Why Do Catchers Paint Their Nails? The Strange and Surprising Reasons

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According to Forbes, baseball is a beautiful game that sporadically increased by 2% in 2017. It’s the perfect blend of strategy and athleticism, artistry and precision. There’s something uniquely satisfying about watching a well-played game, and it never fails to bring people together.

You might know some of the players’ weirder habits and traditions as a baseball fan. For example, you might know that pitchers often chew gum or tobacco to help them focus or that hitters sometimes use pine tar to better grip the bat.

But have you ever wondered why catchers paint their nails? It’s not just for fashion; there’s a reason behind it.

It might seem like a silly thing, but painting your nails actually has some pretty serious benefits. This article will explore why catchers paint their nails and how it can help them perform better on the field.

What Do Painted Fingernails Mean?

Before we go into why catchers paint their nails or wear nail polish, let us quickly look at the history and meaning of painted fingernails. Wearing nail polish is an ancient practice that’s been around for centuries. In fact, it’s believed that the first nail polish was created by the Chinese as early as 3000 BC.

Nail polish has been used for both practical and ceremonial purposes throughout history. For example, in ancient Egypt, the painting of nails signified social status. The higher someone’s social standing, the darker their nail polish will be.

Recently, women have begun wearing nail polish to express themselves and their femininity. It’s become a popular beauty accessory and is now worn by people of all genders worldwide.

Painted fingernails are associated with many different things. For some, they are a way to express themselves and show off their personality. For others, they are simply a way to keep their nails neat.

However, painted fingernails can also be a powerful tool for nonverbal communication. Nail polish color can send a subtle message about a person’s mood or intentions. For example, red nail polish is often seen as a sign of confidence and power, while pink nail polish may be seen as more delicate and feminine.

In addition, the style of nail art can also send a message. Complicated designs might be seen as creative and fun, while simple designs might be seen as more refined and grown-up. Ultimately, painted fingernails can be an important part of nonverbal communication and can reveal a lot about a person’s personality and preferences.

Why Do Baseball Catchers Paint Their Nails or Nail Stickers?

Now, let’s explore why baseball catchers wear nail polish or stickers on their nails. Catchers are one of the most important players on a baseball team. They are responsible for calling pitches, handling the pitchers, and keeping runners from stealing bases.

In addition, catchers must be able to rapidly remove their masks and gloves to make a play on a wild pitch or passed ball. Given the importance of their role, it is not surprising that catchers take every opportunity to gain an edge.

One way they do this is by painting their nails or wearing nail stickers. There are a few reasons why painting your nails or wearing nail stickers can be helpful for a catch.

Baseball Catchers Paint to Communicate Clearly

Baseball catchers paint their nails to communicate clearly while the pitchers taking signs from the catcher. Communication is the most essential part of any team sport because it helps players work together. Also, in baseball, the catcher is responsible for calling pitches.

Calling pitches can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Because of this, catchers need to be able to talk to pitchers clearly and directly. One way catchers make sure they can communicate is by painting their nails or putting different-colored nail stickers on them.

For example, in Major League Baseball, the distance between the catcher and pitcher is 60 feet, six inches. This implies that if the catcher wants to tell the pitcher to throw a fastball, he must be able to see the signs or hand gestures that he is making, which can be restricted by distance.

Similarly, if the catcher wants to tell the pitcher to throw a curveball, he needs to be able to see the signs he is making. By painting their nails or stickers, catchers can make sure they are visible to the pitchers and communicate effectively.

Baseball Catchers Paint For Clarity

Sometimes, catchers paint their nails or put stickers on them for clarity. For instance, if a catcher is wearing all black and the pitcher is wearing all white, it can be difficult for the pitcher to see the catcher’s signs.

In addition, poor lighting on the field can also be difficult for pitchers to see the catcher’s signs. By painting their nails or stickers, catchers can make sure they are visible to the pitchers and communicate effectively.

Furthermore, do you know that sometimes the catcher’s hand tends to blend with their fingers which, of course, will make it tough when they are making a sign? This is another reason catchers might want to paint their nails or put stickers on them so that their hands are more visible when catchers give signs.

Not only that, the Baseball team does have several colors of the jersey they wear throughout the season and for different occasions such as spring training, home games, away games, and so on.

So if a catcher is wearing a jersey with a color that is the same or similar to their skin tone, it can be difficult for the pitcher to see the catcher’s signs. By painting their nails or stickers, catchers can make sure they are visible to the pitchers and communicate effectively.

