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Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 08:09pm
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hello, first off i am a freshman in high school and in the school junior varsity baseball team. my first plan was to be a pitcher but that plan quickly fell apart when i saw some of the competition. then i saw the catcher spot was pretty much mine to lose so i am making it my goal to win that spot. i have past experience catching for pitchers for basically warmup but never during an actual game. i come here because i know alot of you are catchers past and preasent and i would love to pick your brains to put a good impression to my coaches and teammates. any and all tips are very appreciated.
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Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 09:12pm
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Try this

http://eteamz.active.com/baseball/boards/baseball/

Use the search feature for the name Catching Coach. He has many posts with lots of good stuff for catchers. From the profile section you can send a private e-mail.

Paul
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Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 09:24pm
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Sorry to say but we're all has beens ...

Quote:
Originally posted by greensabre91
hello, first off i am a freshman in high school and in the school junior varsity baseball team. my first plan was to be a pitcher but that plan quickly fell apart when i saw some of the competition. then i saw the catcher spot was pretty much mine to lose so i am making it my goal to win that spot. i have past experience catching for pitchers for basically warmup but never during an actual game. i come here because i know alot of you are catchers past and preasent and i would love to pick your brains to put a good impression to my coaches and teammates. any and all tips are very appreciated.
This is an umpiring web forum so most of us might have caught many moons ago, but now we are relegated to watching others try to catch.

The reason I say that is as a veteran umpire of 25+ years, I can count on one hand the number of "great" catcher's that I've called.

Now if you want to know about how to catch from an umpires' perspective we've got the info, but you'll have to go somewhere else for the basics.

Start with a good camp, and just remember the umpire is always your friend.

Thanks
David
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Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 09:45pm
DG DG is offline
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Some here will most likely comment that you need to take your questions to a coaching site, because umpires don't coach, or shouldn't. But I have a soft spot for catchers since I am an umpire, and also have two sons who played catcher.

To play catcher you have to be fearless. Balls will hit you, runners will run into you. You have to have a catcher's attitude, a "middle linebacker" attitude. You are the leader of the defense. Don't ever ask to come out of a game, even it's the 7th inning of the second game of a double header on a 95 degree day.

Work on blocking pitches in the dirt. You should never let a ball go by you if you can help it. Some wild pitches that go by are the pitcher's fault and you can't be expected to stop them. Some wild pitches can be and must be stopped.

You need a very strong wrist on your catching arm. You need to be able to catch the pitch, and stick it, not let it overpower you. A borderline pitch that is stuck is often called a strike. A borderline pitch that overpowers is a ball. Your pitcher needs every strike. Your umpire wants you to stick the borderline pitch.

Work hard on hitting. The best hitters make up for a little defensive deficiency. If you can knock the snot out of the ball, you will be in the game, somewhere.

Get a really good catcher's mitt. Break it in make it your friend. You can't play catcher if you can't catch and the mitt is a large part of your ability.

Good luck!
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 06:47am
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PWL,
Your post is very difficult to read. Get rid of the Caps and break your thoughts up into paragraphs.

Thanks
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 02:34pm
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You will not make any friends with the person closest to you (the plate umpire) if you pull pitches into the strike zone, although you'll get away with it with inexperienced umpires. Umpires don't like to get conned by 15-year olds and they don't like having coaches tell them that they got conned. If you pull a pitch, that says you think it wasn't good enough to call a strike.

The evaluation guide for my association says that most close pitches should be called strikes and the umpire is downgraded if he doesn't. Generally speaking, umpires want to call strikes but you've got to help. If you are proud of the pitch and want the umpire to call a strike, hold the ball still. Stick it (that's called "framing"), as mentioned above, and you will get the close pitches.

Good luck, stay tough.

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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 02:52pm
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my 2 cents

If your looking for ways to work better with your umpires, I'll help......As far as giving you catcher tips, well lets just say I was the worst back-up catcher on my teams growing up.....

It doesn't take very much to get along with me. Hustle in and out, know how many pitches you are allowed to take in warmups and send it down with out being reminded. Frame pitches but do not pull it.....no one ever had to pull a strike. So if your pulling pitches back into the zone, you and I both know its a ball.

Once your set up, try to stay as still as possible. This gives me a chance to set up correctly without being screened. I promise you this will get you strikes. On appeals I'm not too picky, just ask " can I get an appeal", and I'll go everytime.

You can call me "blue" or sir or Mr. Umpire, Im not one of those guys who thinks blue is derogatory. I know in higher baseball its common for Umpires to be addressed by their first names, but in my experience it is not in the best professional interest of the HS game by having players addressing umpires by their first names. It can appear to a visiting team of an umpire being a "homer"

Im an umpire, a father of a college player and an ex-catcher, so Im a fan of the game. I love hustle, chatter and enthusiasm. I like seeing baseball played with spirit.

