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Manual laterality and hitting performance in major league baseball.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
Publication Date
Volume
25
Issue
3
Pages
747–754
Identifiers
PMID: 10385985
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Asymmetrical hand function was examined in the context of expert sports performance: hitting in professional baseball. An archival study was conducted to examine the batting performance of all Major League Baseball players from 1871 to 1992, focusing on those who batted left (n = 1,059) to neutralize the game asymmetry. Among them, left-handers (n = 421) were more likely to hit with power and to strike out than right-handers (n = 638). One possible account, based on the idea of hand dominance and an analogy to tennis, is that batting left involves a double-handed forehand for left-handers and a weaker and more reliable double-handed backhand for right-handers. The results are also interpretable in the light of Y. Guiard's (1987) kinematic chain model of a between-hands asymmetrical division of labor, which provides a detailed account of why left batting is optimal for left-handers.

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