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Encyclopedia > Catcher
The position of the catcher
Catcher is also a general term for a fielder who catches the ball in cricket.

Catcher is a position played in baseball. The catcher crouches behind home plate and receives the ball from the pitcher. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the catcher is assigned the number 2 (see Baseball scorekeeping). The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket. Image File history File links Baseball_C.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Baseball_C.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Bowler Shaun Pollock bowls to batsman Michael Hussey. ... There are 9 fielding positions in baseball. ... This article is about the sport. ... Home plate is the final base in baseball and related games that a player must touch to score. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A wicket keeper in characteristic position, ready to face a delivery. ... Bowler Shaun Pollock bowls to batsman Michael Hussey. ...


Positioned behind home plate (by rule the catcher is the only player who is allowed to be in foul territory when a pitch is thrown),[1] the catcher can see the whole field, and therefore is in the best position to direct and lead the other players in a play. The catcher typically calls the pitches by means of hand signals, and therefore requires awareness of both the pitcher's mechanics and strengths and the batter's weaknesses. In addition, because the catcher's job is to catch pitches which often come in at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour, the catcher wears protective equipment including a mask, chest protector, shin guards, and an extra-thick glove (see photo). Because the position necessarily involves a comprehensive understanding of the game's strategic elements, the pool of catchers yields a disproportionate number of major-league managers, including such prominent examples as Yogi Berra, Mike Scioscia, Joe Torre, and Joe Girardi. In baseball, a foul ball is a batted ball that is not a foul tip, and that: touches the person of an umpire, player, or any object foreign to the natural ground while on or over foul ground, or settles on foul ground between home and first base, or home... Barry Bonds batting Photo:Agência Brasil In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for ones team. ... The typical motion of a pitcher In baseball, a pitch is the act of throwing a baseball toward home plate to start a play. ... Lawrence Peter Yogi Berra (born May 12, 1925 in St. ... Michael Lorri Mike Scioscia (born November 27, 1958 in Morton, Pennsylvania) is a former catcher and current Major League Baseball manager. ... Joseph Paul Torre (born July 18, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York) is a former Major League Baseball player and the current manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Joseph Elliot Girardi (born October 14, 1964 in Peoria, Illinois) is a former catcher in Major League Baseball, for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, and St. ...


Catchers virtually always throw with their right hand. Since most hitters are right-handed and thus stand on the left side of the plate, a catcher who throws left-handed would often have to avoid these right-handed hitters for most of his throws from behind the plate. Thus players who throw left-handed rarely play catcher. Lefty catchers have only caught 11 big-league games since 1902[2] and Jack Clements, who played for seventeen years at the end of the 19th century, is the only man in the history of baseball to play more than three hundred games as a left-handed catcher.[3] However, some observers, including the famed statistician Bill James, have suggested that the real reason that there are no left-handed catchers is because lefties with a strong throwing arm are almost always turned into pitchers at an early age. A person who is right-handed is more dextrous with their right hand than with their left hand: they will write with their right hand, and probably also use this hand for tasks such as personal care, cooking, and so on. ... People who are left-handed are more dextrous with their left hand than with their right hand: they will probably also use their left hand for tasks such as personal care, cooking, and so on. ... Jack Clements on an Old Judge tobacco card John J. Jack Clements (July 24, 1864 – May 23, 1941) was a baseball player who played for 17 seasons in the Major Leagues. ... George William “Bill” James (born October 5, 1949 in Holton, Kansas) is a baseball writer, historian and statistician whose work has been widely influential. ...


The critical defensive plays of catchers, aside from managing the pitcher by calling pitches and catching the ball on all pitches, include:

