Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 22:10:14 EST


Subject: Re: why no right field?

In addition to Ron's observations about the left field fence being further

back in sandlot ball (as opposed, e.g. to at Fenway Park) because of the

prevalence of right handed pull hitters, it's worth commenting in connection

with Kathleen's observation,

1. From my softball days, I seem to recall that

in order to hit to left field, you had to swing late.

This could be done deliberately, if you knew you

could catch someone off-guard, say, or it could be

done out of lack of ability/confidence, etc.

that this point only holds if the batter is left-handed. A right-handed

hitter (i.e. the default value--not the NORMAL value, just the statistical

default, Ron; I hasten to add that one of my best spouses is a leftie)

would hit a ball to RIGHT on a late swing, which is why outfielders shift to

right for a fastball pitcher and/or a weak hitter, or when the batter has two

strikes and is presumed to be "protecting the plate". I suspect Ron's

derivation of 'out of left field' from 'out in left field', as the deepest

part of the park, is on the mark.