Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
InsideCoroner

When Steve Carlton announced he was learning to pitch right handed

Recommended Posts

In the late ‘80s, I remember Steve Carlton telling a reporter that he was teaching himself to throw right handed in order to extend his career. I seem to remember him saying that unlike his left arm, his right arm still have a another twenty good years in it — and he was serious. Carlton must have been over 40 at the time and he hung around baseball a little too long (he retired immediately after reaching 4,000 strikeouts, and then un-retired that same year and bounced around three more teams over the next two years). 

I can’t find any mention of this anywhere online, so I was wondering if anyone had any recollection of this. Steve was by all accounts a very odd guy and was so concerned with aging that he wouldn’t celebrate birthdays, and it’s a novel idea, but short of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (who isn’t particularly dominant throwing with either arm) I have to wonder if Carlton was really convinced he could do it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I  don't remember Carlton making such a statement, either.  He had a reputation for not talking to reporters, so it seems as though it would have been big news if he'd talked to a reporter about anything, let alone experimenting with pitching right-handed.

He did his talking on the field.  It's hard to think of any pitcher who ever had a better season than Carlton in 1972, when he went 27-10 for a Phillies' team that was 32-87 in games where he didn't figure in the decision..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/5/2021 at 4:51 PM, WillyM said:

I  don't remember Carlton making such a statement, either.  He had a reputation for not talking to reporters, so it seems as though it would have been big news if he'd talked to a reporter about anything, let alone experimenting with pitching right-handed.

He did his talking on the field.  It's hard to think of any pitcher who ever had a better season than Carlton in 1972, when he went 27-10 for a Phillies' team that was 32-87 in games where he didn't figure in the decision..

342 innings and 30 complete games.  I wish one of the leagues would mandate that teams couldn't carry more than eight pitchers, and deaden the ball and make the parks bigger.  Then have the fans pick which they like better: seven pitchers a game all throwing 98 mph with strikeouts and homers all over the place, or one or two pitchers a game trying to get through the lineup four times and many more balls in play.

And no, I have no recollection of Carlton saying he was learning to throw righty.  It couldn't have been serious.  I know there are a small handful of pitchers who've done that in the majors, half of them 130+ years ago.  But I can't imagine a 40-year-old Steve Carlton could throw in the mid-70s with his off arm.  I'm a natural right-hander, but played some outfield in softball left-handed after I injured my right arm.  My left is probably 60% as good as my healthy right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

o

 

In the off-season between 1971 and 1972, reigning MVP and Cy Young award winner Vida Blue was asked if he would pitch for the Athletics in 1972 if Charlie Finley didn't pay him the money that he wanted. Blue replied, "Sure ...... right-handed."

 

o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2021 at 7:11 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

 I'm a natural right-hander, but played some outfield in softball left-handed after I injured my right arm.  My left is probably 60% as good as my healthy right.

Actually, 60% is pretty impressive and trying to make the throws from the outfield.  Are you somewhat ambidextrous?  I can bat left handed, but I could never throw a ball more than 20 feet I would guess, left handed.  I am also right hand dominant obviously. 

I agree it would be almost impossible for Carlton to have switched pitching arms at that age, but it would have been fun to watch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, murph said:

Actually, 60% is pretty impressive and trying to make the throws from the outfield.  Are you somewhat ambidextrous?  I can bat left handed, but I could never throw a ball more than 20 feet I would guess, left handed.  I am also right hand dominant obviously. 

I agree it would be almost impossible for Carlton to have switched pitching arms at that age, but it would have been fun to watch!

I guess "somewhat ambidextrous" is a good way to put it. I eat with the fork in my left hand, can throw reasonably well lefty.  Occasionally batted lefty.  I've taught myself to use a computer mouse left-handed.  Sometimes I'll sit in boring meetings writing left-handed, but it's pretty bad.

I'd guess that I can throw a baseball about 100' left-handed, and can pitch from 40' or so lefty and get most pitches reasonably near the strike zone.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

 

I guess "somewhat ambidextrous" is a good way to put it. I eat with the fork in my left hand, and can throw reasonably well as a lefty ...... I've occasionally batted lefty. I've taught myself to use a computer mouse left-handed. Sometimes I'll sit in boring meetings writing left-handed, but it's pretty bad.

I'd guess that I can throw a baseball about 100' left-handed, and can pitch from 40' or so lefty and get most pitches reasonably near the strike zone.

 

o

 

The Hoboken Zephyrs could probably use you.

 

See the source image

 

o

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not a great athlete to start with, but I do think I’m semi-ambidextrous.   I could throw a bit left handed, bowl close to 100 left handed without any practice, and punt decently with my left foot.   I’m not saying I was good at any of those things, but better than most people on my “off” side.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores
News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2020 Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2020 Orioles Stats

2019 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats






  • Posts

    • Perhaps the season ticket renewals were down more than they anticipated. 
    • Haven't read the whole thread but Roch and Melewski both had columns up bright and early today, so it looks like they're both safe. They're probably pretty cheap too, compared to the names released. So they got THAT going for them.     Which is nice.
    • I won’t argue with that. We could speculate deep into the weeds on this. Maybe he is exploring signing Andrelton Simmons, which would require stretching pennies into copper wire. Who knows. I will say that you his does not disgust me, nor does it alarm me. It did raise an eyebrow, however.
    • I'm gonna miss Thorne, Tom Davis, and Dempsey.  Enjoyed their delivery and enthusiasm as much as anything.  It's sad when the voices you get very used to are no longer there.  Tom Davis cackling at every quip Dempsey threw always cracked me up. Would have rather done some creative accounting to defund and disembark Chris Davis instead of excising these more valuable pieces to the club.
    • 1) Yes ....but that doesn’t mean you know how they decided on Kjerstad internally. We know they wanted to overslot players later. The exact details can be speculated about but no one outside the organization can claim them as fact. 2) Yes ,...but again, The exact formula for why they like him over Martin or the Lacy in not known. We do know he accepted considerably less money than Martin wanted. And based on their signing bonuses with the teams that selected him it’s fair to assume who wanted fair slot value and who might have been willing to cut a deal. I think it’s fair to say that guys that signed for slot probably wanted slot at #2 as well. In my opinion, if you want a guy to sign for considerably less than slot you have to reach.    3) Most scout sites agree....But, I’m not sure how this helps your argument. So was Torkleson and Martin. I’m not sure about the other hitters they passed on to get to Kjerstad. Also, I think the money issue is more conclusive. 4)Obviously there were more than just Martin that they didn’t want to pay number 2 money. Kjerstad accepted 7.5 million dollars less than #2 money. Why would he do that? We are talking a million or two that might make your argument more playable. It’s obvious they wanted to play the over slot game later. Because, that’s exactly what they did!    5) I don’t think this proves anything! But, ok ....He was willing to accept 7.5 million less.    6) Obviously! The scouting services are in the business of evaluating players. Obviously there are differing opinions, what’s your point? That you know better than them? Elias had $7.5 million dollars as a reason why he chose Kjerstad over the 8 or so other guys that most places had him rated.
    • I think its harder for a competitive team to delay a player's call up from the minors because if he can add to a playoff run he is likely to get the call.  Think Manny.
  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...