Moore: Will we see a left-handed catcher this season?

From Jack Moore at Sports on Earth on April 9, 2013:

In the ninth inning of a May 14, 1989, game between Pittsburgh and Atlanta, the Pirates moved Benny Distefano from first base to catcher as part of a double switch. In doing so, they did something that no major league team had done in more than nine years and no team has done since DiStefano caught his final game as a Pirate on Aug. 18 of that year: they put a left-handed thrower behind the plate in a major league game.

Twenty-four years later, there’s a chance we could see it again. The Milwaukee Brewers named Logan Schafer, a left-handed reserve outfielder most famous for starting a triple play on a ball that bounced off the top of his head, as their emergency catcher.

Schafer probably won’t have to gear up in 2013. Even though Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn’t partake in the largely shared aversion that MLB managers have against pinch-hitting with reserve catchers — he pinch-hit Jonathan Lucroy in the club’s third game, with Martin Maldonado already in — it would still take extraordinary circumstances to force Schafer behind the plate.

Still, even the possibility is notable. For more than a century, it has simply been accepted as fact that lefties don’t catch. Observe the reaction to a left-handed catcher at a local tryout in 1948, via the Youngstown Vindicator.

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Originally published: April 9, 2013. Last Updated: April 9, 2013.