"out of left field" (Why "left"?)

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Tue Mar 27 19:44:36 UTC 2001

I did a quick check on the National League parks.  There's much more
symmetry there.  Only threeparks have longer left fields than right fields,
and two ‹ Coors Field and Pro Player Stadium, two expansion fields ‹ have
right fields slightly longer than left, by 2-3 yards.

On 3/27/01 12:56 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 1:12 PM -0500 3/27/01, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>> In a message dated 2/28/01 10:39:01 AM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:
>> << What makes us prefer "out of/in left field" is, I've
>> always assumed, the general association of leftness with the weird or
>> unconventional (due to properties of both handedness and politics).
>> I always thought that it was because the left-field fence was often placed
>> farther away from home plate than the right-field fence
> Often, but usually?  Is there empirical confirmation for this claim?
> (Actually, center field is ALWAYS farther away from home plate than
> either left or right, but I don't think we ever get "out of/in center
> field, so sheer proximity can't be the whole story.)
> Larry
>>  (because more long
>> balls are hit to left field than right). Hence "way out in left field" is as
>> far away as one can get from the center of the action.

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