Dear Mr. Baseball:Why are there no left-handed infielders...

MR. BASEBALL

April 21, 1994

Dear Mr. Baseball:

Why are there no left-handed infielders besides first basemen in major-league baseball?

Charles Glazer

Cockeysville

Dear Charles Glazer:

Many thanks for raising this intriguing question, which I have mulled over many times, most recently during a dinner with Mr. Baseball confidants Fritz Connally and Benny Ayala. This was a very pleasant meal, except for a minor embarrassment when one of my companions bobbled the check, enabling all diners to move up one table.

The answer to your question is simple: Lefties make rotten infielders. They can field the ball OK, but then they have to completely turn their bodies so they can throw to first, which is not a good situation when Rickey Henderson is running down the line.

In spite of that, a few lefties, usually slick-fielding first basemen, have played third base in the big leagues. In the 1980s, two did: Don Mattingly (New York Yankees) and Mike Squires (Chicago White Sox). The White Sox's general manager at the time was Roland Hemond. He remembers Squires' playing third on a night when LaMarr Hoyt almost pitched a perfect game.

Dear Mr. Baseball:

I am a little embarrassed to be asking, because I am 27 years old and married, but I understand that Mike Mussina has a fan club and I'd like any information on how to get into it.

Karen Swingler

Bel Air

Dear Karen Swingler:

No need to apologize for this inquiry, which is perfectly natural, even from a married person such as yourself. Since we are revealing secrets, I'll admit to having briefly collected publicity photographs of radio personality Elane Stein, something I have been unable to tell loved ones.

I think I can help on this Mussina thing, assuming you don't mind cashing in a CD. Membership for the Mikey Club is $29.95 a year, which is steep, but gets you a lot of stuff, including: T-shirt, newsletters, autographed baseball card and an invitation to the annual Mussina Fan Club luncheon held in scenic Williamsport, Pa. Here's the address: Mike Mussina Fan Club, 240 W. Third St., P.O. Box 1133, Williamsport, Pa. 17703.

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