Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 19:49:20 -0500
From: Ronald Butters amspeech[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ACPUB.DUKE.EDU
Subject: Re: why no right field?
On Mon, 22 Jan 1996, Larry Horn wrote:
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.
Pretty good thinking for a (putative) right-handed person!