The catcher and pitcher signals are an essential part of baseball. By painting their nails or stickers, catchers can make sure they are visible to the pitchers and communicate effectively.

How and When Did Catchers Start Painting Their Fingernails?

It is not clear when or how catchers started painting their nails. However, catchers have been painting their nails for many years. In 2011, Russell Martin’s, then of the New York Yankees, painted his nails white during the game.

“Anyone who regularly paints their nails knows that you can’t change the color daily. So Martin keeps his nails orange, whether playing or not and doesn’t care if anyone does a double-take when they see him.”

“There was a couple guys who had a hard time seeing in spring training, so I just took action into my own hands and got this stuff done,” Martin said. “At first, I just put white on it. I used to use Wite-Out, and then I’d have to take it off after games, which was messy. I just decided to put on a color that kind of pops out.” According to an article written by Newsday.com

Since then, many other catchers have followed suit and painted their nails. For instance, in 2019, both Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs and Christian Vazquez of the Boston Red Sox painted their nails during the game.

Also, in 2019, Robinson Chirinos painted his nails, and since then has been seen with different colors such as pink, blue, and green. It is not the only Major League Baseball (MLB) players doing this; Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and college catchers have also painted their nails.

Lastly, it is clear that painting one’s nails have become a popular trend among catchers. By painting their nails or having the catchers wear fingernail paint, catchers can make sure they are visible to the pitchers and communicate effectively.

Although many catchers prefer using nail stickers because they are easier to apply and remove, some catchers wear nails. Nonetheless, the goal is still to be visible to the pitcher and communicate effectively.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Anytime someone asks you why do catcher paint their nails, you can tell them it’s for clarity and communication. Whether a catcher chooses to paint their nails or put stickers on them, they aim to be visible to the pitcher and communicate effectively.

So next time you see a catcher with painted nails or stickers, now you know why.

FAQs

Which Catchers Paint Their Nails?

Willson Contreras, Christian Vazquez, and Robinson Chirinos are some catchers who paint their nails.

Do Pro Catchers Paint Their Nails?

Yes, Pro Catchers paint their nails. In fact, they paint their nails with different colors, such as pink, blue, and green.

Do MLB Catchers Commonly Wear Nail Polish?

It is not only the Major League Baseball (MLB) players doing this; Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and college catchers have also been painting their nails.

What Is the Best Nail Polish and Color for Catchers to Use When Flashing Signs to a Pitcher?

The goal is to be visible to the pitcher and communicate effectively. Thus, any color that makes the catcher more visible to the pitcher is ideal. Some of the popular colors used by catchers are pink, blue, and green.

What Else Can Catchers Use to Make Their Fingernails Stick Out?

There are a few other ways that catchers can make their fingernails stick out. One is to use an adhesive, such as glue or tape. This method is not recommended, however, as it can be difficult to remove the adhesive, and it may damage the nails.

Another option is to use fake nails. Fake nails come in various colors and styles and can be glued or taped on. The downside of this method is that the fake nails may fall off during play. Finally, some catchers use a product called “nail polish remover.”

This liquid is applied to the nails and dries to form a hard coating. Nail polish remover is not as durable as glue or tape, but it is easier to remove and will not damage the nails.

What Color Do Catchers Paint Their Nails? 

Catchers have a few options regarding the color of their nails. The most popular colors are white and clear, as this help to make the ball more visible when it is thrown. However, some catchers prefer to paint their nails brighter colors, such as orange or yellow.

This can help make tracking the ball easier when it is released from the pitcher’s hand. There is no right or wrong answer regarding the color of a catcher’s nails. It is simply a matter of personal preference.

Do Catchers Have to Paint Their Nails? 

No, catchers do not have to paint their nails. However, many choose to do so to make themselves more visible to the pitcher and communicate effectively.

Some catchers prefer to use nail stickers because they are easier to apply and remove. Others use fake nails or nail polish remover. It is simply a matter of personal preference.

What Do Catchers Use to Paint Their Nails? 

Catchers use a variety of products to paint their nails. The most popular options are regular nail polish, gel nail polish, and acrylic nails.

Regular nail polish is the easiest to apply and remove. However, it is not as durable as gel nail polish or acrylic nails. Gel nail polish and acrylic nails are more difficult to apply and remove but more durable.

How Often Do Catchers Paint Their Nails? 

Catchers typically paint their nails before every game. This helps to ensure that the nails are visible and communicate effectively.

Some catchers paint their nails more often, such as once a week. Others only paint their nails when they feel it is necessary.

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