THE QUESTION: Do you approve of the theory of sending right-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers and vice versa?

September 13, 1959

MICKEY MANTLE
New York Yankee
outfielder
Yes. I definitely believe it is an advantage to bat from the opposite side of the plate. When I am batting left and facing a right-handed pitcher, I know that the ball is going to break toward me, not away. The same is true from the other side of the plate against a left-hander.

MIKE HIGGINS
Former Boston Red Sox
manager
You've got to consider the batter and the size and shape of the park. A lot of left-handed batters are not bothered by southpaws and vice versa. Actually, some left-handed batters are tough on southpaws—players like Ted Williams, Vic Wertz, Yogi Berra and Nellie Fox.

PEE WEE REESE
Los Angeles Dodger
coach
Not always. In a Series game Stengel started two right-handers, Skowron and Howard, against Newcombe, a right-hander, instead of Slaughter and Collins, lefties. We thought Casey was a bit screwy, but both Skowron and Howard, strong opposite-field hitters, banged home runs.

BOB FRIEND
Pittsburgh Pirate
pitcher
When a pitcher has good stuff it doesn't make any difference. I'm a right-hander and I've had better luck against right-hand hitting. However, if managers disregarded this theory, I think the end result of the games would be the same over a full season.

JOHNNY ANTONELLI
San Francisco Giant
pitcher
It all depends on who's pitching. Spahn and I, both left-handers, see so many right-handed batters that we pitch better against them. The other teams have been loading their lineups with right-handers against me for so long that I have more confidence pitching against them.

AL SCMACHT
Restaurateur and former major league
pitcher
This Is an exploded theory. A lot of it is in the mind. When a pitcher or batter is used continually in this way he is at a handicap. I'd rather see a good .280-.300 hitter at the plate against right-handers or lefties than a .225 right-hander against a southpaw.

ERNIE BANKS
Chicago Cub shortstop
Well, the manager has a tough job figuring his moves. If he doesn't follow the usual system the fans will second-guess him, but if he follows it they will say it is hard luck if it doesn't work. A pinch hitter should be good against right-or left-handed pitching. I hit the same against both.

TED WILLIAMS
Boston Red Sox
outfielder
This is not as important as a "lot of baseball people think it is. With a good hitter who is hitting in his stride, it doesn't make any difference. He'll hit righthanders or southpaws. However, I do think that a good southpaw will give a left-handed batter more trouble over the long run and vice versa.

AL LOPEZ
Chicago White Sox
manager
A good right-or left-handed batter can hit all pitchers. I know some right-handed batters who hit right-handed pitching better than left-handed. For most of last season, Nellie Fox, a left-hander, had a higher average against southpaws. When I caught for the Dodgers, we seldom used this system.

FRED HANEY
Milwaukee Brave
manager
There is no set rule about this. A lot is going to depend on the hitter, the pitcher, the ball park and the playing conditions. In San Francisco against the Giants, I used a right-handed hitter against a right-handed pitcher because a strong wind was blowing toward left, and it paid off.

ELEVEN PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)