Dominant Eye and Hitting

Do you know which eye is your dominant eye? Here is a simple test:

  1. Extend your arms in front of you.
  2. Bring your hands together to form a hole that you can look through.
  3. Choose a small object about 15 feet away from you. With both eyes open, focus on the object as you look through the hole.
  4. Keep looking at the object through the hole while you close one eye and then the other. When you close one eye, the object will be stationary. When you close the other eye, the object should disappear from the hole or jump to one side.
  5. The eye that sees the stationary object is your dominant eye.

So what does this have to do with hitting?

Disclaimer: some say nothing. But some say if you are left-eye dominant, batting right is advantageous because your dominant left eye would be closest to the pitcher. I have pondered this question because of my son. Like Rickey Henderson, Lefty throws left and bats right. (Believe me, I tried to make him bat left when he was little. He was having none of it.)

When Rickey was playing, Jim Caple from ESPN interviewed him saying, “You are one of the rare players who throws left-handed and bats right-handed. How did that happen?” Rickey responded, “All the other kids playing around me were batting right-handed, so that’s the way I thought you were supposed to do it, so that’s what I did, too. At one point, I wanted to be a switch-hitter and try the left side, but I was hitting .300, .350 in the minors, and they wouldn’t let me do it.”

Sure, Henderson said he hit right because that’s what he saw the other kids doing. But, I wondered if his preference for hitting right might also have to do with eye dominance. And maybe the same could be true for my son. So, I had Lefty do the test. As it turns out, Lefty is left-eye dominant which puts his dominant eye closest to the pitcher (and the ball) while he bats right. Hmmm. I might just be on to something.

Then I did some research and put together a short list of professional players who also threw left and hit right: Sandy Koufax, Tommy John and Randy Johnson. Yep, all pitchers — great left-handed pitchers — not at all known for hitting. Does that blow my theory? I don’t know. Wish I could have tested their dominant eyes.

What do you guys think? Anyone do the test at home?


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