There are a few things you should never do if you’re a catcher.
The first is to never, ever throw behind a runner who’s already leading halfway off the base. It’s way too easy for him to just simply…run forward and take the bag you’re giving him.
The second — and this feels way too obvious — is you should never link up with the pitcher to intentionally drill the umpire with a fastball, which happens more often than you might think.
The third? Never turn your back on the runner. One young backstop who let his ego get the best of him might’ve never been taught that one, because when a runner was dancing off third base, he fell right into his trap.
Runner Steals Home After Catcher’s Ego Gets in His Way
According to my Instagram sleuthing abilities that runner is a kid who goes by “yunggmonte” on Instagram and plays for George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
When the cocky yet speedy runner took his lead off from third base at the New Orleans MLB Youth Academy, he never fully retreated after the pitch. The catcher, clearly fed up with his base-running antics, decided to walk all the way down the line (instead of simply throwing to third) to chase him back.
Everything seemed fine until the catcher turned his back on the runner and flipped the ball to the pitcher. Thinking quickly, the runner saw the catcher in No Man’s Land and raced off to steal the now unoccupied home plate.
This play has been making the rounds on social media — on accounts like MaxPreps — and I had to explain exactly who’s at fault: the catcher. Simple as that.
Many commenters suggested the pitcher or first baseman should have been covering home, and as a former pitcher and first baseman, I gotta tell ya: that’s straight-up B.S. The catcher pulling this move is not anyone else’s responsibility. Just call time to the umpire and move on. The runner can’t go anywhere if you pay him no attention.
Hopefully, this play will serve as a reminder the next time that catcher sees a runner dancing like that again.