Archive for April, 2009

Equipment Minutia – Catchers – 19th century

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Sept. 24, 1883. Roxburgh, of the Leadvilles, catches without a mask. How long will he continue it probably depends upon the number of fouls he is called on to catch. One of the audience remarked recently it reminded him of the engineer’s opinion of the Indian who attempted to stop a train by standing on the track: “I admire his pluck” he said, “but blank his judgment.”

Toledo Blade

Look into the past, look behind you, look at where we’ve come. Have you ever caught? I mean squatted, sat knees bent, mask heavy on the face, sweat beading on the padding as the smell of dirt seems stronger each inning as it fills your nose as the batters stir in the box. Playing catcher is something no one forgets, it’s something most don’t want to do, it’s freaking hard is what it is. I did it in 6th grade, a long time ago and only for that year, but I remember it like it was yesterday and I treasure the moments that it occurred, as low level as they were they still were something to marvel at. Therefore it should be of no surprise that the catching position fascinates me and it really is a position that is like no other on the field, nor in most sports. To start the catcher sets up in foul territory, outside the fair area that the game of play occurs in, clothed in armor he squats and faces the opposite ay then the other players, how he functions in the play is hard to explain to the uninitiated, aside from the obvious (catch the pitchers throws) he has other functions that occur throughout the action of the game that demand explanation. In short he’s an interesting cog in the game and the position demands some study now and then and lately I’ve been stumbling across a lot of catchers stuff out there that I feel could use some organizing. (more…)