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All Star Special - Catchers

MFS62
Jul 12 2005 11:35 AM

This was sent to me by my son-in-law who works for OSHA. I guess catching qualifies as a hazardous occupation.
Enjoy,
Later
*********************************************************************************
MAYBE THERE SHOULD BE CRYING IN BASEBALL
In honor of tonight's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, we look at the occupational hazards of baseball's most physically demanding and hazardous position: Catcher.

Even if you didn't know a thing about baseball, you could tell that catchers are the ones who face the greatest physical risks by all the PPE they wear. But masks, helmets, shin guards, chest protectors and the padded mitt are still only partial protection. That's why they call the stuff "the tools of ignorance."



Don't try this at home -- or behind it.

Pounding on the Glove Hand

One hazard of the catching profession is the pounding on the glove hand. According to a study from Wake Forest University's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, most pitches are caught in an area of the hand where nerves and blood vessels are located. Although the design of the catcher's mitt has been modified repeatedly over the years, today's mitts are still inadequate to protect against repetitive hand trauma. Even while resting, most of the catchers studied experienced pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in their glove hand. And only the catchers on a baseball team experienced hypertrophy (an increase in finger circumference) -- with increase averaging 5mm, or 1.89 ring sizes.

Catch these statistics

Pitched balls often travel at speeds exceeding 90mph
Catchers receive as many as 300 impacts to the gloved hand per day (150 pitches per game + 150 pitches warming up scheduled and potential pitchers)
Catchers play at least 162 scheduled games over a nine-month period.
So, mammas and papas, don't let your babies grow up to be catchers.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons



CATCHERS' QUIZ
Continuing the theme, and at the risk of beating a dead horse -- or horse hide, here's a quiz to test your knowledge of baseball's all-time great catchers.

Which catcher is famous for the lines: "It aint over 'til it's over"; "Baseball is 95 percent half-mental"; and "Nobody eats there any more. It's too crowded."
Which Boston Red Sox catcher hit a famous home run in the 12 th inning to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series?
Who holds the record for the most games caught (and thus, the greatest hand poundage)?
Which catcher has hit the most home runs as a catcher?
Name the only catcher to steal home in a World Series game. Hint: He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and is now a nationally known baseball analyst.
Which Hall of Fame catcher never played a single game in the Major Leagues?
Bonus Question: There are 14 catchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame. How many can you name?

seawolf17
Jul 12 2005 11:41 AM
Re: All Star Special - Catchers

MFS62 wrote:
Bonus Question: There are 14 catchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame. How many can you name?


Some of those are obvious. I'll try my hand at the last one (although I have no idea about the "never played a major league game" question).

Carter
Bench
Ferrell
Yogi
Campy
Dickey
Fisk
Josh Gibson?

Eight. Wow. I suck.

Willets Point
Jul 12 2005 11:41 AM

He said "Pounding on the Glove Hand" - heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh.

Edgy DC
Jul 12 2005 12:01 PM

It's become a truism that catcher is the most physically demanding position. But that's only because we tacitly agree to leave out the pitcher. Even after a century of protecting the pitcher by dividing up his workload (the top catchers catch 75-85% of their teams innings, while few pitchers pitch more than 18% of their team's innings), I'd bet there are more sugeries per capita, and more career ending injuries per capita, in the pitching fraternity than among catchers.

MFS62
Jul 12 2005 12:05 PM

Edgy DC wrote:
It's become a truism that catcher is the most physically demanding position. But that's only because we tacitly agree to leave out the pitcher. Even after a century of protecting the pitcher by dividing up his workload (the top catchers catch 75-85% of their teams innings, while few pitchers pitch more than 18% of their team's innings), I'd bet there are more sugeries per capita, and more career ending injuries per capita, in the pitching fraternity than among catchers.


While you're quibbling, try to answer the question.

Later

Elster88
Jul 12 2005 12:08 PM

Edgy DC wrote:
It's become a truism that catcher is the most physically demanding position. But that's only because we tacitly agree to leave out the pitcher. Even after a century of protecting the pitcher by dividing up his workload (the top catchers catch 75-85% of their teams innings, while few pitchers pitch more than 18% of their team's innings), I'd bet there are more sugeries per capita, and more career ending injuries per capita, in the pitching fraternity than among catchers.
True. But, the pitching fraternity is also a lot larger too. I'm not sure how that would affect the statistics, and whether it supports or takes away from your argument.

