A lot of people have been left in awe and astonishment with the reliability yet softness possessed by Big Cat's hands. Yesterday's fete was no different as praise poured in from all corners of the internet. But anyone worth a shit knows we're already talking about a guy who doesn't case his phone because he'd rather live dangerously with each touch. So if you want pressure, you better bring a lot more noise than a farm fresh egg but that's beside the point. I
nstead I'm here to quell the doubters while simultaneously bolstering the platform for 16-inch softball as a progressive life skill:
I mean jimmeny christmas ladies. Even if you want to ignore the clear and convincing tape at the end. Even if you want to pretend concrete evidence doesn't exist and that this GIF never happenedYou'd be ignoring the single greatest recreational activity creviced deep into the muscle memory of Big Cat's hands. And that's handling a 16-inch Clincher, a legitimate rite of passage in Chicago that often gets overlooked on a national landscape. Understandably so - everywhere else you play with a glove and sleep with a nightlight. But not here. Not in Chicago.
Instead you use your bare hands because it's a good way to remind everyone of your superiority. That and the game started with a boxing glove wrapped in tape that schoolboys could field without owning a glove. (Or so they say.) A century later and we're still on that same old bullshit because HISTORY AND TRADITION >>>>
But also because practically speaking, you might walk out of your friend's condo one day and forget something so he has to drop it off his balcony to save you the trip back on the elevator, and all of this is being recorded for an audience of millions that are desperately cheering for your pain and suffering. If you one day find yourself in that situation, you better hope and pray your 16-inch hands show up or else boy will you have some egg on your face.
Nice catch Big Cat
And quite honestly it really was. Good usage of the body to be in a position to cradle, but he didn't rely on it. A lot of guys rely on the body to catch a clincher but that's bad practice. Instead, you want to focus on soft hands and loose wrists at the point of contact. Ball below your heart, you cup UP. Above your heart and you cup DOWN. On really high flies you also want to bend with your knees to absorb the force of the ball as it comes down at 9.81m/s^2. That will soften impact while also helping you get into a position to throw from the outfield should a runner be tagging. If you go back and watch the tape, it's all there yesterday afternoon. Good to know you can take the Big Cat out of Chicago but not the Chicago from Big Cat. That's how it should be.
For more on 16-inch as a cultural obsession:
Two Bird out.