So you want to be a big league catcher? That probably means you’re tough to begin with, but you still want to have faith in the equipment you wear, right? Those baseballs fly 95 MPH (and faster), after all.
Serious question: if a baseball gets stuck in the front of the catcher’s mask, is that a good sign or a bad sign? If you are that catcher, do you take comfort in the fact that the mask did, in fact, stop the ball from hitting you in the face despite the fact it was apparently in the perfect spot? Or do you find yourself just a little bit more worried because the play stopped and you had a baseball stuck six inches in front of your face?
I’m not sure what the answer is to those questions, but that is exactly what happened to Washington Nationals’ catcher Jose Lobaton on Tuesday night. Jordan Zimmerman threw a 95 MPH fastball in on the hands of Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Carlos Gomez. As he is known to do, Gomez took a mighty swing, fouling the ball straight back into Lobaton’s face. On a ball that might have normally deflected off the catcher’s mask and jarred it loose off his head, this one just stuck there.
Lobaton took the moment in stride, so more power to him, I guess.
Here is the wacky moment.