If you read Monday's post, which showcased lots of Padre cards of players without hats, well... today you're in for more of the same. However, the ones today are of a different variety.
It should be noted that the awesomest position in all of sports is the catcher. Is there another position that dresses so differently from the rest of the team? Hockey goalies are close, I guess, and the libero in volleyball and goalie in soccer wear different colored jerseys than the rest of the team. Anyways, it's not just the outfit that makes being a catcher awesome, but it's part of it.
Playing catcher in Little League and Pony League, trudging on and off the field wearing all the gear was a cool feeling. Living in San Diego, it was usually hot, so I was usually sweaty and dusty and grimy. I felt like a real tough guy, which was (and still is) pretty far from my actual personality.
The least coolest part of the catchers gear, however, is the helmet. Sure, it's the most vital (if you're the type of person who enjoys chewing their food and not scaring small children), but for me, it's the pads that are the coolest. I mean, the helmet is cool, but it's just up against some stiff competition for "coolest part of the catcher's gear". Even the huge catcher's mitt is pretty sweet looking, much more so than an average glove.
Case in point: take a look at that Archi Cianfrocco card at the top of this post. Without the pads, you're left wondering, "Hey, what happened to that guy's hat?" With the mask on, he just looks like any other catcher. But, pads on, helmet off, he looks like a superhero ready to spring into action to save a bus full of orphans from falling off a bridge.
Or something like that.
Anyways, here are are more Padres catchers who have kept the pads on, but had to forgo the helmet for one reason or another.
Everybody knows that that if you're trying to track down a foul pop up, the first thing you gotta do is lose the mask. The further you fling it after ripping it off your face, the better. Really give it a good toss, let it know that you mean business, you're not gonna let it get in your way. Also, wear some cool shades.
Other times, the mask comes off during a break in the action. Can you really contemplate the hidden meaning of that thing that your wife said to you on the way out the door if you're wearing that big, clunky thing over your thinking box? Mark Parent says no. If you are able to decode the message and it happens during game time, Dave Roberts says you gotta call time and have a meeting of the minds. Those pitchers can be real relationship experts.
Other times, you just lose the helmet because you can. Think about it. If you're the short stop and you decide to throw your hat to the ground as you corral a ground ball or chase down a runner, you're gonna look like some kinda prima donna jerkface. But if you're a catcher and you wanna shoot the girl in the first row with the yellow tank top the blue steel look, pretend that the mask is full of bees the next time the ball touches the ground and say hello. Nobody thinks twice about it.
But, I mean, try to be discreet. There is a game going on, and nobody likes a showoff.