Where did the term "southpaw" come from?

Answer

The origin of the term "southpaw," meaning a left-handed baseball pitcher, is obscure. The standard explanation — that baseball diamonds were typically built facing east, so a left-handed pitcher threw from the "south side" of the body — is problematic.

The term "southpaw" is not exclusive to baseball. In fact, the earliest recorded use of the term refers to left-handed boxers and dates back to the early 1800s, long before baseball was even invented. However, baseball-type games have been around for centuries, and perhaps the practice of having the batter face east, thereby avoiding the direct glare of the late afternoon sun, was already well-established. Nevertheless, there is no documentation to support this theory, and it is only speculation.

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