1880s: Switch Pitchers

Switch Pitchers of the 1880s

Introduced: March, 2015

Switch Pitchers of the 1880s Challenge: Collect these three Beginnings: 1880’s cards featuring ambidextrous pitchers of the 1880s


Ice Box Chamberlain
St. Louis Browns
Beginnings: 1880s
Larry Corcoran
Indianapolis Hoosiers
Beginnings: 1880s

Tony Mullane
Cincinnati Red Stockings
Beginnings: 1880s

Switch Pitchers of the 1880s: A Brief History


A handful of players have tantalized fans since the beginnings of the game with the prospect of “switch-pitching.” Few accomplished this feat in major league contests with three doing it in the remarkable, hard-charging, tumultuous decade of the 1880s when the game was quickly evolving. The only modern-era hurler to use both arms in a big league game was Greg Harris, at the very end of his long career in 1995. The trio featured here, playing in a less restrained age (the Red Sox prohibited Harris from using his left arm), did not routinely use their off-hands. Corcoran and Chamberlain are known to have done the trick in only one game each. Tony Mullane was the acknowledged master as he eschewed the glove and could mask his intended delivery.

  • Tony Mullane, 1881-1894, is the first known to have defied the phenomenon of “handedness”
  • Larry Corcoran, 1880-1887, was the first to record two no-hitters, not surpassed until Koufax
  • Elton “Ice-Box” Chamberlain, 1886-1896, consistently ranked among top pitchers during a ten-year career
  • George Wheeler, 1896-1899, played four seasons for Philadelphia, pitching ambidextrously in a mere handful of games


The switch-pitcher is back! Pat Venditte of the Oakland Athletics joined Greg Harris as the only hurlers in the modern era to use both arms in a big league game. Venditte threw two scoreless, switch-pitching frames in his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox on June 5, 2015.

Switch Pitchers of the 1880s: Your Rewards


Reward 1: One free card from the current Ars Longa Redemption Series

Reward 2: Your chosen inscription to be displayed on a virtual Loving Cup below (optional)