2.37 ERA.

Somehow, there is a rule for switch-pitching. Should he face a switch-hitter, Venditte must first decide which hand to throw with—then the batter chooses his side accordingly. Advantage hitter, once again. Venditte also wears a double-webbed glove, to make it possible for him to make these decisions on the fly in between batters.

The league hasn't seen an ambidextrous hurler since 1995, when Greg Harris of the Montreal Expos alternated arms for a game during his final MLB season.
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