Joey Gallo Stopped Playing Catcher After Bryce Harper Made Him Cry

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Dallas News - Gallo and Harper grew up together in Las Vegas, Nev. (along with Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs). Together, they once formed one of the most fearsome duos the youth baseball world has ever known.

For about three years, according to Gallo, his younger self was the personal catcher of Harper due to the fact that the future NL MVP threw so hard that no one else on the team could catch him. But on one fateful day, even Gallo (at eight or nine years old) couldn’t handle Harper’s heat.

“There was one game we were playing in Vegas, and he just struck out to end the inning and I could see he was pretty upset. So, I’m like, ‘Oh, ok. Here we go.’ You know? And I didn’t really know what I was doing behind there. I was just able, had the ability to catch a guy throwing hard.”

“I think first pitch is wild, next pitch comes in – he’s not even looking when he’s throwing. His head’s snapping the other way. [Throws the next pitch] right in the dirt, and I try to just scoop it – no idea what I’m actually doing trying to block. Hits me in the ribs. Take my helmet off, I’m crying, coming out of the game, coach comes up to me, takes me out to the stands and my mom gets me some ice cream. His mom’s sitting there feeling bad. And after that I obviously never caught again.”

“My parents were like, ‘No more of that. You’re playing short. You’re playing third.’ So, that was it for my catching career, so you can thank Bryce Harper for that one. I remember it like it was yesterday – the exact field, the exact ice cream I had, everything. It’s a funny memory.”


I wonder how many children Bryce Harper made cry on the baseball field while growing up. If he made his own teammate cry because he threw too hard at 9 years old, I have to wonder how many players on opposing teams he made cry. Has to be in the hundreds. Every time he got up to bat, the little 8 year old on the mound 40 feet away had to be quivering in fear. The legend of 8 year old Bryce definitely made it’s rounds in the little league community. And then just imagine how many pitchers he made cry after blasting 400 foot home runs off them every single at bat. Those poor kids, throwing 25 MPH fastballs that Bryce sent over the Vegas mountains before he even knew how to tie his shoes.

And poor Joey Gallo. Thrown behind the dish to catch Bryce cause he was the only person the coach trusted and ends up getting hit in the ribs and needing to come out of the game to eat ice cream. And you have to believe Gallo was already like, 6 feet tall at that point, like one of those monster little league players that you see every year in the LLWS. And still couldn’t catch Bryce. In a fun twist, Bryce moved to catcher, Gallo moved to the field, Kris Bryant was also on that team (ppl forget) and now they all laugh about how they dominated Little League. Can’t wait to see them all in pinstr DC!