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Posts Tagged ‘Cara’

Winner: Judge Judy, then Pluto, Rock, and Rosebud

Pluto whines every week that there’s not any sports questions. Well tonight there were 4 sports questions and Judge Judy still beat him. Better find another excuse Pluto. Well done, Judy.

We wished a hearty goodbye and good luck to Cara, our fave Main Street Cafe hostess who is headed to Hawaii to be with her boyfriend and continue her education. We’ll miss her.

Good Question!: What sport introduced the term southpaw?

Choices: a. boxing  b. baseball  c. polo  d. discus

Answer: baseball

In base ball, a southpaw is the pitcher who throws the ball with his left hand.

Traditionally, baseball fields were oriented so that the batter, catcher, and umpire faced east to ensure that the setting sun wasn’t in their eyes. As a result, when a pitcher is on the mound facing home plate, his left hand pointed south, so lefty pitchers came to be known as southpaws. Well, at least that’s the conventional wisdom.

BUT numerous big-league stadiums were not oriented with the pitcher facing west.

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.

Boston Globe baseball writer and former ballplayer Tim Murnane also recalled in a 1908 edition of Arizona’s Bisbee Daily Review that a St. Louis newspaper had called him a “southpaw” in 1875 because he was a left-handed batter. Murnane adopted the term in describing pitchers “simply because they were left-handed, and not because they pitched the ball towards the sunny south on certain grounds.”

John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, told Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer that he believes the term for lefties likely originated with a wholly different sport—boxing. In its coverage of an 1860 bare-knuckle prizefight, the New York Herald reported that left-hander David Woods “planted his ‘south paw’ under [his opponent’s] chin, laying him out as flat as a pancake” in the ninth round.

So, there you are. It could be baseball or it could be boxing, you takes your choice.

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