Author Archives: Bill Zarchy

Blowing Up the Catcher: Buster Posey and the Clean Play Club

Scott Cousins barrels into Buster Posey, out in front of the plate

(Article first published as Blowing Up the Catcher on Technorati and on Roving Camera: Bill Zarchy’s Blog.)

The collision was so violent that, for a moment, I feared he was dead, then paralyzed. But Giants catcher Buster Posey started to move almost immediately, clawing the dirt in agony, and I knew he had sustained a devastating injury.

Posey was hit on a play at the plate in last week’s second game between the Giants and Florida Marlins, when substitute Scott Cousins, who had entered a tie game as a pinchhitter in the 12th inning, attempted to score after tagging up at 3rd base on a shallow fly ball out. Giants right fielder Nate Schierholtz, who had been throwing out runners at various bases on an almost daily basis, released a bullet throw on one hop to catcher Posey, who had stepped out in front of home plate.

As Cousins approached home at full speed, he veered to his left to launch his body toward the catcher with great force. He lowered his right shoulder and twisted his body away from the plate to slam into Posey’s right shoulder, inches below his neck. Posey had been facing right field to take the throw from Schierholtz, then spun to his left to tag Cousins. The collision sent Posey’s hockey-style catcher’s mask flying, as well as Cousins’ batting helmet.

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Confessions of a Bicoastal Baseball Fan


Published in Contra Costa Times, West County Times, Valley Times, May 21, 2005

Here’s my dirty little secret: I am a bicoastal baseball fan. I root for both the Giants and the Athletics, who play on opposite coasts of San Francisco Bay. This duality is heresy for many baseball fans, who call me a “bad fan” and consider sports loyalty an absolute, one-sided affair, even in a two-team market.

But how glorious to have two clubs to follow! When one wallows in mediocrity, the other is often a contender. One of my teams plays at home every day. If the other is on the East Coast, their starting times are staggered, and I can listen to or watch two games a day – an embarrassment of riches, for sure.

I first contracted this affliction shortly after the players’ strike of 1981. After filming an interview with manager Billy Martin in the A’s locker room, my producer and I slipped into the lower deck stands of the Coliseum behind first base. My professional film camera was our only ticket.

It was a brilliant afternoon, and I reveled in the sudden accessibility of the game I had loved from afar as a youth. The next night I dragged my wife to a game and started to follow the A’s on a daily basis. But at that time we lived in San Francisco, a few minutes from Candlestick Park, and I often slipped out to watch the Giants too.

Duality did not always afflict me. I grew up in the New York area, for a half century the only three-team market in baseball history. As a kid in Brooklyn and Long Island, I was the only fan in my family, and I followed the Dodgers of Snider, Campanella, and Reese, intrigued by their nicknames – Duke, Campy, and PeeWee. Then one fateful day those infamous Bums of Brooklyn rocked my world by announcing their move to California, along with the Giants (a team I knew or cared little about, though my ten-year-old mind was dimly aware they had a player named Mays who was pretty good).

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