Saturday, August 25, 2012

Don Kessinger...From the Left or Right

When shortstop Don Kessinger came to the major leagues in 1964 he was a right-handed hitter.  More accurately, he was right-handed, but not much of a hitter.  By the end of the 1965 season, his career average was .199.  Hoping to take advantage of his speed, in 1966 new Cubs skipper Leo Durocher convinced him to become a switch hitter.  In May, 1966, Kessinger began batting left handed against rightys and saw his average climb.

The natural righty began hitting from the left side.  Judging from his baseball cards, he became very comfortable on the left side.  I went through all my Kessinger cards looking for any that had him posed as a hitter.  My question: did he pose more from his natural right side or from the left.  I found eleven cards of him batting, so there was going to be a winner.  But it wasn't even close

Right side....



Right Side...four cards

Left Side...



Left cards

I find it interesting that he posed from his "unnatural" side far more often than his right side.  As I said earlier, apparently he became quite comfortable on the left side.

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