  • 1. Preventing passed balls and wild pitches. Although the pitcher has the responsibility to not throw erratic pitches, catchers must have enough mobility to field the passed ball or wild pitch appropriately to prevent base runners from taking even more bases.
  • 2. Fielding high pop flies often hit at unusual angles.
  • 3. Fielding weakly-hit fair ground balls (including bunts) in front of home plate to throw them to a base to complete a groundout or a fielder's choice play. The catcher must avoid hitting the batter/runner with the thrown ball in most circumstances.
  • 4. Covering home plate on any play in which a baserunner attempts to score. The catcher is obliged to attempt to catch a thrown ball while preventing the runner from reaching the plate.
  • 5. Preventing stolen bases by throwing to second base or third base to allow an infielder to tag a baserunner attempting to reach the base. A very good catcher at preventing stolen bases has a low stolen-base rate per game against him; a poor one has lots of stolen bases occurring while he catches. Even if a great defensive catcher deters all but the most effective base stealers, he keeps the double play in order by keeping a runner at first base.
  • 6. Rarely, a catcher can make a successful pick-off throw to first base to surprise an inattentive or incautious base runner at first base. Even the attempt may cost the base runner a stride or two that may be the difference between reaching second base safely on a ground ball and being put out at second base on a fielder's choice play or a double play. This is also called a snap-throw. The catcher will make a snap-throw after receiving the pitch
  • 7. Rarely, a catcher can go to first base or third base on rundown plays at those bases.

Much can go wrong with any failure by the catcher. Wild pitches and passed balls are possible at any time. A failure to block the plate or dropping the ball thrown from the outfield on a play at home plate means that a run that otherwise might not occur does occur. On a throw to prevent a stolen base, a bad throw might get past the infielder and allow an advance to another base as the ball goes to the outfield. The all-time stolen base leader, Rickey Henderson, swipes third in 1988. ... After stepping on second base, the fielder throws to first to complete a double play In baseball, a double play (denoted on statistics sheets by DP) for a team or a fielder is the act of making two outs during the same continuous playing action. ... A rundown, also called a pickle (it gets this nickname from the game Pickle-in-the-Middle where two people keep the ball away from another) or a hotbox, is a situation in the game of baseball that occurs when the baserunner is stranded between two bases and is in...

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Injury

Despite being heavily padded, catchers routinely suffer the worst physical abuse in baseball. The catcher has the physically risky job of blocking the plate from runners. Catchers also constantly get bruised and battered by pitches, and have a long history of knee ailments stemming from the awkward crouched stance they assume. Because of this, catchers have a reputation as being slow baserunners; even if they have speed at the beginning of their careers, the eventual toll taken on their knees slows them down. Some players who begin their career as catchers may be moved to other positions to preserve their running speed; recent prominent examples of this include Craig Biggio, B.J. Surhoff, and Dale Murphy. In baseball, blocking the plate is a common technique performed by a catcher to prevent a runner from scoring. ... Craig Alan Biggio (born December 14, 1965 in Smithtown, New York) is a seven-time All-Star Major League baseball player who has played his entire career with the Houston Astros. ... William James B.J. Surhoff (born August 4, 1964 in the Bronx, New York City, New York) is an outfielder, first baseman, third baseman, and designated hitter in Major League Baseball who last played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005. ... Dale Bryan Murphy (b. ...


With few exceptions, catchers of good-to-great ability as hitters have shorter careers than players of similar offensive value. Mike Piazza is the only catcher with at least 400 career home runs, and no catcher has 3000 career hits. Bill James cites as an example the contrast between Johnny Bench and Reggie Jackson, who had similar value as hitters in the peak of their careers; Bench had a career about five years shorter than Jackson. The larger the catcher, the greater the effect tends to be. James associates this effect with the crouch. Michael Joseph Piazza (born September 4, 1968 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) is an American Major League Baseball player who currently plays forOakland Athletics,,Though he spent most of his career with the Dodgerss and Mets, breaking many offensive catching records with the Mets. ... John Lee Bench (born December 7, 1947 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), is a former baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in Major League Baseball history. ... Reginald Martinez Reggie Jackson (born May 18, 1946), nicknamed Mr. ...


Catchers also have an increased risk of circulatory abnormalities in the catching hand. A study of minor-league ballplayers showed that, of 36 players in various positions, all 9 of the catchers had hand pain during a game and several had chronic pain in the catching hand. The results of catching high-speed pitches constantly causes the index finger on the glove hand to swell to twice the size of the other in some cases. Ultrasound and blood pressure tests showed altered blood flow in the glove hand of five of the catchers, a higher proportion than the other baseball positions in the study.[4] For transport in plants, see Vascular tissue. ... Medical ultrasonography (sonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used to visualize muscles and internal organs, their size, structures and possible pathologies or lesions. ... A sphygmomanometer, a device used for measuring arterial pressure. ...


