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Great job David! Thanks for bringing that to the forefront. Excellent point about a catcher calling the game is a big part of the learning process. P.S. Not all coaches call an exceptionally good game.
Well, personally, I stopped wanting to play catcher my freshman year of high school when we scrimmaged with the JV and I got knocked over by their train of a 3B. I decided then I would stick to 1B haha.
Also, another thing to consider is cost. How many parents tell their children they shouldn't catch when, in the back of their mind, the parents are thinking if he catches, I gotta buy all the equipment that comes with.
believe me, you don't have to be big or a lot of size to be a catcher. Yes, there have been some big guys that have turned out to be great catchers, but on the flip side there are just as many small guys that have been just as great.
Todd Hundley, 5'11" about 180
Johnny Bench 6'0" 190
Yogi Berra 5' 7" 170
Ivan Rodriguez 5' 9" 180
Craig Biggio 5' 11" 185
Just remember, baseball is more about footwork and technique than size. Size can help no doubt, but it's not at the top of the list.
David LeVine has it right with his post.
I've been through countless walk-on's, invites - the works, and I've found a very small poplulation at
the backstop's position that really understands that position. Now I'm talking Independent level - but,
these men come from every level... amateur college, cast-offs, etc..
What I find is a common denominator - coach called the position BUT held the kid/youngster/ college
guy ... responsible for a lot when things went wrong.
With respect to pitchers calling what they want .. no, it doesn't work that way. A pitcher will usually "shake off"
a sign primarily because that pitch just isn't in the mix at that time - he (pitcher) doesn't FEEL IT at that moment.
Now there are exceptions to be sure, but, a pitcher will send down range what he feels is really working for him during a "deal" of pitches... If he deals... curve, slider, down and away... and it's working great, he'll draw on that combo in just about a predictable manner to get strikes, baiting pitch, and so on. A backstop that knows his percentage of the club's rotation ... say out of a eleven (11) or fourteen (14 ) man rotation, he knows pretty well five guys that he can work-em inning after inning is a backstop that's either self-taught OR has been blessed with a coach very early in his career that has LET HIM LEARN AND DEVELOP AS HE PLAYS THE GAME.
This mental and physical environment is so well entrenched with great catchers that the template for the
Skipper's role is a gift to any ownership that has the brains to take advantage of it!
There are exceptions to be sure, BUT, those that have made it to the Affiliates then on to the Bigs, have done so with a great deal of early supportive coaching and a lot of out-right-guts.