Memories so far from the 2011 Baseball/Softball Playoffs:Catchers not wearing protective gear and having dinner with The Bears

Posted by Andy Durham on May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm under High School | 6 Comments to Read

Biggest impact memory outside of the action on the field was the game on Tuesday night at Northeast Guilford….Kudos again to the NEG staff and coaches, for the work they did to get the baseball field at Northeast ready, to play on that night…..It had rained all over the place, all day long and NEG had the mound covered until just before game time and even though the rains came down Hicone Road, near NEG again about one hour before the first pitch, NEG’s grounds crew(coaching staff) didn’t flinch and they were ready for baseball at 7pm….

The real impact other than the baseball game itself, was the Western Alamance team and their backup catcher, warming up the pitcher between innings without a catcher’s mask, in fact the catcher warming up the pithcher for Western Alamance, had on no equipment whatsoever and the home plate umpire was standing right beside him watching….

That’s very dangerous, after some of the stories we have heard of this spring, with coaches getting hit by pitcher’s pitches and the increased chances of injury, when there is no protective gear in sight…..

The case we heard the most from, back in the early spring, was dealing with a coach catching a middle school pitcher in practice, and the coach was not wearing gear….(No catcher’s mask and the coach ended up with a broken nose…..)

The regular game catcher for Western Alamance had all of his gear on, but the catcher that caught him up between innings had no gear on, not even a catcher’s mask and the ump was right there on it and did say anything, while I was observing….

To the credit of the Northeast Guilford Rams and their coaching staff and players, their warmup catcher was wearing full-gear, when he came out to catch NEG starting pitcher Harrison Phillips, between innings….NEG had all their bases covered, cause their warmup catcher was covered with equipment, from head-to-toe…..NEG was on their game and their warmup catcher had on the catcher’s mask, the chest protector, the shin guards and the full-gear….

Catch at your own risks in some circles is still the motto, or credo of the day….

I had dinner with The Bears last night….At the South Elm-Eugene McDonalds, of all places….This is a Johnny Tart Enterprises owned business and I stopped in for the Free Wi-Fi after the Southeast Guilford-West Forsyth game and as I was typing up the game re-count, the Grays Creek Bears girls softball team came rolling in…..

The Bears(8-4) had just dropped their game to the Ledford Panthers, at Ledford 14-1, and the Grays Creek Bears were on their way headed back toward Fayetteville, as they stopped in for their post-game meal…..The Bears lost last night, but they have a young team with 7 freshmen, 4 sophomores, two juniors and maybe one senior….The Bears were chomping down on more than just the casual Johnny Tart McDonald’s porridge(oatmeal); the young softball players were eating up the dollar menu and more, plus The Bears said they loved those Value Meals…

Dinner with “The Three Bears”, and several more Bears from Gray’s Creek to be exact, and the busload of Bears were through with their meals and on their way back down Highway 421 South in no time at all….The Ledford Panthers will meet Western Alamance(24-2) in the next round of the girl’s NCHSAA softball…..

Good fortunes to The Bears and to the catcher with no equipment……


  • Onlooker said,

    I have heard that Brad White is the best groundskeeper/first base coach in the business.

  • mkcarte2 said,

    I coach at WA. As long as the catcher doesn’t squat he doesn’t need a mask. Its just like playing catch. The pitcher was only throwing him fastballs to get loose till the regular catcher got out there. We would never have a kid squat to warm up a pitcher without gear on. That’s also why the umpires didn’t say anything its the rule.

  • 3-4 hole said,

    Onlooker you are correct…..Coach Brad White is like Michaelangelo and his brush when he grabs a rake…..He also is nature’s barber when it comes to grooming the fresh cut grass at Lawing Stadium…..Spectators alike can only speculate at this juncture what beautiful paradigm Coach will cut into the plush green carpet today at NEG. Good luck to the rams “A Winning Tradition”.

  • JKnapp said,

    Coach Huff runs a class program. He and his staff would never put a kid in harms way and Coach Carter is exactly right. If he doesn’t squat he doesn’t need a mask.

  • Andy said,

    Thanks for clearing that up….With all the recent rash of injuries related to this area, it sure looked dicey on the surface and we will always defer to the coaches, and won’t start telling them how to do their jobs, but maybe even a light mask in that situation, just looking to the side of safety and we respect what you coaches are doing………

    Thanks again for the clarification……

    Funny thing is, I was standing in the West Forsyth bullpen at Southeast Guilford the other night….The bullpen is right along the right field fencing and I stood there for a while, as Brett Morgan was warming up for the West Forsyth Titans and thought about it, and you are saying to yourself, “Here I am standing right here in the bullpen” and everyone else, the other fans along the fence were moving out, and I did too when I got the chance…..You hear that ball popping the mitt and then you see one of those curve balls go down in the dirt and get away from the catcher, who had on full gear by the way, and then you say,” my best bet is to move out of here when I get a chance”….Being in the bullpen with the opposing pitcher warming up, might not be the best seat in the house……

    Always plenty to talk about when it comes to these games……

  • BuckandBall said,

    3-4 hole and onlooker, I couldn’t agree more. You can tell that White and his two JV guys, I think Coach Nation and Coach Simpson, put in a lot of time on the playing surface at Lawingville. I wonder if he’ll go with the vortex pattern again tonight or the classic diamond look when CG comes to visit Law Dog and the boys. Either way it will be a championship quality pattern cut in the infield, fit for a championship quality team. Good luck to the goats again tonight. Tough bunch to beat especially at home with Paula on the bump.