Friday, August 6, 2010


A few days ago Jerry Remy announced that Darnell McDonald made a shoestring catch. It suddenly struck me that, although I have researched and described the different types of pitching, I have failed to explore the different types of catching. Just what makes a catch a shoestring?

In the meantime the baby has learned to crawl, pull up, walk holding on with one hand, and basically destroy anything in her path.* She has also decided she will not go to sleep any time before 9pm. Which makes sitting down and blogging during the game, well, impossible.

Caught in the Act. In a true Catch-22, the baby pulls all my baseball reference material off the bookshelf. These are the very items I can't use because I'm busy making sure she doesn't pull them off the shelf (unsuccessfully).

So a shoestring catch is a running catch made close to the ground (or your shoestrings). Easy, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised to learn that there are a bunch of rules associated with making a catch.

For example, it doesn't matter if you make the most perfect, most beautiful, most up-against-the-wall, should-have-been-a-home run catch; if you then drop the ball it's not a catch. However, if a player grabs the ball in the air before it reaches the ground, demonstrates possession, and then drops the ball. Catch.

If you make a catch with your hat, your shirt, or your cup, you might make Sports Center, but you haven't made a catch. Even if the ball becomes lodged in the catchers face mask, it's not a catch.

It is a catch if a fielder reaches the edge of the dugout and is then held up by a teammate or opponent in order to reach the ball. A player can also reach over, or even jump on or over a wall in order to make a catch. 

What other crazy catch-rules do you know about? Wikipedia has a rule about the ball being hit by a fielder, then by an offensive player, then caught by a defensive player... you guessed it, it's not a catch.

*People laughed when I started baby-proofing with the baby still in the womb. I should have ignored them, because it it is virtually impossible to baby-proof now that she can put things in her mouth. She wants to eat outlet covers, drawer stops, and the rugs I use to conceal wires.

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