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October 2014, vol 10 no 3

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Pat Tompkins


Those who've played the game know: the catcher is key. But it's not a position that gets the glory. Old-time slang for catcher's gear: tools of ignorance.

That's the smart-aleck lingo for this samurai's protection: sturdy padding, hard guards to face the pitcher's missiles. A backhanded tribute for the player crouching, balanced, squashed between umpire and batter. Curveballs thump leather mitt, sliders crack on wooden bats. Squat, jump, squat, kneel, squat, leap. The tension and release. All that home drama. On summer afternoons, stadiums of sunburned knees ache in sympathy.

the schoolgirl in right field
listens for the bell