1.(baseball) the person who plays the position of catcher
2.(sport)the position on a baseball team of the player who is stationed behind home plate and who catches the balls that the pitcher throws"a catcher needs a lot of protective equipment" "a catcher plays behind the plate"
CatcherCatch"er (?), n.
1. One who, or that which, catches.
2. (Baseball) The player who stands behind the batsman to catch the ball.
definition of Wikipedia
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sport de balle (fr)[Thème]
catcher (n.) [base-ball , sport]
annonce publicitaire (fr)[Classe]
entrer en possession de (fr)[Classe]
attention (esprit) (fr)[DomaineCollocation]
sport de balle (fr)[Classe]
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field his position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket.
Positioned behind home plate, the catcher can see the whole field; therefore, he is in the best position to direct and lead the other players in a defensive play. The catcher typically calls for pitches by means of hand signals; therefore, he/she must be aware of the pitcher's mechanics and strengths, as well as the batter's tendencies and weaknesses. Foul tips, bouncing balls in the dirt, and contact with runners during plays at the plate are all part of the catcher's job, so protective equipment must be worn. This includes a mask, chest and throat protectors, shin guards, and an extra-thick glove.
Because the position requires a comprehensive understanding of the game's strategies, the pool of former catchers yields a disproportionate number of Major and Minor-League managers, including such prominent examples as Connie Mack, Steve O'Neill, Al Lopez, Yogi Berra, Mike Scioscia, and Joe Torre. The physical and mental strain of being involved on every defensive play can wear catchers down over a long season, and can have a negative effect on their offensive output.
Due to catching's strategic defensive importance, if a catcher has exceptional defensive skills, teams are often willing to overlook their relative offensive weaknesses. A knowledgeable catcher's ability to work with the pitcher, via pitch selection and location, can diminish the effectiveness of the opposing team's offense. Many great defensive catchers toiled in relative anonymity, because they did not produce large offensive numbers. Notable examples of light-hitting, defensive specialists were; Ray Schalk, Jim Hegan, Jim Sundberg and Brad Ausmus. Schalk's career batting average of .253 is the lowest of any position player in the Baseball Hall of Fame. That he was selected for enshrinement in 1955 was largely a tribute to his outstanding defensive skills. Catchers are often able to play first base and less commonly third base.
In the numbering system used to record baseball plays, the catcher is assigned the number '2'. (See Baseball scorekeeping.)
The catcher is usually the first to notice the tendencies, quirks, and peculiarities of each home-plate umpire. Some umpires favor high strikes, pitched balls that are technically above the strike zone but appear, to the umpire, to be good. Conversely, some umpires will call low pitches strikes even when they are slightly below the knees. Other umpires have an inside bias or an outside bias; some umpires have more than one bias; some are uniformly lenient; some have very restricted notions of the strike zone, and the pitcher will constantly feel that his pitches are unfairly judged. The catcher can exploit an umpire's tendencies by taking him into account in how he chooses to receive the ball.
The catcher can help his pitcher get more strike calls from the umpire by using a technique called "framing" . This practice is a matter of a catcher keeping his mitt inside the strike zone, or as close to it as possible, when receiving the pitch, thereby giving the plate umpire the impression that the pitch is in the strike zone, even if it is not. When framing, a catcher will also hold his mitt still for a second or two so that the umpire has an opportunity to thoroughly consider his call (and, hopefully, let his innate biases influence his decision in a direction favorable to the catcher's team.)
The catcher, when receiving a borderline pitch, usually has several options in how he makes the catch. He can catch the pitch in the webbing of his mitt or in the heel; he can catch the pitch on his forehand or backhand, as necessary; he can catch a low pitch with the mitt pointed upward or downward. These choices help the catcher to create a favorable presentation (or frame) for the umpire.
A variation on "framing" is called "pulling pitches". The general approach is to catch the half of the ball that is outside the strike zone and show the umpire only the half of the ball, lodged in the mitt, that is closer to the zone. The illusion is often enhanced with a slight 'tug' of the mitt (of an inch or two) toward the strike zone.
