Harris Throws a Rare Right-Left Combo
Greg Harris became the first player to pitch with both hands in a game in modern major league history, working a scoreless ninth inning Thursday night for the Montreal Expos in a 9-7 loss to Cincinnati.
Harris, who had wanted to pitch ambidextrously for a decade but was forbidden by his own team, faced four batters in the ninth--two from his normal right side, two from the left.
Using a special six-finger glove, Harris became the first ambidextrous pitcher in the majors since Elton (Ice Box) Chamberlain of the Louisville Colonels of the American Assn. in 1888.
Harris, 39, first threw right-handed to right-handed-hitting Reggie Sanders, who grounded out.
“I had jelly knees. I’m still in shock,” said Harris, who was told he had to retire Sanders before he could switch to his left hand.
“All I was thinking was to get Sanders out. When he grounded out to short, I took the ball and thought, ‘Here we go.’ I think my heart stopped.”
Harris then pitched left-handed to left-handed Hal Morris and walked him. Harris then got left-handed hitting Eddie Taubensee to ground out.
Harris went back to pitching right-handed and retired Bret Boone, batting right-handed, on another grounder.
Montreal Manager Felipe Alou had said he intended to let Harris make history, “but it won’t be in a situation with the game on the line.” Harris entered with the Expos losing, 9-3.