Why are Left Handed People Called Southpaws
Why are Left Handed People Called Southpaws. Numerous big-league stadiums were not oriented with the pitcher facing west. That was not the case, though, with Chicago’s West Side Park, and it’s theorized that Chicago News sportswriter and humorist Finley Peter Dunne or the Chicago Herald’s Charles Seymour made the geographic connection by calling left-handed hurlers “southpaws” in the 1880s.
The “American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language” cites the conventional wisdom that the word “southpaw” originated “from the practice in baseball of arranging the diamond with the batter facing east to avoid the afternoon sun. A left-handed pitcher facing west would therefore have his pitching arm toward the south of the diamond.” As the third edition of “The Dickson Baseball Dictionary” points out, however, that origin story is a little too simplistic. The earliest baseball mention of a “southpaw”—as found by Tom Shieber, senior curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame—appeared in the New York Atlas in 1858, but in reference to a left-handed first baseman, not a pitcher.
Read more: history.com
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