By rule the catcher must station directly back of the plate (generally in the catcher's box) the moment a pitch is thrown but may leave at any time to catch a pitch or make a play. The moment an intentional ball leaves a pitcher's hand, the catcher must have both feet in the catcher's box.  The catcher is the only defensive player who is allowed to be in foul territory when a pitch is thrown.
Calling the game refers to the act of catchers to decide the type of pitch delivered to home plate. Catchers comprise a high percentage of baseball managers. As of April 2011[update] 15 of 30 Major League Baseball managers were former catchers. Because the catcher is considered a captain on the field (and some, such as Thurman Munson and Jason Varitek were in fact team captains), he is often in charge of planning defensive plays. The catcher will give signs to the pitcher for what pitch is to be thrown. The majority of the time it is done through a number system. Each number will represent a different pitch, and then the pitcher can either agree or disagree with a shake of his or her head. These signals get more complicated when a runner is on second base, because the runner's vantage point when he takes his lead gives him a direct view of the catcher's hand and a simple signal can be relayed by the runner to the batter. Signals are not always done by the number system. Varitek was known for giving signals by touching certain parts of his chest protector.
The selection of which pitch to use can depend on a wide variety of situations such as; the type of hitter that is being faced, whether there are any base runners, how many outs have been made in the inning, or the current score, among others. The responsibility for selecting the type of pitch was traditionally made by the catcher. However, current form is to have the manager or a coach relay the pitch selection to the catcher, via secret hand signals to prevent the opposing team from having the advantage of knowing what the next pitch will be.
A catcher nearly always throws with his right hand. Since most hitters are right-handed and stand to the left side of the plate when batting, a catcher who throws left-handed is forced to take some time to sidestep (or otherwise avoid) the right-handed hitter when he throws from behind the plate. In addition, a lefty's throw would tend to come in on the shortstop side of the bag, while a righty's throw would be on the second base side of the bag, which is where the runner is coming in. Consequently, players who are left-handed rarely play catcher. Left-handed catchers have only caught eleven big-league games since 1902, and Jack Clements, who played for 17 years at the end of the nineteenth century, is the only man in the history of baseball to play more than three hundred games as a left-handed catcher. However, some observers, including the famed statistician Bill James and ESPN writer Rob Neyer, have suggested that the real reason that there are no left-handed catchers is because left-handed players with strong throwing arms are almost always encouraged, at an early age, to become pitchers. Benny Distefano, the last lefty thrower to catch a big-league game (in 1989), noted that lefty catchers have difficulty on bunts up the third base line and on fielding throws home for plays at the plate.
To block balls that a pitcher throws on a bounce toward home plate (pitches that are said to be "in the dirt"), the catcher will slide his body to the left or right, as necessary, to place himself directly in the path of the ball. Once in position, he drops to his knees, places his mitt between his legs to prevent the ball from passing through, and leans forward to deaden the rebound when, and if, the ball bounces off his thigh or torso. Although inexperienced catchers may try to catch the errant pitch with his mitt, coaches often prioritize the catcher's ability to "keep the ball in front of him" than to make a catch with his mitt. Ideally, the catcher will be able to knock the ball to the ground where it will stop within arm's reach. To perform this properly, without the ball being deflected in an undesirable direction, the catcher must angle his body so that his chest is always leaning forward, toward home plate. This maneuver is often difficult, and its difficulty depends largely on how fast the ball is traveling, where it first hits the ground, the firmness of the ground it hits, and the manner in which it is spinning.
The defensive plays expected of catchers, aside from managing the pitcher by calling for pitches and catching them, include:
Any failure by the catcher can have dire consequences for his team. Passed balls are possible whenever one or more runners are on base. A failure to catch a ball thrown from the outfield on a play at home plate, or a failure to tag a runner, means that the defensive team fails to record an all-important out and, instead, it allows a run. On an attempt to prevent a stolen base, a catcher's bad throw might careen past the infielder and skip into the outfield, allowing an additional advance by the baserunner.
