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

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 28 04:46:14 UTC 2001

Laurence Horn said:
>and at 10:10 PM -0500 3/27/01, Bob Haas wrote:
>>Except, Larry, that more play takes place in left field.  I would be
>>interested in the amount of activity that actually does take place in
>Again, I'd love to see empirical support for this claim.  Center
>fielders make more putouts than left or right fielders, although no
>doubt some of that results from the fact that they're usually faster
>afoot (precisely because the greensward is so much vaster in
>center--can you imagine Willie Mays playing left?), and also because
>on fly balls to left- or right-center, the CF is the presumptive
>fielder and calls the others off the ball.  But none of this
>demonstrates that more play takes place in left.

Actually, I suspect that *less* play takes place in left than in the right
or, certainly, than center. There's a reason the Mets tried Hundley in left
when he couldn't catch yet after his elbow surgery. And that's the same
reason that the Yankees have Knoblauch in left, now that he can't handle
Alice Faber                                       tel. (203) 865-6163
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