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National Baseball Hall of Fame displays Canyon Laker’s baseball glove

Greg Harris reunites in Canyon Lake with seven former MLB players. Pictured, from left to right, are Paul Pettit, Jerry Wood, Edgar Carroll, Jim Merritt, Jerry Johnson, Rick Greene, Greg Harris, and Bobby Kielty. Pettit passed away at his home in Canyon Lake on September 24, 2020. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

Canyon Lake resident Greg Harris recently celebrated the iconic and historical day he threw with both arms in a Major League game and earned the title of the first ambidextrous pitcher to pitch in a Major League game in more than 100 years.

On September 28, 1995, in the last series of the season against the Cincinnati Reds, Harris threw right-handed. He retired Reggie Sanders in the ninth inning, then opted to his left hand for the next two hitters, Hal Morris and Ed Taubensee, who were both left-handed batters. He walked Morris; however, he got Taubensee to ground out. He then returned to his right hand to retire Bret Boone to finish the inning.

Harris was known for putting his six-finger glove on his head while signing autographs before games. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

“That was one of the most memorable and life-changing moments of my life,” Harris said. “I am forever grateful.”

Harris and the six-finger glove he custom-designed with the Mizuno Corporation, a Japanese company founded in 1906 who first marketed baseball gloves, became a big part of baseball history. So much so that the glove Harris wore on that momentous day is now on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Harris first started using both arms in 1977, during batting practice when he signed with the Mets to relieve his stiff right arm from starting. It wasn’t until he was with the Texas Rangers in 1986 that he was asked to start preparing to pitch left-handed due to the team having all right-handed relievers.

Nine years later, playing for the Montreal Expos, Manager Felipe Alou gave him the opportunity to pitch with both arms for the last series with the Cincinnati Reds.

Harris reunites with his former all-star Little League coach, Canyon Lake Councilman Jordan Ehrenkranz. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

Throughout his 15-year career, Harris pitched in 703 career games, beginning with the New York Mets in 1981. He pitched for the San Diego Padres in the 1984 World Series.

Canyon Lake City Councilman Jordan Ehrenkranz witnessed Harris’s potential first hand as his former all-star Little League coach. 

Harris went on to attend Los Alamitos High School and then Long Beach City College. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 7th round of the 1976 January Amateur Baseball Draft.

Harris and his wife, Kelly, reside in Canyon Lake, the home of at least seven other former professional baseball players: Jim Merritt, Jerry Wood, Edgar Carroll, Rick Greene, Brett Tomko, Jerry Johnson, and Bobby Kielty. Paul Pettit resided in Canyon Lake until his passing on September 24, 2020.

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