Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Question of the Week

James, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Subj: What’s left is right
Hey Ryan, there’s something I’ve always wondered about: why do baseball announcers refer to left-handed pitchers as “Southpaws”?

The term dates back to the late 1840’s when baseball architects discovered they could keep the setting sun out of batter’s eyes by building parks with home plate facing west, the outfield facing east, third base facing north and first base facing south. Naturally, this strategic configuration meant that left-handed pitchers would have their throwing arms facing south. Observant sportswriters picked up on the phenomenon and use of the newly minted word “southpaw” quickly spread from baseball to other popular sports like boxing.