Good luck!
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 03:31pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by greensabre91
hello, first off i am a freshman in high school and in the school junior varsity baseball team. my first plan was to be a pitcher but that plan quickly fell apart when i saw some of the competition. then i saw the catcher spot was pretty much mine to lose so i am making it my goal to win that spot. i have past experience catching for pitchers for basically warmup but never during an actual game. i come here because i know alot of you are catchers past and preasent and i would love to pick your brains to put a good impression to my coaches and teammates. any and all tips are very appreciated.
I have no catching tips but this is what I want from my catchers.

1. Hustle out to the plate between innings to warm up the pitcher.

2. Frame pitches. Don't pull them into the zone. When my catcher does that it's a ball.

3. Get as close to the plate as possible. You'll get more strikes.

4. Block pitches. If I don't have to worry about getting hit I can "lock into the pitch".

5. It's OK to ask about a pitch just don't turn around when you ask that question.

6. If the Coach says "where was that pitch" (they only ask if they think it's a strike.) Tell him it was a little high, or outside etc. whatever the case may be.

7. When the relief pitcher comes in warm him up first and when he's done then discuss the signs.

8. Request time every time you visit the pitcher. That way we eliminate any unusual things from happening.

9. When a wild pitch. passed ball etc. happens don't throw your mask behind you (that's where I'm standing) throw it to the side.

10. Get down low enough and position your glove so the umpire can see the entire plate.

11. Don't appeal on every check swing.

12. Remember like you we make mistakes. If the pitch is belt high right down the middle and the Umpire calls it a ball don't let your "body language" betray what you thought of the call.

Hope this helps.
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 06:52pm
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Greensaber,

After reading all these tips, the only other thing that comes to mind right now is on borderline low pitches, try to keep your glove up, don't catch the ball palm-up. It looks more like a strike to the umpire, as well as coaches and fans, with the glove up, and you will get more strikes called.

Have fun!

Steve
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 07:56pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by gordon30307
10. Get down low enough and position your glove so the umpire can see the entire plate.
dont worry about this (greensaber), get in a stance you feel is comfortable, and allows you to do your job. you should not have to change anything for an umpire; they should be in a stance, along with a proper distance, that allows them to see what they need to see anyways.

[Edited by briancurtin on Oct 12th, 2005 at 11:08 PM]
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 08:39pm
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gordon30307
Quote:
Originally posted by greensabre91
3. Get as close to the plate as possible. You'll get more strikes.

10. Get down low enough and position your glove so the umpire can see the entire plate.
I don't like catchers who crowd the plate. I tell them this. I want to see the plate. If you don't crowd the plate, you will not have to worry about getting real low so I can see it.
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Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 10:12pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by briancurtin
Quote:
Originally posted by gordon30307
10. Get down low enough and position your glove so the umpire can see the entire plate.
dont worry about this, get in a stance you feel is comfortable, and allows you to do your job. you should not have to change anything for an umpire; they should be in a stance, along with a proper distance, that allows them to see what they need to see anyways.
The best catchers get up close to the plate and know how to postion their glove so I can see the entire plate. Yes as an umpire you have to adjust up or down, but it's in the catchers best interest to give me a view of the plate. If I can't see the black their not going to get the borderline strike. I was doing an intersquad DI game the other day and the Coach made a point of asking me if his catchers postioned themselves so I could see the entire plate.
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Old Thu Oct 13, 2005, 12:53am
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The only other thing I'll add is that when you set your target for an inside pitch, don't set up so far inside that I can't get in the 'slot'. The slot is the area between your head and the batter. That is the line of sight we use to see the strike zone. Now, I can move directly over your head when you do this, but my line of sight to the lower third of the strike zone is severely diminished and you risk not getting that call.

That being said, any good umpire will adjust to his catcher, so this shouldn't be an issue. Don't be offended, though, if an umpire sees you doing something that is impeeding his sight lines and tells you about it. We make adjustments for each other, and by the 2nd or 3rd inning, all those positioning issues should be worked out.

Hustle out at the beginning of the inning, and know how many warm-up pitches are permitted.

Have fun, and good luck! Remember, YOU have the mitt, not us. Use it.
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Old Thu Oct 13, 2005, 11:20am
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Talking

WHEN IN DOUBT....wait for it, wait for it....



TAG!!!!
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Old Thu Oct 13, 2005, 03:43pm
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WOW thanks for all the great replys. Yes, I knew this was an officiating forum but this was the closest I can get and knowing Umps are out there everyday and right behind the catcher, they should know a good deal about them. I went to the link and did search for 'Catching Coach' and read through most of his important (but long) tips. I have a friend who is a pitcher and we practice 2 times a week. So far I haven't had any trouble with catching the pitcher. Blocking the plate has been a challenge but I've been getting better. My weakest link is probably my throw to second on a wouldbe basestealer. I have a below average arm and so most of my throws would hit the dirt and would take way to long to get to second. I've been finding ways to improve my arm strength by playing alot of long toss and practicing throws to second. It is a good thing the season hasn't started yet so I have PLENTY of time to get in shape for the upcoming season in the spring.

Once again, thank you, umps of the baseball world on your tips and perspective.
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