During the 2006 season, San Francisco Giants catcher Mike Matheny went on the disabled list after a series of foul tips caromed off his mask, resulting in a serious concussion. On February 1, 2007, Matheny announced his retirement from Major league baseball due to his on-going symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Major league affiliations National League (1883–present) West Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers NY, NY, 3, 4, 11, 24, 27, 30, 36, 42, 44 Name San Francisco Giants (1958–present) New York Giants (1885–1957) New York Gothams (1883–1885) Other nicknames Jints, Gigantes, G-Men Ballpark AT... Michael Scott Matheny (born September 22, 1970 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio) is a catcher in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Defensive style

To block balls pitchers throw on a bounce to the catcher, or "in the dirt", they will slide over, drop to their knees, and prevent the ball from passing by placing their body in front of its path. Ideally the catcher will be able to knock the ball back to the ground where it will stop within arm's reach. To perform this properly without the ball being deflected in an undesirable direction, the catcher must angle his body so that his chest is always pointing down at home plate. This process is often difficult, depending on how fast the ball is traveling, where it first hits the ground, and how it is spinning.

A baseball catcher prepares to receive the pitch

Baseball catcher, 2004, by Rick Dikeman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Baseball catcher, 2004, by Rick Dikeman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Equipment

Catchers in baseball use the following equipment to help prevent injury while behind the plate:

  • Mask - To protect their face.
  • Mitt - Catchers use mitt with extra padding to lower the impact of the ball on their hand. The catcher is the only player on the field who is allowed to use this type of glove.
  • Shin Guards - To protect legs from impact of a ball that the catcher is unable to play. Also called spike protectors, used to prevent injury from base runners advancing home with "spikes up"
  • Chest Protector - A padded foam or gel piece of equipment that protects the catcher's body from the impact of the pitch if he fails to catch it or must stop it.
  • Cup - Worn by catchers and most infielders under their clothing to protect against stray balls heading towards the groin area.

Additionally, some catchers choose to use the following optional equipment:

  • Knee Savers- special pads which are comfortable for the catcher to rest on when in the squat position; they also provide support of the knee ligaments which can stretch and break over time
  • Inner Protective Glove- a glove which is worn inside of the mitt with the purpose of absorbing the shock of the pitched ball
  • Throat protector- a hard plastic plate which hangs from the bottom of the catcher's mask to protect from balls to the throat.

Given the physical punishment often suffered by catchers, the equipment associated with the position is often referred to as "the tools of ignorance".


Hall of Fame Catchers

John Lee Bench (born December 7, 1947 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), is a former baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in Major League Baseball history. ... Lawrence Peter Yogi Berra (born May 12, 1925 in St. ... Roger Philip Bresnahan (June 11, 1879 - December 4, 1944), nicknamed The Duke of Tralee, was an American player in Major League Baseball who starred primarily as a catcher. ... Roy Campanella (November 19, 1921 – June 26, 1993) was an American catcher in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball. ... Gary Edmund Carter (born April 8, 1954), nicknamed Kid, is a former Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame catcher from 1974-1992. ... Gordon Stanley Mickey Cochrane (April 6, 1903-June 28, 1962) was a Scottish-American catcher and manager in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. ... William Malcolm Dickey (June 6, 1907 - November 12, 1993) was a Major League Baseball player and manager. ... Buck Ewing William Buckingham Buck Ewing (October 17, 1859 - October 20, 1906) was a 19th century Major League Baseball player and manager, and is widely regarded as the best catcher of his era and is often argued to be the best player of the 19th century. ... Richard Benjamin Rick Ferrell (October 12, 1905 - July 27, 1995) was a Major League Baseball player, and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... Carlton Ernest Fisk (born December 26, 1947 in Bellows Falls, Vermont) is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for 24 years with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. ... For the Australian rules footballer, see Joshua Gibson (footballer). ... Charles Leo Gabby Hartnett (December 20, 1900 - December 20, 1972) was an American Major League Baseball catcher and manager who played nearly his entire career with the Chicago Cubs. ... Ernesto Natali (Ernie) Lombardi (born April 6, 1908 in Oakland, California — died September 26, 1977 in Santa Cruz, California), was a Major League Baseball catcher for the Brooklyn Robins, the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Braves and the New York Giants during a Hall of Fame career that spanned 17 years... Ray Schalk of the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in 1913. ... James Raleigh Biz Mackey (July 27, 1897 - September 22, 1965) was an African American catcher and manager in Negro league baseball, who came to be regarded as black baseballs premier catcher in the late 1920s and early 1930s. ... There are 9 fielding positions in baseball. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Austin Kearns, an outfielder, catches a fly ball. ... The position of the left fielder A left fielder, abbreviated LF, is an outfielder in the sport of baseball who plays defense in left field. ... The position of the center fielder A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field - the baseball fielding position between left field and right field (e. ... The position of the right fielder A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in right field (e. ... An infielder is a baseball player who plays on the infield, the dirt portion of a baseball diamond between first base and third base. ... The position of the third baseman “Third base” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The position of the second baseman Second base redirects here. ... The position of the first baseman First base redirects here. ... The following is an alphabetical list of unofficial terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, and explanations of their meanings. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ...

