Right-handed and born in California? Major League Baseball wants you!

Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun: A rightie born in California…Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday

Here’s a few “fun” stats culled from the world of baseball…

* A total of 8,184 players made their major league debut between 1960 and 2010. Of that total, 81.6 percent were born in the United States. It’s probably not that difficult to figure out in which state the highest percentage of these players were born… California with 18.1 percent. Here’s the top ten:

1. California              18.1%

2. Texas                       5.6%

3. Florida                    4.5%

4. New York               4.2%

5. Illinois                    4.0%

6. Ohio                        3.7%

7. Pennsylvania         3.3%

8. Michigan                2.3%

9. Georgia                   2.0%

10. New Jersey          2.0%

Of the 1,504 foreign-born players who made their debut between 1960-2010, the Dominican Republic had the most with 514 followed by Venezuela (250) and Puerto Rico (215)

* Of those 8,184 players,  64.7 percent batted right-handed, 27.2 percent batted left-handed and 8.2 percent were switch-hitters. Just over 78% threw right-handed; just under 22% were left-handed throwers.

* One of my high school buddies, Fred Sorenson, who now resides in Basel, Switzerland, was one of those rare athletes who batted right-handed yet threw left-handed. Fred wrote me a few weeks ago and suggested I do a little research on baseball players who threw left and batted right. He said he remembered a time when Rickey Henderson was maybe the only player in the bigs who batted right and threw left.

First, a quick trip around the current rosters of the 30 major league teams revealed only three players (non-pitchers) who have B-R, T-L notation by their names: Arizona’s Collin Cowgill, Pittsburgh’s Ryan Ludwig and San Francisco’s Cody Ross.

On February 10, 2009, writer Steve Treder on www.hardballtimes.com wrote a piece titled “Bats right, throws left: The best players in major league history.” Treder ranked these players as the top 10 in that category:

1. Rickey Henderson (1978-2003)… Jimmy Ryan (1885-1903)… 3. Hal Chase (1905-19)… 4. Cleon Jones (1963-76)… 5. Rube Bressler (1914-32)… 6. Johnny Cooney (1921-44)… 7. Hick Carpenter (1879-92)… 8. Mark Carreon (1987-96)… 9. Ryan Ludwig (2002-active)… 10. Cody Ross (2003-active)

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2 responses

  1. Hey Jerry-

    Yours truly batted right and through lefty until sixth grade when I went to switch hitting. I thought that throwing lefty added to the shoulder strength of hitting rightly and pulling the bat through with stronger left arm.

    1. Bob: I’m discovering more and more people with this trait. Spending time this weekend with friends in Green Bay and an “old” teammate from my playing days here in G.B. He was our centerfielder; great speed. I finally remembered that he also batted right and threw left. I guess there are more of “you” out there.

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