HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Little League is headed to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to compete in the Little League World Series (LLWS) later this month.
It’s arguably the biggest youth sporting event in America, but one of the star players won’t be going, and it’s his own decision.
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That’s not the only thing that makes Tyler Shindo unique: he’s an ambidextrous pitcher and a switch hitter.
“Everything he does is a bit chop suey,” Tyler’s dad Dustin said. “He eats lefty but he brushes his teeth right, he’s a right-footer, writes left, so, back and forth, maybe he can do the right hand throwing and you know that that was the beginning of it.”
It went to another level when Tyler started pitching with both hands when he was 9 years old. An extremely rare sight on a diamond.
“Pitching took a long time to learn both sides,” Tyler said. “There’s a long time to be able to switch back and forth and throw strikes. So it took me like a year.”
The now 12-year-old uses a specially ordered glove with six fingers so he can use it on either hand, allowing him to switch which hand he throws with at any time.
“That made it a lot easier, and I guess a lot of people like it,” Tyler said.
An understatement. He turned into a star last week after playing on ESPN as Honolulu LL punched their ticket to the LLWS by winning the west regional.
“I went to my cousin’s house today, and he texted one of his friends that his cousin is me, and he didn’t believe him, so I had to take a video for him,” Tyler said.
A switch pitcher and a switch hitter, unfortunately, Tyler will now have to switch teams.
Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Shindos signed up for multiple squads this summer to make sure that Tyler could still play. He had a previous engagement at Team USA’s National Team Identification Series in North Carolina and will be headed there instead.
“Nine months ago when we were signing up for things for spring and summer, no one knew what was going to happen,” Dustin said. “So, we probably over-signed up for teams and meetings. And as it turned out, of course, a lot of these events started happening and they overlapped. So it created some pretty difficult decisions for Tyler.”
Tyler wanted to do both, but schedules conflicted, so he decided to head to North Carolina.
He says he will still be watching and cheering on ‘Da Boys’ from Honolulu.
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“Yes, I will be. I’m keeping in touch with them a lot,” Tyler said.