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02-02-2005, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Broncos 8
Country: Wallis & Futuna
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Right handed person and right handed shot is norm in most sports. Tennis, golf, field hockey, cricket etc.

EDIT: two handed backhand in tennis is a bit of an anomoly.

Hockey is just whacked.

Pinch Hit : Canada's Left-Handed Hitting
Reader Brian W has some excellent thoughts and research on Canada's preponderance of lefthanded hitting talent.
During the Canada-Cuba baseball game the question "Anyone know if on the whole, percentage-wise, we've got significantly more left-handed batters than the US?" was asked by G.T. with the hypothesis that due to our hockey background Canadians are more likely to be left handed hitters.

I've wondered the same thing, so I took a quick look into this. Using the invaluable Lahman's database and all players (pitchers and hitters) who have debuted since 1900 I get:

B T Canadians Non-Canadians
S R 6 (4%) 747 (6%)
S L 2 (1%) 151 (1%)
R R 61 (41%) 8474 (63%)
R L 11 (7%) 436 (3%)
L R 44 (30%) 1567 (12%)
L L 25 (17%) 2109 (16%)

Total 149 13492

Percentage throwing right: 75% 81%
Percentage hitting right: 48% 66%
Percentage throwing left: 25% 20%
Percentage hitting left: 47% 28%

So, from these numbers we see that Canadians are about in line with the world with two exceptions: Canadians are less likely to hit and throw right-handed and are more likely to hit left-handed while throwing right-handed. If we assume that the majority of people throw with their dominant hand, we see that right-handed Canadians are quite often hitting left-handed.

The numbers skew even more dramatically if we remove pitchers from the equation (though the sample size decreases as well). I was unable to seperate pitchers from the non-Canadians dataset, so if anybody wants to provide this information it would be greatly appreciated. Instead I've compiled the breakdown for position players on MLB 40-man rosters as of today (bonus points for naming the two S/L players)

B T Cdn Hitters 1900-2004 Current Hitters
S R 3 (5%) 96 (16%)
S L 0 2 (0%)
R R 18 (28%) 328 (54%)
R L 0 4 (1%)
L R 30 (47%) 94 (15%)
L L 13 (20%) 83 (14%)
Total 64 607

In compiling the data I also noticed a large divide in the distribution of the data. Before 1920, there are far more R/R players than after.

B T Pre-1920 Post-1920
S R 1 (6%) 2 (4%)
R R 10 (56%) 8 (17%)
L R 2 (11%) 28 (61%)
L L 5 (28%) 8 (17%)
Total 18 46

It certainly says something when Jason Bay only needed one season to become the most successful Canadian right-handed hitter to debut in the last 90 years. The last right-handed hitting Canadian to appear in more than 100 games was Tom Daly who debuted in 1913 and played 244 career games. Our best switch-hitter ever is: Dave McKay.

From these numbers it is clear that a disproportional amount of Canadian baseball players are opting to bat left-handed. I have made no effort to determine the cause of this and the sample size involved is small enough that random chance cannot be ruled out. At any rate, if there ever is a baseball World Cup, I suspect Canada would face a lot of left-handed pitching.

Thanks Brian! This is terrific work. If you have a Pinch Hit that you'd like to submit, whether article, review, essay or rant, send it over to and we'll work with you to get it published on Batter's Box.

Last edited by me2: 02-02-2005 at 01:50 AM.
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