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Baseball's Backcatchers

A catcher in baseball has to deal with homeplate collisions, 100 mile per hour fastballs and potential basestealers. Find out more about baseball's toughest position.

Catchers - Behind Homeplate

The catcher is without a doubt baseball's most demanding and dangerous position. A catcher must do more than crouch awkwardly behind homeplate and catch fastballs for nine innings. A catcher also has to throw out runners trying to steal a base, direct players where to play in the infield and signal the pitcher what pitches to throw. It's a position which requires mental and physical strength, as well as a willingness to play through pain.

Catchers - Gear Up

While catchers wear more protection than any other player on the baseball field, they also suffer more physical punishment than any other position. A catcher is constantly getting smoked with pitches and run over by hard-charging baserunners. To protect themselves, catchers rely on heavy protective gear.
  • Mask - protects their head and face from balls, bats and other players.
  • Glove - a catcher's glove is bigger and thicker than a regular baseball glove to absorb the impact of pitches.
  • Shin Guards - catcher's wear shin guards to protect themselves from runners sliding into home with their spikes up.
  • Chest Protector - a catcher's protector looks like a piece of body armor and is used to protect a player from the impact of a missed pitch.
  • Catchers - Baseball's Best

  • Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - Rodriguez is one of baseball's best defensive catchers, who's great at both blocking the plate and throwing out base stealers. The 12-time all-star has won 10 Gold Gloves for being the league's best fielding catcher and is also one of baseball's best hitting catchers.
  • Joe Mauer - Mauer is just 23 years old but is already on the road to becoming the best catcher in the game. The Minnesota Twin has a great arm, makes very few errors and is one of the league's best hitters.
  • Jason Varitek - The catcher for the Red Sox is good with the bat and is solid at both calling pitches and throwing out runners. Varitek is also very durable and stands up well to the rigors of catching fastballs and homeplate collisions.
  • Brian Schneider - Washington's man behind the plate is a terror for base runners. Schneider is great at shutting down a team's running game and is among the league's leaders in throwing out basestealers.
  • Catchers - Fun Facts

  • Mike Piazza of the San Diego Padres is the only catcher in baseball history to hit over 400 career homeruns.
  • The first mask to protect catchers from being hit by balls and bats was invented in 1877 by Fred Thayer of Harvard's baseball team. Masks weren't used in major league baseball until the 1880s.
  • Catchers are never left-handed. As most hitters are right-handed and stand on the left side of the plate, a catcher who throws left-handed would have difficulty throwing back to the pitcher or throwing out basestealers.
  • Related Stories:

  • Baseball's Top Relief Pitchers
  • The Art of Basestealing
  • Quiz! Test Your Baseball Brains.
  • More Baseball Stories
  • 0 Comments

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    F1149200777484

    Best Catcher in Baseball? Vote!

    • Jason Varitek.
    • Victor Martinez.
    • Ivan Rodriguez.
    • Joe Mauer.

    Sports In The Forums

    unicornsrule626
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote:I hate to be that person who pulls out the dictionary, buuuuut let's look at the definitions for sport (athleticism wise).competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionallyDoes cheerleading fit under this definition? Yes.pastime: an active pastime participated in for pleasure or exercise Oh look, cheerleading fits under this definition too.Being a cheerleader requires a certain amount of physical fitness. You need to be strong, flexible, and energetic, which are all things not everyone has.It is a form of exercise and entertainment.It is a sport.Is one variant more challenging than the other? Yes, but that does not devalue anything.Not everyone is going to be able to understand the difficulties cheerleaders go through, and that's perfectly fine. Every sport is dangerous, some are just more obvious than others. When people are good at what they do, they make things seem easy. very well said! I was a cheerleader for 2 years until  I aged out, but let ,e tell you, they were 2 of the best,sweaty and most fun years I have ever had
    reply about 16 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    I hate to be that person who pulls out the dictionary, buuuuut let's look at the definitions for sport (athleticism wise). competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally Does cheerleading fit under this definition? Yes. pastime: an active pastime participated in for pleasure or exercise  Oh look, cheerleading fits under this definition too. Being a cheerleader requires a certain amount of physical fitness. You need to be strong, flexible, and energetic, which are all things not everyone has. It is a form of exercise and entertainment. It is a sport. Is one variant more challenging than the other? Yes, but that does not devalue anything. Not everyone is going to be able to understand the difficulties cheerleaders go through, and that's perfectly fine. Every sport is dangerous, some are just more obvious than others. When people are good at what they do, they make things seem easy.
    reply about 16 hours
    angelover4
    CHEERLEADING IS LIKE DANCE GYMNASTICS MIXED TOGETHER WITH WORDS. AND DANCE AND GYMNASTICS ARE CONSIDERED SPORTS.
    reply about 18 hours
    angelover4
    I BELIVE ITS A SPORT JUST LIKE I THINK GYMNASTICS IS A SPORT.
    reply about 18 hours
    angelover4
    I BEL ITS A SPORT JUS TLIKE I THINK GYMNASTICS IS A SPORT.
    reply about 18 hours