Because of the close mental relationship and trust that a successful pitcher must have with his catcher, a number of catchers throughout history have become preferred by pitchers on their teams, to the point of that catcher almost always (especially during the regular season) playing on the same days the pitcher is. Since this personal catcher will usually have inferior offensive numbers to the team's regular catcher, this is a luxury usually only afforded to the team's best (or second-best) pitcher.  Personal catchers are also used for pitchers that specialize in throwing knuckleballs, due to the difficulty of catching such an inconsistent and erratic pitch.
Another reason for having a personal catcher is that catcher is a very demanding position, and thus starting catchers often need a day off from their catching duties.
The catcher is the most physically demanding position in baseball, more so than the pitcher. Despite being heavily padded, catchers routinely suffer some of the worst physical abuse in baseball. The catcher has the physically risky job of blocking the plate to prevent base runners from reaching home and scoring runs. Catchers also constantly get bruised and battered by pitches, foul tips, and occasionally the bat in an undisciplined follow-through of the batter's swing.
Catchers also are prone to knee ailments stemming from the awkward crouching stance they assume. Because of this, catchers have a reputation of being slow baserunners; even if they have speed at the beginning of their careers, the eventual toll taken on their knees slows them down, although there are some exceptions, such as Manny Sanguillén. Some players who begin their career as catchers are moved to other positions in order to preserve their running speed, increase their availability for games, and take advantage of their prowess with the bat. Prominent examples of catchers switching position in mid-career include Craig Biggio, B.J. Surhoff, and Dale Murphy (although Murphy was also known as a poor thrower to the pitcher and to second base, nearly hitting pitchers in the process).
Catchers often have shorter careers than players at other positions; consequently, few catchers hold batting records that require many seasons of play to compile. Mike Piazza is the only catcher in history with more than four hundred career home runs, and no catcher has amassed three thousand career hits. (Although 3000-hit-club member Craig Biggio played his first three full seasons as a catcher, he played his remaining sixteen seasons at second base and in the outfield.)
The larger or heavier the catcher, the greater the health risks associated with repeatedly assuming a crouching or squatting position; knees and backs are especially vulnerable to "wear-and-tear" injuries. Catchers also have an increased risk of circulatory abnormalities in the catching hand. A study of minor-league ballplayers showed that, of 36 players in various positions, all nine of the catchers had hand pain during a game, and several had chronic pain in the catching hand. Catching high-speed pitches can, in some cases, cause the index finger on the gloved hand to swell to twice the size of the other fingers. Ultrasound and blood-pressure tests showed altered blood flow in the gloved hand of five of the catchers, a far higher incidence than in the hands of players at other baseball positions.
Catchers in baseball use the following equipment to help prevent injury while behind the plate:
Additionally, some catchers choose to use the following optional equipment:
In addition to his protective equipment, a catcher usually also adopts practices that minimize his risk of injury. For instance, unlike fielders elsewhere on the field, a catcher tries, to the extent possible, to catch the ball with his gloved hand alone. An outfielder may catch a fly ball by covering the ball, once it strikes the pocket of his glove, with his bare hand in order to secure it. The catcher, however, tries to keep his bare hand, which is highly vulnerable to injury, out of harm's way by presenting the pitcher with a target (the large round glove) while hiding his unprotected throwing hand behind his back. By doing so, the bare hand cannot be struck by a foul tip. Many broken fingers, split fingernails, and grotesque dislocations are avoided by adherence to this simple expedient.
Given the physical punishment suffered by catchers, the pieces of equipment associated with the position are often referred to as "the tools of ignorance". This is an ironic expression; the catcher typically has the most thorough understanding of baseball tactics and strategies of any player on his team.
Catchers often experience knee tendinitis because of the constant squatting and bending of the knees while catching.
Fifteen men who played primarily as catchers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame:
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