Written by Brendan O’Meara
All right, so I bought the glove. Turns out it was only $40. It was marked down and I had a coupon. Bonus! (Plus, c’mon, I’m 32, I don’t need a $180 glove anymore. Back in the day, sure, but now I just need something that will stay together.)
I haven’t played ball since the summer of 2010, but I put in an email to my former manager in the hope that somebody will need a catcher. When you get into 30+ leagues, catchers are valuable. Nobody wants to get down into a crouch anymore. My knees are in relatively good shape. After all, this was how I got onto the diamond in that 2010 summer in the first place.
It was just how my father got on the field back in the ’50s. There lay the gear, the “tooooools of ignorance’ and nobody would don them. He couldn’t get onto the field so he threw on that gear. A catcher was born.
I’m an infielder by trade. I had caught just a enough to say I wouldn’t blink behind the plate, but when our catcher needed to pitch our manager quickly turned to me and asked if would I catch. Otherwise I would have been on the bench behind the other gaggle of middle infielders.
I caught that first game and it was rough. But by the end of the season, some of my teammates found it hard to believe I had never, by trade, been a catcher.
It’s the greatest position on the field. You’re the only one who is in every pitch of the game (the exception being if the pitcher throws a complete game). You’re the only one facing the field. You’re the general. You’re the leader. You’re the offensive line. You’re teammates, generally, appreciate your work back there. You have a good catcher and you have a chance. Strong up the middle starts behind the dish.
So, I’ve got my first catcher’s mitt. Now I need to get some gear.
It’s time to Break Bat.