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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34 Comments Add yours

  1. de Wets Wild says:

    South Africa’s not big on baseball so I’ve never heard the term, but I love seeing B so into his game!

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    1. Thank you. He loves sports, especially baseball, basketball, and soccer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I haven’t, or don’t recall if I have! (I’m not much of a baseball person, but I have attended a few games with friend.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be surprised if many people have heard this term. I really think it’s specific to the Appalachian region. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan says:

    Sweet images. I have never heard that term before!

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    1. Thank you! I’m finding that not very many people have heard the term.

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      1. Tony Moore says:

        I was the hind catcher on little league team back in the 60s Rustburg, Va. so common then but don’t hear the term now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, we never hear it here. I’m glad it’s still in common use in northwest Georgia where my grandson lives.

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  4. Tammi Kale says:

    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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    1. Yes, it is a small world. I have a cousin who lives in Gastonia and several cousins in Charlotte. No relatives in Kings Mountain anymore.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I grew up saying hind catcher in Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard the hind catcher term used in south central Missouri

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike says:

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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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      1. JG says:

        I was talking to my future Son in Law (with a bunch of Ohio heritage) and i googled the term. Found this blog and agree 100 percent Appalachia owns the rights…I grew up in Habersham Co. And taught 25 plus yrs at North Hall. How bout how we like to call the washer a “washing machine”.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. annepm2015 says:

    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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    1. Thank you. You’re still in the Atlanta area, aren’t you? We are 80 miles northeast in White County, near the tourist town of Helen.

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  9. rmperkinson says:

    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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  10. Allan says:

    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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  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard hind catcher most of my life in East Texas.

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    1. Maybe it’s a Southern thing and not just Appalachian…

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  12. I grew up in west Texas, and the adults back then said it (70s and 80s) altho I’ve not heard it since then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very surprised when I heard it because it was something I hadn’t heard in northeast Georgia since the 1960s.

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  13. C. Beall says:

    Yup. I’m 68 years old and heard the term ‘hind catcher’ in SW Georgia as a kid playing baseball and later in SW Florida where we moved when my dad’s job was phased out in Georgia. Don’t hear it much today but I suppose my favorite ‘hind catcher’ was Yogi Berra. Today, give a nod to Brian McCann of the Houston Astros and formerly the NYY and Atlanta Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess “hind catcher” isn’t so much Appalachian as it is just old-time Southern! Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  14. JG says:

    Forgot to check the alert me box…so doing it now. 🙂

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  15. C says:

    Yep. I grew up in Buford, Georgia about 30 min north of Atlanta in the 1960’s. We used the term all the time and I still call it that. My grand daughter is a catcher in fast pitch softball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up in Gainesville, GA in the 50s and 60s, and we used the term all the time there, too, but no one seems to use it anymore. My daughter played softball in high school where my husband and I live now in White County, near Helen, GA, and no one used the term. However, around Dalton in northwest Georgia it’s used by everybody. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  16. Tony Moore says:

    Yes that saying for catcher was used back in the 1960’s when I played catcher as a little leaguer in Virginia so it stuck in my memory as the norm for a catcher behind the plate.

    Liked by 1 person

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