Appalachian Sayings: The “hind catcher”

When I was growing up in Northeast Georgia in the 1950s and 60s, the position of catcher on a baseball team was referred to as the “hind catcher” because the catcher stood behind the batter.  My father, who grew up in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, also remembers the position being called “hind catcher.”

The term has fallen out of use in my neck of the woods in recent years, but in the northwestern part of our state it still is the commonly used term for a catcher on a baseball team.  Grandson B., who is six years old,  has been pleased as punch to get a chance to play “hind catcher” this year on his team. At his recent game, we overheard several parents refer to the position as “hind catcher”.

Have you ever heard the term “hind catcher” where you live?

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24 thoughts on “Appalachian Sayings: The “hind catcher”

  1. Oh my goodness – do you mean to tell me the hind catcher is only the catcher?! ( I am going to be thrilled reading these posts!) And I travel right through the middle of Kings Mountain each day on my way to and from my work in Gastonia! Small world!

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  2. We used the term hind catcher in the Atlanta area in the fifties and I am aware of it being used in the Charleston SC area as late as the seventies. At some point in life I got laughed at by a friend from Miami for using such a quaint country term. I think it was and may still be common in the South, of which Miami is demographically not a part.

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    1. I grew up in Gainesville (just north of Atlanta), and we used the term all of the time. Then I moved up north, never heard it there, and forgot all about it. Even when we moved back to Georgia and my daughter played catcher on her high school softball team, I didn’t hear anyone call it hind catcher. Then, years later, my little grandson told me he was the hind catcher on his team.

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  3. I grew up in Northwest Georgia, just outside Atlanta. Baseball was a big thing around here, even among a family of girls. Our father went to see the Braves every year. I was delighted to be the ‘tomboy’ that went with him to games. Not sure of the phrase “hind catcher” though.Cute pictures of Grandson B.

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  4. I still commonly hear the term “hind catcher” in SW Virginia, though I think its use is slowly being phased out as years go by. I get funny looks when using it up north. Language is an interesting thing 🙂

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    1. Yes, language is interesting. Folks my age here may not use the term anymore, but they remember it from childhood. I think it’s fascinating that the term has faded out here in northeastern Georgia but is commonly used in northwestern Georgia.

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  5. I realize this is an old post, but I was looking up this usage and this was one of the very few specific references I found to “‘hind catcher” on the web. I grew up in Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s and this term was always used for the catcher position in those days by my primarily African-American schoolmates and teammates. But I never heard the term used outside of the City of Detroit and found it was completely unknown where we moved on the east coast. The families of those Detroit kids were mostly from Georgia, Mississippi, and particularly Alabama (and, more particularly, northern Alabama) so it certainly makes sense that the term has its origins in the south. The reasoning behind the added “‘hind” I guess is that everyone else on the field catches the ball too, but only the ‘hind catcher does it behind the batter.

    Anyway, thanks for answering one of those questions that occasionally rolls around in my head when I hark back to my childhood, and for confirming that I wasn’t hallucinating things (again), as many of my east coast friends and relatives have insinuated.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. How nice! This post remains one of my all-time favorites. I know what you mean about friends and relatives thinking I’m hallucinating or making things up. I remembered a short film, shown at the movie theater years ago, called “Skater Dater” and my entire family accused me of making it up until I found it on YouTube. LOL By the way, I think I mentioned this in the post, but the term hind catcher is no longer used where I live in Northeast Georgia. But it is quite common in Northwest Georgia where my grandson the hind catcher lives, except this year he’s playing third base.

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