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Escape Artist
05-08-2012, 01:47 AM
Would the catcher ever be in a position to throw a baseball into the stands to a fan? And if so, would he get a chance to do so during the game itself or would it be a before-game type of thing? Also, are safety nets behind home plate required for major league stadiums? I know that our local university just up the street has a rather large safety net behind home plate, but it's been so long since I've been to a major league game that I can't remember if they (the Texas Rangers' ballpark) had one as well.

It's sort of sad that I'm having to ask this because I watch baseball fairly often, but little details like this often go unnoticed.

Thanks, everyone!

PorterStarrByrd
05-08-2012, 01:51 AM
Pretty rare ..

He could toss one into the stands after catching third out but, usually, where the stands are not protected by netting, another catcher catches to ball will a glove or first baseman's mitt.

Off course MLB catchers are not handicapped by the mitt as are players at young ages, but he generally has a longer run to get to the ball than the first or third baseman.

It certainly could happen though.

lbender
05-08-2012, 01:53 AM
Don't know if nets are required, but I would guess that anyone wanting to avoid lawsuits would have them. All the major league stadiums do.

The catcher could, I suppose, throw a ball into the stands after catching a foul pop or after a strikeout, if he so desired. Don't know if I've ever seen it, though. The other fielders, especially corner infielders and outfielders, might be more involved in talking to and listening to fans during the game, so they may be more inclined to toss them a ball. The catcher is a bit busier, so would have less interaction with the fans.

Al Stevens
05-08-2012, 01:54 AM
Safety net: Yes. Protects the crowd from foul balls.

Catcher tossing ball to fan during game? I've never seen it. He's usually got that safety net between him and the crowd.

When not playing? I've never seen that either. The catcher has enough stuff to carry. He doesn't usually have a ball with him when he's going to and from the dugout. I think. I'll have to watch.

It could happen, I suppose.

I survived
05-08-2012, 02:30 AM
I saw one catcher who use to do it. It was Randy Huntley with the 69 Cubs. He would do it after warming up a little in the outfield before the game. Others might toss autographed balls into the crowd before the game if they play for a teamm that still does that.

SirOtter
05-08-2012, 03:36 AM
The catcher could, I suppose, throw a ball into the stands after catching a foul pop

If he had to chase it past the net, I could see it happening. I've seen a few catchers wind up falling into a dugout chasing a pop fly, which would be past the net in pretty much any ballpark I know of.

Cricket18
05-08-2012, 04:07 AM
Safety nets=yes

I've seen Posada run to catch a foul ball or pop fly, more than once, and toss it into the crowd.

theichibun
05-08-2012, 04:35 AM
Just confirming what everyone else has already said. Safety nets run pretty much to the dugouts. Once the dugout starts a catcher could easily throw a ball into the stands. After a strikeout they'll generally throw to the 3rd baseman. After the third out they'll generally flip the ball onto the grass so it's there for the next inning or give it to the umpire.

But any sort of foul ball that takes them at least up the line as far as the dugouts could have a catcher throw the ball into the stands.

CEtchison
05-08-2012, 09:13 PM
If a catcher were to throw a ball into the stands, it would most likely be following a pop fly into foul territory and no one on base. If a runner is on base, then that's a whole other can of worms.

Homeplate netting does not extend to the dugout in every ballpark. I can't honestly think of one that extends it that far around, although some of the older parks might depending on how close the dugouts are to homeplate.

I do know for certain at the Ballpark in Arlington, where the Rangers play, when starting behind homeplate, the first sections completely parallel to the first and third base lines are not protected by netting. If you watch on television, this is where Nolan Ryan sits during almost every game and also where G.W. Bush sits when in attendance.

For reference, since it's somewhat difficult to explain, this non-protected area would be sections 30 and 31 on the map below...

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ballpark/tex_ballpark_seating.jsp

It would be quite reasonable for a ball to be fouled into this area and the catcher make the play while leaning over the wall and into the stands. There are also photographers wells situated next to the dugout on the homeplate side. These have railings, but no netting of course.

Also, not sure when the story is set, but I'm pretty sure the MLB has made railings and netting in front of the dugouts a safety requirement in every ballpark.

augusto
05-08-2012, 10:58 PM
Some ballparks still have their bullpens in foul territory down the baselines. A bullpen catcher would be quite close to the stands and could interact with the fans. It would be common for him to flip foul grounders or bullpen balls into the stands.