Blogging About Baseball

162 games, even more blogs. From college to the minors to the pros. It's all here.

And I thought switch hitting was tough…

with 4 comments

I write mostly every article seen on Blogging About Baseball from a small coffee shop in downtown Charleston named Baked. It serves all kinds of baked goods (oddly enough), coffees, and assorted goodies. I don’t really like any of the food or crap they sell here, but tourists seem to be obsessed with it. It’s hilarious watching them mill about, commenting on how unique everything is (when really it’s about as faceless and hermetically-sealed as can be so as to offend as little of them as possible).

But today I walked in and almost immediately something popped out at me, something truly unique.

My find of the day.

It’s odd enough seeing a baseball story on the front page of the Post and Courier. And it’s even more odd that it wasn’t about the Atlanta Braves or Clemson or USC or any other numbers of highly regarded programs in the area. The oddest part is, if you look closely, that’s the same pitcher in both pictures.

It appears as though the Charleston Riverdogs have quite a story all to themselves. Pat Venditte, their current closer and owner of a 0.00 ERA and 6 saves through 9.1 innings, throws both left- and right-handed, sometimes during the same game.

As someone who pretty much lives and breathes baseball and also lives in Charleston, I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of Venditte. And at first I was suspicious; I thought the article was the second coming of Kazuo Uzuki.

Apparently, it’s real. The 23-year-old Venditte was trained by his father to be ambidextrous when he was a young child, throwing hundreds of balls with each arm. Around age 7, the youngster became efficient enough for his father to call Mizuno and request a six fingered glove.

The infamous six fingered glove.

He went to Creighton College where he pitched ably. The Yankees attempted to sign him in the 45th round in 2007, but Venditte declined and returned to Creighton. In 2008, he was named a third team All-American. This past spring, the Yankees signed him in the 20th round.

With his success this year, it appears as though Venditte is much more than a novelty act. While it’s doubtful that he’ll reach the majors pitching with both arms, he likely will reach the majors as an adequate middle reliever. Whether that’s from the right or left side remains to be seen.

As part of the Charleston Riverdogs, Venditte has found a home. It only seems fitting that the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball is with the only organization in baseball with enough balls to run a “Tonya Harding Mini-Bat Night.”

And here comes a first…a scouting report from each side of the mound!

  • Fastball: Low 90’s from the right, mid-80’s from the left.
  • Curve: From the right side only, Venditte throws a hard, biting power curve.
  • Changeup: Thrown from both sides, but I had trouble finding information on Venditte’s change.
  • Slider: A left side pitch, Venditte has shown good control of it.

To the left, to the left.To the right, to the right.

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4 Responses

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  1. IM 13 years old and i also switch pitch usually in a game i put my left handed glove on the other hand and i am looking for a glove like his

    Marcus

    June 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    • Cool man, where are you from? I’ve got to watch Pat pitch a few times and it’s really cool. You should ask your parents to bring you to Charleston.

      dylansharek

      June 29, 2009 at 11:04 am

  2. Hi Dylan,
    My son is an ambidextrous pitcher. We just got in the mail 2 days ago his first ambi Glove ..custom made from Mizuno victory Stage. It was modeled after Pat Vendittes first Glove. I have spoken with Pat directly before he got drafted and now communicate with him through facebook. If you are interested in seeing the Glove let me know and I will e-mail some pics. This is the first Ambi Glove made by Victory Stage Mizuno. We hope to get a sponsor in future…as Mark progresses…seeing that he is half Japanese (lol)..no ambi pitchers in Japan

    Thanks great article, Daniel Kinoshita

    Daniel Kinoshita

    July 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    • Hey Daniel,
      I’d love to get some pictures of that glove. I’ve tried finding your email address on your site, but I can’t see it anywhere. If you could email me at dylansharek@yahoo.com, I’d greatly appreciate it.
      I’d love some more of your story too. How did you and your son begin this process? Why? How old is he?
      Thanks,
      Dylan Sharek

      dylansharek

      July 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm


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