Trivia

  • The first catcher's mask was worn on April 12, 1877 by Jim Tyng while playing for Harvard. The team manager, Fred Thayer, received a patent for the mask in 1878.
  • Mike Piazza holds the record for most career home runs as a catcher. He passed Carlton Fisk, the previous record holder, on May 5, 2004 with his 352nd career home run as a catcher.
  • In some parts of the United States, particularly the South, catchers are referred to as "hindcatchers". It is not clear where this term originated.
  • Joe Mauer was the first catcher to ever win the American League Batting Title when he did it in 2006.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Jim Tyng was the first baseball player to wear a catchers mask while playing for Harvard in 1877. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... Michael Joseph Piazza (born September 4, 1968 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) is an American Major League Baseball player who currently plays forOakland Athletics,,Though he spent most of his career with the Dodgerss and Mets, breaking many offensive catching records with the Mets. ... In baseball, a home run is a base hit in which the batter is able to circle all the bases, ending at home plate and scoring a run, with no errors on the play that result in the batter achieving extra bases. ... Carlton Ernest Fisk (born December 26, 1947 in Bellows Falls, Vermont) is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for 24 years with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. ... is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The U.S. Southern states or The South, known during the American Civil War era as Dixie, is a distinctive region of the United States with its own unique historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ... Joseph Patrick Mauer (born April 19, 1983) is a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins. ...

See also

This is a list of Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners at catcher in American League baseball. ... List of NL Gold Glove Winners at Catcher Gold Glove AL: P | C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF NL: P | C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF Categories: Baseball Trophies and Awards ...

References

  1. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/official_info/official_rules/start_end_4.jsp
  2. ^ http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/top-10-left-handed-catchers-for-2006
  3. ^ http://members.tripod.com/bb_catchers/catchers/catchleft2.htm
  4. ^ Ginn, et al., 2005)
  • Ginn TA, Smith AM, Snyder JR, Koman LA, Smith BP, Rushing J (2005). "Vascular changes of the hand in professional baseball players with emphasis on digital ischemia in catchers". Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery 87 (7): 1464-9. PMID 15995112. 

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Catcher - definition of Catcher in Encyclopedia (273 words)
The catcher typically calls the pitches by means of hand signals, and therefore requires awareness of both the pitcher's mechanics and strengths and the batter's weaknesses.
In addition, because the catcher's job is to catch pitches which often come in at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour, the catcher wears protective equipment including a mask, chest protector, knee pads, and extra-thick glove (see photo).
Catcher is also a general term for a fielder who catches the ball in cricket.
The Catcher in the Rye - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2679 words)
The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J.
Holden's idea of a "catcher in the rye" illustrates how he wishes to wipe out corruption from the world and protect children like his sister from becoming like the many "phonies" he hated, i.e adults.
This style, used throughout the novel, refers to the use of seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes used in a pseudorandom and highly structured way that is used to illustrate a theme.
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