Edgy DC
Jul 12 2005 12:21 PM

I'm not quibbling. I'm disputing.

The questions are kind of silly.

1) Which catcher is famous for the lines: "It aint over 'til it's over"; "Baseball is 95 percent half-mental"; and "Nobody eats there any more. It's too crowded."

Yogi Berra, but they don't have that second quote the way it's typically recounted.

2) Which Boston Red Sox catcher hit a famous home run in the 12 th inning to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series?

Carlton Fisk. I saw Good Will Hunting as much as anybody.

3) Who holds the record for the most games caught (and thus, the greatest hand poundage)?

Fisk broke Boone's record for big-league games caught, though if you believe half of Roy Campanella's account of his prolific pre-majors career, his hand had been pounded the most.

4) Which catcher has hit the most home runs as a catcher?

Piazza.

5) Name the only catcher to steal home in a World Series game. Hint: He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and is now a nationally known baseball analyst.

Seems to be walking me right to Tim McCarver.

6) Which Hall of Fame catcher never played a single game in the Major Leagues?

Josh Gibson.

Bonus Question: There are 14 catchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame. How many can you name?

Bench, Ferrell, Cochrane, Campanella, Fisk, Berra, Dickey, Harnett, Carter, Lombardi, Gibson, and three other guys.

MFS62
Jul 12 2005 12:28 PM

Thanks.
I'll post the answers (as they were sent to me) later, after a few more folks have a chance to take a shot at it.

Remember, this was an internal OSHA joke. Just because one profession is more hazardous, it doesn't mean members of that profession incur more injuries than another profession. I'd bet those good OSHA folks would say that the protective "clothing" catchers wear has something to do with a lower number of injuries (than for pitchers).

Later

Edgy DC
Jul 12 2005 12:37 PM

Here's some real tough catcher quizzes that would stump Ms. Met: http://bb_catchers.tripod.com/catchers/quiz.htm

Breshanan is one of the Hall-of-Famers I forgot. Buck Ewing was a catcher, wasn't he?

MFS62
Jul 12 2005 12:41 PM

Oh, teriffic.
Now how am I ever going to get some work done today?
Those quizzes will keep me thinkin' for a while.
I hat it when that happens. (intentional "hat")

Thanks
Later

MFS62
Jul 12 2005 07:44 PM
Answers

1.Yogi Berra
2.Carlton Fisk
3.Carlton Fisk
4.Mike Piazza
5.Tim McCarver
6. Josh Gibson who spent his whole career in the Negro Leagues
Bonus round:
Johnny Bench, Reds (elected 89); Yogi Berra, Yankees (72); Roger Bresnahan, Cards (45); Roy Campanella, Dodgers (69); Gary Carter, Expos (03); Mickey Cochrane, Athletics (47); Bill Dickey, Yankees (54); Buck Ewing, Reds (36); Rick Ferrell, Red Sox (84); Carlton Fisk, Red Sox (00); Josh Gibson, Homestead Grays, Negro Leagues (72); Gabby Hartnett, Cubs (55); Ernie Lombardi, Reds (86); Ray Schalk, White Sox (55).


Later

mlbaseballtalk
Jul 12 2005 10:02 PM
Re: All Star Special - Catchers

MFS62 wrote:


Which catcher is famous for the lines: "It aint over 'til it's over"; "Baseball is 95 percent half-mental"; and "Nobody eats there any more. It's too crowded."

Duh, Yogi Berra

]Which Boston Red Sox catcher hit a famous home run in the 12 th inning to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series?
Who holds the record for the most games caught (and thus, the greatest hand poundage)?

Both obviously Carlton Fisk
]
Which catcher has hit the most home runs as a catcher?

How old are these questions by the way?

Oh, for the record, since I really don't care about position by position HRs, J. Bench is still the benchmark. Or is untill Piazza hits two more HRs


]Name the only catcher to steal home in a World Series game. Hint: He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and is now a nationally known baseball analyst.


Tim McCarver

]Which Hall of Fame catcher never played a single game in the Major Leagues?


Josh Gibson
]
Bonus Question: There are 14 catchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame. How many can you name?


Berra, Bench, Fisk, Carter, Campanella,
Rick Ferrell, Cochrane, Gibson (though does he count for this?)
Bill Dickey, Ray Schalk...
Rogers Breshnahan, Buck Ewing...

