Behind every great pitcher, there is a great catcher. The Softball Pitcher Catcher Relationship is a special one. This relationship may be hard to understand unless you have been in one of the roles yourself. From the outside looking in, a pitcher and catcher work together on the field in practice and games, but the bond runs much deeper than that. We are all familiar with the role of the pitcher.
Pitchers are the center of attention when they are standing on the mound with the ball in their hand, all eyes are on them. They are the leaders on the field by default and they are constantly the media’s muse. When you Google softball stories you can bet that you will find an article about a great pitcher, and very few about a great catcher.
The role of a catcher is often times a quiet one. They crouch behind home plate in full body armor, their backs to the spectators watching, and give the pitcher as well as the infield players the signs. They spend more time on the field interacting with the opposing team’s batters and the umpire than their own team on the defensive side. They learn the strike zone and relay it to their team’s offense. They frame the pitches coming in because at one point in their life, they were told their job was to “make their pitcher and the pitches she delivers look good.” If catchers had to be described in few words aside from hard working, the word selfless comes to mind. Would you agree?
Catcher’s serve a crucial role behind the plate but their relationship with their pitcher sometimes serves a bigger role. Pitcher, catcher relationships are built on trust. Pitchers trust catchers with everything. Calling the game, studying the hitters in the box, getting on the umpire’s good side, throwing runners out, etc. The bond thickens when a pitcher trusts her catcher. Catcher’s serve as a calm outlet and at times a therapist for their pitchers. Ever seen a pitcher call time and motion the catcher to the circle? Do you think they are spending these precious seconds strategizing a plan against the batter in the box? NO! Sometimes those 20-second timeouts serve as a quick vent session or a random thought completely unrelated to softball just to get a smile or a laugh out of a rattled pitcher. Catchers serve as the pitcher’s safe haven. They keep us grounded, relaxed, and focused. Without them, we would be nothing.
Behind every great pitcher, there is an even better catcher.
Feature Image by: Michael Kyllo-Kittleson