Things only a Fastpitch Catcher Would Understand…
Being brave enough to sit behind the dish, is no easy task. Basically, you are inches away from some chick swinging a bat in your face, are being hovered over by an umpire, are the protector of home plate (which means some folks will try to take you out), and have to squat down in a most uncomfortable position (all day) while someone hurls balls at you.”Catch,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said.
Truth is that most catchers wouldn’t trade their position for the world. It’s a love it or hate it position. And those girls are the heart and soul of the team. The eyes on the field. And each one….well….is just a tad insane.
While softball players are all created equal, the truth is that the hindcatching position is one of a kind and there are some things that you only understand if you are one.
1. Helmet hair. While your teammates are complaining about helmet hair from their batting helmets, the catchers is just left shaking her head…. Her helmet hair looks more like a combination of dreadlocks meets the bouffant hair do with extra sprinkles of dirt and tons of sweat from being confined in the helmet 90% of the time. And their helmets STINK! (That’s the smell of hard work in case you were wondering!) Yea…the other players get a helmet break, their bows and braids stay in (sort of)….the catcher does not. Bows? Braid? Ponytails? Whatever…helmet hair takes on a whole new meaning when you are a catcher.
2. The Ultimate Wedgie. It’s true, that catchers tend to spend a lot more time pulling their pants and sliders out of their butt cracks. But considering the fact that they are squatting down, and getting up, and squatting down, and laying out, and on their knees and back up again – their reality is pretty much the definition of the ultimate wedgie. And, since they don’t want pictures of them floating around that show their butt-cracks while they squat – they also tend to do a lot of tucking and re-tucking and adjusting as well.
3. The lack of personal space. Seriously. The umpires stand so close to the catcher, leaning in over their shoulder – that most catchers can likely tell what Blu had for breakfast. Imagine playing your position while someone is breathing down your neck? All the while this makes them worry even more about whether or not they are ‘tucked in’ because they certainly don’t want to be flashing Blu.
4. Batter Fart Winds. People. THIS HAPPENS! We have talked to many a catchers, and heard many catchers come back to the dugout totally grossed out because a batter pooted while at the plate. Who knows, maybe this is a new fangled thing coaches are doing – feeding their girls beans in the morning so they will toot in the catchers face. Or maybe, it’s just the batters nerves. But either way, its in the catchers face.
5. The Lack of Credit.Yep. Everyone is talking about the pitcher. Wow she struck out so many! Wow the pitcher did great. Meanwhile the catcher is sitting back there knowing that the pitcher missed her spots and SHE is the one that framed the pitches so beautifully that she got the strike called. Saved a ball from the dirt which saved a run? You guessed it, the catcher! To put it lightly the catcher doesn’t always get all the glory she deserves – but every good pitcher knows WHO HAS HER BACK!
6. The Quick Change Artist! Putting on the gear (and taking it off) is no easy feat. And yet, so often….the catchers are STILL the first ones on the field. While the short stop is adjusting her bow, and finding her glove and taking one more sip of her water – the catcher has undone and then back on her leg guards, chest protector and helmet and is warming up the pitcher.
7. THE BAT BAG! Complain again…just one more time how heavy your bat bag is? Go ahead. Catchers bags have wheels for a reason…..All the girls on the team should take turns carting the catchers bag to and from the field.
8. The Heat. Imagine for a minute you are a softball player, playing on a dirt field, in 98 degree summer weather, with 80% humidity. Now imagine you are that same player, wearing an extra layer of clothing over half your body, and adorning a tight helmet over your head and face while the sun bakes and sizzles. Yes. Never complain to a catcher about being hot, or overheated.
9. Up on your toes. Up on your toes, takes on a whole new meaning as a catcher. You think your feet hurt??? The catcher can barely feel hers by the end of game 2. We think the whole team owes her a foot rub! Especially since SHE’s the one that picked the girl off the bases like a booger that only got on because YOU made an error.
Suffice it to say….the catcher is the queen of making the TEAM look good!