The Ambidextrous Wonder

Ambidextrous: using both hands with equal ease.  (Definition from Merriam Webster Dictionary)

This world is a place full of unusual creatures, human and animal, that continue to amaze and baffle humans around the world.  There are certain creatures that have certain mutations that caused them to be seperated from their species in an outrageous way.  Even some humans have certain mutations or just an unusual quality that sets them apart from everyone else.  Usually this puts them into a position where they are criticized.

There are a few people here and there that have developed, or were just born with the skill, to use both hands for many every day activities.  This feature is call ambidexterity.  It is an unusual characteristic of some people that isn’t necessarily a mutation, but a skill that sets you apart from others.  It isn’t something to be ashamed of, as a mutation is.  But a skill that can be useful in a handful of ways.

Meet Pat Venditte

Pat is a pitcher currently in the Yankees’ organization that has been baffleing batters throughout his time at the different levels of minor league play.  He has stuff that many right handers have and he has stuff that many left handers have.  It’s just that he has both.  Not something that anyone else has.  This is what sets him apart.

His ambidexterity is so unique that he has switched throwing arms in the middle of innings many times to give him the upper hand against whatever batter he is facing.  In a game against Nebraska, back when he was in college and Creighton, Venditte faced a switch hitter who came up to the plate to bat right handed.  Venditte then switched his throwing arm which then caused the batter to switch to the other side of the plate.  This went back and forth before the umps settled things.  They told Venditte that he had to claim which side he was going to throw from before the batter chose which side of the plate he would bat from.  This did give the batter the advantage in knowing how he would be thrown to but for non-switch hitters, it proved reckless; Venditte was also allowed the opportunity to switch throwing arms once during an at-bat.

This unique and very powerful skill that Venditte has brought with him to the likes of professional baseball started at a very young age when he worked with his dad who was merely curious to see if his son had the ability to throw both ways.  They trained with two different gloves until his father found a glove from Japan that could be used for both hands.  The glove he is wearing in the picture above was made specifically for someone that is ambidextrous.  Venditte can now bring the single glove to the mound and not have to bring both, which was not allowed in his little league.  The umps said it could cause interference.

All I have to say about this other than how it is a crazy skill that will get him many places in baseball is this: I’m glad he’s a member of the Yankees’ organization at this time.

Venditte’s story was on E60 last night on ESPN and that is where I got this story from if any of you were wondering.  I did some more research and found that picture online.  I want to credit E60 for most of the information I have put in this post.



  1. TribeTed

    Thanks for stopping by Dillon. You gotta nice blog here. And Choo is a great player, and he hit the ball hard last night, just right at ppl. 🙂 CHHOOOOO! Ppl were chanting that like crazy when he came up to bat. Please stop by again.

  2. matttan7

    A switch hitter is common, but an ambidextrous pitcher is very rare. I think that would be unfair to batters if he switch his pitching arm during an at bat, which is why the umpire decided to stop him from doing exactly that to a switch hitter. Being a switch hitter is hard enough, an ambidextrous pitcher must be very hard to pull off. I think this might get him in a Yankee uniform soon enough.

    Matthew Tan

  3. southernbelle

    Dillon: Venditte is some story! I hope he makes it to the big leagues, because I want to see him! His warmup routine must be long. He has to keep both arms loose. In between innings, pitchers are allowed to throw 8 warmup pitches. Does he get 16, 8 for each arm, or does he still have 8? There are going to be a lot of new rules because of him. I wonder if anyone else will emerge with a skill like Venditte’s. -Virginia

  4. 2yankeeboy

    I also watched that E60 it was really interesting. I don’t see why he is only at the single A level! He is completely dominant he deserves to be at least a level higher maybe 2. It would be cool to see him on the Yankees in the near future. I can’t wait for that day.

  5. azinneck

    This is a very interesting story — while there are a good quantity of switch-hitters in the league, I had never thought of a pitcher who could throw with either arm. That seems like it would be a good advantage for his team, and hopefully will help get him to the major leagues.

  6. raysrenegade

    Read a story on him earlier in the year and it is amazing what he has done to even get himself to this level of the game.
    I know I threw with both hands as a kid, but went with the right hand knowing if I wanted to play third base………right was the correct throwing hand.
    But I was told as a kid by my father to learn to write with my left hand in case I injured my throwing hand or shoulder.
    That way I could still get me education even if I was recovering from an injury. That along with my dad telling me to not throw a circle chane-up, but a classic grip might have been two of the best thing he told me in life.

    Great post, and I hope to someday see this guy up on the mound in a game and maybe switching throwing hands during a 2 inning stint.

    Rays Renegade

  7. TribeTed

    Dillon thanks for stopping by. Numbers are baseball. They are a fun thing to talk about and are all around baseball. Baseball is numbers. And vice versa haha. 🙂 I will do a weekly numbers post so always be ready. Maybe two times a week? what do you think? DO you like numbers posts better or my other ones?

  8. devilabrit

    Switch hitters are common place, if this guy makes the majors, could you imagine what a trend setter he would be, in 10 years there would be a lot more switch pitchers… it would certainly add a little diferent aspect to the game…
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  9. michaelsouza

    Great post Dillon! I have heard about this guy for a while and I think he will have a huge impact. It is just unbelievable that there is a chance that this guy could come in and get Kevin Youkilis out with one arm, then David Ortiz out with the other!
    -Mike Souza

  10. Jane Heller

    I’ve been following the Venditte story, so thanks for the update. It’ll be so interesting to see if he makes it to the majors. Right now he’s sort of a curiosity, but if he rises through the ranks it would be fantastic.

  11. ibleedpinstripes

    Pat Venditte! A blast from my past! Last summer at my job [I work for the SI Yankees] I loved to watch him pitch! So impressive! I’m glad he’s getting his due in the spotlight… this is such a rarity, it should be recognized! I hope the Yanks keep him in the organization – I’d love to see him in Yankee pinstripes!

    – Lisa

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