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My Office - Behind The Pate

I loved catching - I had the whole game in front of me. I could see everything. Placing the fielders was my job. Seeing whether long fly balls were fair or foul. What the pitcher had or lacked, I saw, as well. Did the pitcher need a break in the action because he was tired? If he did I would pay a little visit to the mound.

The general on the field is what I was. A direct link to the coach. Switching to catcher was the best thing I did as a player. I had so much fun behind the plate. My office was behind the plate.

Having played all the other positions was great, but I felt the best place to be, was catching. I could cash in on all the activity that was in front of me. I had an opportunity to shape the game. I had power in my office that I did not have anywhere else on the field except for maybe pitching. I loved that responsibility. Seeing a batter leaning one way and then calling the pitch that I thought would get him out was one strategy I successfully used. Striking out a batter was a joint effort between the pitcher and I. I felt it was my job to study the batter and then relay any useful information I got, back to the pitcher. My stock as a catcher increased when the pitcher pitched well. I felt I had to find the weakness in the batter.

That was part of my job. And then calling the game was the essence of being a catcher. If there was a background check on all the catchers that ever played, I think there is one thing that would be common. They all studied the game. Johnny Bench, Roy Campanella, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Thurman Munson, Elston Howard, and Ivan Rodriguez are a few of my catching heroes. Johnny Bench for his incredible arm and amazing power. Roy Campenella for his amazing arm and incredible power. Hey that sounds familiar. I loved all the Yankees. And Ivan - just an incredible talent.

Feel Free to pass this article on to anyone you think would enjoy reading it. ZZZZZZ .


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