Former catchers sound off on last issue’s Block Party
“Block Party really stood out to me; Yadier [Molina] was my first collision- he ran into me. Blocking the plate was the first thing I was taught in professional baseball, and John Buck was right- set up inside the foul line and show the baserunner the back of the plate so they have somewhere to go. I don’t think it should be outlawed though, sometimes you just can’t help it with the timing. I think that when you get to that level it’s part of the game and as a pro, it’s part of your job.”
– Charlie Lisk- 12 year professional career as a catcher, Frontier League all-time HR and RBI leader
“I have experienced numerous collisions at home plate, some that have put me out of play for a few weeks, but I was never a guy that was scared about a collision. I tried to catch the ball and put the runner on HIS backside. I’ve been hurt both plowing the catcher and being plowed at the plate. I just think it brings an excitement to the game. Sure, it is dangerous, but its the final line before a run is added to the scoreboard.”
– Breck Draper- former All-American catcher at Univ. of Central Oklahoma
“It’s interesting how many catchers respond to this issue with, ‘It’s part of the game.’ Catchers don’t want to be restricted from the baseline in efforts to ‘block’ the plate. Therefore, no runner should be restricted in ways to get to the plate. It comes down to risk versus reward. Catchers can almost always field the ball while avoiding the collision. For catchers, is the reward for saving that run, worth the risk? Catchers who answer “no” end up a lot further from home plate during the game.
The game of baseball revolves around the difficulty of touching home plate. Shouldn’t the last 5ft be the toughest?”
– Gregg Glime- Baylor University Assistant Coach, Former AAA catcher