Posted at 10:49 AM on July 20, 2005
by David Zingler
In baseball, it’s always good to be left-handed, especially if you are an aging pitcher. Just ask Terry Mullholland or Jesse Orosco. In a far less conventional way however, it has benefited Erik Lovdahl. The southpaw joined the Twins organization last year when the team needed a lefty with a quality arm to pitch batting practice.
“I’ve known Terry Ryan for years -- he said that if (the Twins) ever needed a lefty (for BP), he’d give me a call,” the baby-faced 36-year-old said. “I was fortunate he called me early last year before spring training and I tried out.”
Lovdahl admitted the thought of throwing to big leaguers was intimidating at first, but credits the Twins GM for calming his nerves. “Terry Ryan had me come down to Florida and had me throw to the minor leaguers for a couple days -- Double A and Triple A guys -- to ease me into it,” he explained. “I was coaching (at Bethel College) at the time and throwing BP, so I had the mind set to just throw it over the plate.”
A 1987 graduate of Roseville High School, Lovdahl attended UW-River Falls and pitched professionally with the Minneapolis Millers. Following the end of his playing career, he joined the coaching staff at Bethel College and currently operates Lovdahl Pitching Academy in Roseville. In addition to his academy, he runs baseball camps for players of all ages.
During BP with the big boys, Lovdahl keeps things simple, “(I throw) basically four seam fastballs,” he said. “They don’t want the ball to move or cut...you pretty much want to get (the hitters) into a rhythm and tempo. (I) put a little zip on it, but basically they just want to get in a groove.”
For more information on Lovdahl’s academy and camps, contact him at 651-644-3310 or Lovdahl1@netzero.net