Do You Have What it Takes to be a Catcher?

Physically and mentally demanding, a catcher has a hard job.  It is also one of the most dirty and dangerous positions.  If you want to play this position, you must be in top physical shape.  You will be using both your arm and leg muscles throughout the entire game.

A good catcher is a commuicator.  He tells the pitcher, through hand signals, which pitches to throw.  He also advises the manager if he thinks it is time to change pitchers.  Also it is his role to keep the pitcher calm if he starts to throw wild pitches.

A catcher is a strategicist.  He has a trick that gives him an advantage when a pitch is a close one.  He uses a technique called framing by turning his glove in to the plate when the gets the pitched ball in his glove.  By using this strategy for close pitches, in most case the umpire calls the pitch a strike.

A catcher is a defensive player. The pitcher, regardless of how fast and good he is, may throw a wild ball once in a shile.  The catcher must be able to knock these balls down and use his body to block them.  By keeping the ball in front of him and not allowing it to get past him, he can prevent further disaster, such as a run being scored.

The catcher must be a quick thinker.  For example, when a batter hits a foul thip, the catcher must stand up and throw off his facemask at the same time, while keeping an eye on the ball.

The catcher must concentrate not only on the pitcher, but the entiore infield.  He must know when a base runner is going to attempt a steal.  Even though he tossed the ball back to the pitcher, he must have a good arm, and an accurate throw, to get a base runner out.

The catcher must not be afraid of danger.  The ball comes at his in speeds that can be over 80 miles an hour.  Even though he is heavily protected by padding, it still will hurt if he is hit.  Also, when an opponent is heading towards home plate, he is going to charge aggressively.  He will do whatever he can to score a run, even if it means bowling over the player guarding the plate over, who nine times out of ten is the catcher.

Catching is not the job for every baseball player.  However, it is the most important and rewarding.  Most baseball games are won because of the dedication and leadership of the catcher.  If this is the position for you, go for it.