AWSI: An Awesome Week for ‘Amphibious’ Pitcher…

We heart the ambidextrous pitcher, Pat Venditte, who plays for the Oakland Athletics and have been watching him closely since spring training. He has spent most of the season in the ball clubs’s Triple-A affiliate (Nashville) until Friday, June 5, when he was called up to help out the A’s as they battled the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park (Nice!).

The league and Twitter was abuzz as he entered the game in the 7th. Apparently the ballpark organist had some fun with the occasion by playing Joni MItchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Cute but perhaps too obscure for most.

The Boston fans got to see “Ambi-Pat” pitch left handed first against lefty Brock Holt. Then he switched his glove and pitched righty to the next two players.

Venditte's Two-thumbed Glove

Venditte’s Two-thumbed Glove

Smiles all around as he completed two innings with one hit, one strikeout and no runs scored.

The home fans got to see him in the series vs. the Texas Rangers. He appeared in two more games before his right arm started “barking,” resulting in a trip to the 15-day disabled list a week after his debut.

What a week it was!

He did not allow a run in 5 2/3 innings, making him one of the brightest spots of a beleaguered bullpen so far this year. Most recently, he worked 2 1/3 innings on Tuesday in Oakland’s win over Texas after working one inning strictly right-handed the night before.

Headline Goes Viral.

Headline Goes Viral.

And in the Twitter-verse, there was a lot of buzz about a headline which referred to him as an Amphibious pitcher.

Cool as the other side of the pillow, when asked about it, Venditte mentioned Yogi Berra.

Venditte's Response to Headline.

Venditte’s Response to Headline.

Of course! That WOULD be such a Berra-ism!

“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”

Setting the novelty aside, here’s a notable quotable from aid Venditte’s father, Pat Sr. who taught his son at an early age to throw with both arms and had Mizuno customize a two-thumbed glove:

“In this case, ambidexterity is important. He realizes that. just hope his work ethic is the recipe that carries him through. I know how tough it is to get here. The job doesn’t get any easier.”

Work ethic IS key as is flexibility. That same articled noted:

At Triple-A Nashville, Venditte’s ERA was 1.36, and his ability to throw right-handed to righties and left-handed to lefties makes him far more than a situational reliever, giving Bob Melvin options no manager in the modern era (since 1900) has had.

More options for whoever is employing you, is a truly great thing.

As we see it, that ambidextrous pitcher playing for the Oakland A’s is a poster child for all of us — a reminder to hone skills and increase / improve our willingness to work outside the box. It’s all good!

And for those of you who are curious on how this “switch-hitting” works, check out the rule.

What you need to know about "the rule."

What you need to know about “the rule.”

The Venditte Rule
…when a switch-hitter comes to the plate, Venditte must first indicate to the plate umpire with which hand he intends to throw, and then the batter decides from which box he intends to hit. Venditte cannot change hands in the middle of a plate appearance unless an injury prevents him from throwing from that side.

We are hoping he heals quickly and can rejoin the club soon.


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