Q-and-A with Derek Bangert, Lockport baseball
May 7, 2013 8:00PM
Derek Bangert, of Lockport. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 9, 2013 6:12AM
Bangert, a senior catcher/infielder, was hitting .407 though Monday with 24 hits in 59 at-bats, six home runs, two triples, 24 runs and 28 RBI. He will attend and play ball at Heartland Community College.
What’s the hardest part about being a catcher?
Probably controlling the game. It’s not a lot of pressure, but you’re behind the plate controlling everyone else on the field. It’s a lot of responsibility.
What’s the biggest misconception people have with catchers?
A lot of people think it’s the lazy, fat kid. But it’s the hardest position on the field, because you have to be ready at all times, blocking fastballs in the dirt, and be mentally aware all the time.
The lazy, fat kid? That’s pretty funny. Were you always a catcher?
I’ve been catching for as long as I can remember. I played everything and in youth ball, everyone did. But in seventh or eighth grade, that’s when I started catching (more).
Did you know around that time that baseball was your best sport?
I was really into football, too. Sophomore year I had a (right) knee injury in the summer and I didn’t play junior year. Ultimately, I decided to play baseball, because football is a lot harder to make it in. And I didn’t have the speed to make it in football. The injury was right before summer football started.
Was it a no-brainer, then, to say no to football?
It was a tough decision, but I knew I was going to play baseball at the next level. I just figured I’d make it a little farther in baseball.
Do you miss it?
Yeah, I miss it a lot, especially the Friday night games. We weren’t too good (in the fall); we were 1-8. But it’s not fun watching everyone else play when you know you should be out there. I just miss it in general.
As told to Tina Akouris