Pitchers and Catchers

The pitcher stands on the mound, peering in at his teammate behind the plate. He shakes his head once, twice, then nods. They are in agreement. The pitcher then gets set, winds up and deals. The play has begun.

Unique Relationship: There are very few relationships in sports that are as important as the one between the pitcher and catcher in baseball and softball. Everything starts with the communication between the two players. They are responsible for getting all the action started. Nothing can happen until the pitcher and the catcher are ready to play. Like a quarterback in football or a goalie in hockey, they are the keys to the game. All eyes are on them.

Giving Signs: What's amazing about the relationship between the pitcher and the catcher is that they don't even have to speak in order to communicate. Catchers will flash signs to the pitcher to tell them what pitch to throw - a fastball, curveball, changeup, etc. Pitchers will shake their heads to ask for a new sign, or nod to show that they want to throw that pitch. It's very important for pitchers and catchers to work together, even before the game starts.

Trust: The most important part of the pitcher/catcher relationship is trust. When a catcher calls a pitch, he has to know that the pitcher is going to throw that exact pitch. If a catcher calls for a curveball and the pitcher throws a fastball, the catcher could be injured. Also, if a pitcher throws a sinker and the catcher isn't expecting it, it could cause a wild pitch and will hurt the team. They have to trust that they can work together as a unit. This is why when pitchers throw a great game, like a no-hitter, they will usually give credit to their catcher. Pitchers can't do their jobs without a catcher they trust.

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