Crisscross applesauce: Catcher sits down to block plate

June 1st, 2022

It's part of the beauty of baseball that despite existing for around 150 years, there's still plenty of room for innovation. Nowhere was that more evident than at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio, last Friday, where Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats catcher Chris Bec debuted a brand new way to block the plate.

With two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Akron RubberDucks second baseman Jose Tena smacked a single into right field. With lead runner -- and Guardians No. 2 prospect -- George Valera barreling around third, right fielder Sebastian Espino sent a perfect feed to Bec at home. Valera avoided two desperate swiping tag attempts from Bec, but he had yet to touch the plate, resulting in a standoff between runner and catcher.

In possession of the ball and with nowhere else he needed to be, Bec decided to just sit down cross-legged on home plate and wait for the runner to come to him. Knowing he was beat, Valera stepped forward to allow himself to be tagged to end the inning.

"I've never seen that," exclaimed the RubberDucks' broadcaster, echoing the sentiment of everyone in attendance.

So there you go, a century and a half in, and we've got a new way to block the plate. Who knows what will be invented tomorrow?