I very much enjoyed the article about John Simmons (Frontlines, July 26). But as a former ballplayer — who would have loved to have gone as far in organized ball as John did — it caught my eye that the photo and the (supposed) "bats left, throws left" reference doesn't fit the pic.
He's holding a mitt in his left hand, which would imply that he is a "right hander" — unless, of course, he's ambidextrous. Or, the photo is hiding something about his right arm such that, indeed, he is a "lefty" and also has to field the ball using his left hand. There have been a couple of one-armed major leaguers over the years who were incredibly fast at handling mitt and ball despite missing an arm. One of them (can't remember his name right now) pitched in the majors until just a few years ago.
But, I suspect in this instance the baseball card people just got it wrong. He looks like a pretty sturdy right hander to me! No surprise he's doing so well with Richards & Tierney. Nice piece.
Michael E. Fisher
Barclays Global Investors Services
Editor's note: Mr. Simmons threw as a lefty. But partially as a result of being ambidextrous, he occasionally posed for card photos in both left- and right-handed stances. By the way, the one-handed pitcher was Jim Abbott, also a lefty, who pitched a no-hitter for the New York Yankees in 1993.