notes on government, sports and popular culture
..It was Jeff Torborg
I've noticed these days that just about every major-league catcher (with the exception of Mike Piazza) leave their masks on when taking a throw from the field. When I was a kid, catchers tossed the mask
to ready up for a plate at the plate.
I'd always wondered how the trend got started. I also noticed while watching the CWS that it didn't extend to college catchers
. So why were they less worried about getting their faces smashed than major league catchers, who have the money for plastic surgery?
So I'm watching the Yankees- Braves game and there's a play at the plate. The Yankees' Jorge Posada is one of those guys who leaves his mask on. The throw got away from him, and Marcus Giles scored.
During the replay, Torborg noted that Posada had left his mask on.
"I taught that," Torborg said. You're supposed to see pitches with the mask on, anyway, why not throws from the field, he reasoned.
But when I played catcher, I was easier to keep an eye on the runner barreling down the third base line with the mask off.
Not that I'm saying I know more about catching than Jeff Torborg. I knows a thing or two. He only caught one of the best-pitched
games in baseball history.
I guess catching Koufax would make a backstop aware that the mask isn't necessarily a tool of ignorance.