Two more huh? Need to go to the videotape...

http://baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/lists/pos&C.htm

Wow, somehow I forgot Ernie "Schnozz" Lombardi and Gabby Hartnett. And I guess they do count the Negro Leaguers in the position breakdown. Cool

Steve

mlbaseballtalk
Jul 12 2005 10:09 PM

]
Oh, for the record, since I really don't care about position by position HRs, J. Bench is still the benchmark. Or is untill Piazza hits two more HRs


So I don't have Mikey fans jumping down my throat. My criteria is simple. Did the guy play most of his career at a position? If yes, that is the position that his HRs should really count more towards

The splits? Does it really matter? Johnny Bench finished at 389, Mike Piazza is at 387, they both played 90% of their games behind the plate, hit more HRs than anyone else who caught 90% of their games. Therefore, untill sometime in the very near future, John Bench is still the most HR hitting catcher in the history of MLB

seawolf17
Jul 12 2005 10:26 PM

How the hell did I know Josh Gibson is a Hall of Famer, but I missed the obvious point that he never played in the major leagues? Think, Wolf. Think.

Edgy DC
Jul 12 2005 10:32 PM

]The splits? Does it really matter?


Sure.

Vic Sage
Jul 13 2005 11:06 AM

MLBasballtalk:
]So I don't have Mikey fans jumping down my throat. My criteria is simple. Did the guy play most of his career at a position? If yes, that is the position that his HRs should really count more towards

The splits? Does it really matter? Johnny Bench finished at 389, Mike Piazza is at 387, they both played 90% of their games behind the plate, hit more HRs than anyone else who caught 90% of their games. Therefore, untill sometime in the very near future, John Bench is still the most HR hitting catcher in the history of MLB


First of all, Bench didn't play 90% of his games behind the plate. In fact, he didn't even play 80% of his games behind the plate. He played 79.43% of his total games as a catcher (1742 games out of 2193 games played), whereas Piazza has played 93.09% of his games to date as a catcher (1429/1535). Since Bench didn't make your arbitrary90% cutoff, do his HRs not count?

Some of the other great HR-hitting catchers [Yogi = 86.59%, Simmons = 87.03%] didn't make the magical 90% threshhold either. And even the ones that did [Fisk = 90.34%, Carter = 90.49%, Parrish = 91.95%] played less of their games behind the plate than Piazza.

Being a catcher is all about "wear and tear". While other great hitting catchers had opportunities to play a significant amount of time at other positions, thus extending the productive period of their careers, Piazza has not. his record for HRs as a catcher is, therefore, even MORE significant an achievement.

the "splits" matter. especially for a catcher. Happily, MLB recognizes the accomplishment, even if MLBasballtalk doesn't.

mlbaseballtalk
Jul 13 2005 10:29 PM

^
Okay, quick question:

Cal Ripken Jr is the all time Homer Hitting Shortstop
Alex Rodriguez is second

How many HRs behind is ARod from Ripken?

Only 1. That was how it was when the season ended in 2003. With ARod just one HR shy of the all-time record. 345 to 344

Unless you want to sell me on ARod being able to get close to Mike Schmidt's 509 at 3rd, (and that means he'll have close to 840 career homers) you'd have to consider the SS record to be a prestigious one, probably more so than Schmidt's at 3rd ala the catching record that Piazza has

Point is, no one cares about the split. ARod isn't pushing Torre to move him to short when Jeter is off just so he can break Ripken's record. And don't say "Well he can go back to SS if Jeter moves to a different position and he will get it" well by then Miguel Tejada may have blown past Ripken (he had 190 as of the end of the 2004 season)

So in other words, HR by position was not worth the time and the hassle that was caused by getting Piazza the record instead of doing the experiment earlier

Steve

Edgy DC
Jul 13 2005 11:31 PM

Except that you say he doesn't have the record. Bench does. Which he doesn't.

If Piazza does anything to get a record that detracts from helping the team win more games, it generally isn't worth it.

But that's not the point. The point is that home runs by position means something specific, if not particularly important. Every player has to be measured against his ability to be productive and his ability to play certain positions. Ernie Banks couldn't keep hitting and hack it at shortstop for most of the second half of his career. Honus Wagner remained mostly a shortstop into his forties.

Edgar Martinez spent half his career faking it at DH. Don't the real third basemen with similar hitting numbers deserve some congratulations for allowing their team to enjoy their numbers and those of any other good hitter in the DH slot?