Left and Right-Handed Bat

I know this title sounds a little odd, but.

We actually had a player on a roster that had left and right-handed bats.

No kidding.

Every time he’d switch hit, either hitting lefty or righty, he had different bats with his number on the heel of the bats. Here was he logic.

He was primarily a right-handed batter, and he swung a certain bat depending on what he was going to do in the box at that particular at bat. If he was swinging for the Barbsol signs he’d used a kind of bat with a length, weighted in a particular fashion like a Worth bat with a solid bat neck. If he was swinging to move a runner over, he’d pick up his Rawlings whip neck, again, with a specific weight and length. If he was laying down a bunt, he had a couple of Louisville Sluggers of varying lengths and weights.

Now to top this off, all that would change if he was swinging lefty.

He was the only man I ever saw that came to every single game with a golf bag full of bats.

The guys use to kid him about having a caddy, but after only a few games into a season, nobody was very enthusiastic about kidding him. His approach had a purpose – as every apposing rotation found out.

Adding to what I just posted, he was the only man that I ever saw that would study every apposing pitcher to see what the guy’s best stuff was working that day. If the pitcher was pitching inside to most everybody, his selection of stick was to take that advantage away. If the pitches were most junk - again, his selection had an answer for that too.

I did notice that if he fouled-tipped a lot, he would call time and look at the bat, mutter something to the UIC, look back into the dugout and then have another bat brought out to him - bingo, no more foul-tips, goodbye Mr. Rawlings.

His numbers were impressive and I was given one secret to why - besides constant practice. He took every bat that he owned and soaked in very hot water overnight as soon as he bought it. That soaking would actually swell the grain in the bat and would give the surface of the bat a rougher feel to it - hence the bat’s face would have a greater “grab” on the ball.

The man was an artist at bat. A student of his craft.

This guy must have taken several pages out of Ted Williams’ book on hitting. Williams had a bat for just about every situation—except those days when the Red Sox had to face the Yankees and he had to face a certain lefthander whom he couldn’t hit for beans. :slight_smile: [/youtube]

I remember the Yankees had a player by the name of Willie Randolph who would use a 32" bat when he wanted to place the ball in play just enough to move a runner(s) over. He called his 32" bat his pea shooter.

From a pitching coach’s standpoint, whenever I saw a batter swinging a “short stick”, pitches that were inside were out. Also, in certain situations the bunt was a probably a high percentage of the time so that was pitched to by pitchers with inventory that could deal with the bunt.

This sport has so many different avenues of chance and probability that most people would be amazed at just how much planning and preparation goes into every game. Coaching game plans and logic also have a certain slide-rule or sliding-scale to their madness - even who’s at bat and pitch by pitch even before the…" Oh say can you see…"