Young pitcher slings it with both hands
Eight-year-old Aiden McNasby has quite a unique trait — he can pitch right-handed and left-handed.
As a toddler, Aiden would pick up things with both hands and eventually learned to throw with both.
“I was born throwing two pitches, pitching with both hands,” Aiden explained Saturday, dressed in his Pirates uniform for a Roseville West Little League game.
His father, Dan McNasby, said Aiden has been encouraged to utilize his skill and bought him a six-finger glove to help.
“At first, I was pitching with my right, but as soon as my dad got me a six-finger glove I started to pitch with both hands,” Aiden said.
The special glove has a large slot for a thumb on either side, with the four smaller slots in the middle. Aiden, who switches after almost every batter, swaps hands with the glove and is ready to go.
“I started doing research last year, and I found that there’s a guy in the minor-league system, Pat Venditte,” Dan McNasby said of the New York Yankees farmhand. “There’s … some online stuff that can tell you some rules. I started researching gloves and found there are only two companies that make (ambidextrous) gloves. One is Akadema, and the other is Mizuno. Mizuno is a custom professional grade and is like $450.”
While the gloves are rare, so are those who can actually use them.
“These guys (Akadema) make only about a hundred of them a year,” Dan McNasby said. “Doing research, besides the professional Pat Venditte, there’s only maybe a handful (of ambidextrous pitchers) that you read about.”
Aiden, who attends Hank’s Baseball Academy in Roseville to work on his mechanics — for both arms — writes predominately left-handed and fields and hits left-handed, although he can switch hit. He said he prefers hitting left-handed because it’s easier to hit home runs.
“It’s weird but cool,” Aiden said of his uniqueness.
Aiden started on the mound for the Pirates at his game Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Roseville. Aiden, who will be a third-grader at Catherine Gates Elementary School, pitched two innings and had three strikeouts — two pitching left-handed and one right-handed. His team shut out the Dodgers 2-0 in four innings.