Why Do Catchers Paint Their Nails In Baseball? [Discussed]

The common reasons why catchers paint their nails include:

  • Better visibility for the pitcher.
  • Better communication with the pitcher.
  • Avoiding color mix-up with nails and dress up. 
  • Individuality and self-expression.
  • Grip Improvement.

However, you might want to know other things regarding why catchers paint their nails. Continue reading till the end of this article to know about the important matters of this topic. 

Key Takeaways:

In this article, you will know about:

Why Do Catchers Paint Their Nails?

Baseball catchers has been using nail polish during gameplay for a long time now. It first got everyone’s attention at the beginning of the last decade. But, the topic has resurfaced again and become everyone’s curiosity recently. 

Source: Lancaster Online

A baseball catcher may wear nail polish on his finger for many purposes. But, there are some common reasons as to why they wear it:

Better Visibility for the Pitcher

Pitchers can have a hard time figuring out what the catcher is signaling with his fingers. This difficulty arises mostly in ballparks with low lighting, or if the game is at night or dusk. So, to avoid this situation the catchers use nail polish to give better visibility to the pitcher. 

Better Communication with the Pitcher

During gameplay, it is very important for the pitcher to communicate properly with the catcher. The catcher signals the pitcher about what pitch is best for the moment. 

For example, the catcher shows one finger for a fastball and two fingers for a curveball. In this scene, it is important for the pitcher to see the catcher’s fingers. So, the catcher wears nail polish for this purpose. 

Avoiding Color Mix-Ups with Nails and Dress

Baseball players who play in the Major Leagues wear only jerseys and pants that are specific. But, players who are out of these leagues wear different colored pants.

 And sometimes their hands mix perfectly with their pant color. This makes it tough for the pitcher to see his signals. To avoid this problem, catchers wear nail polish to make their fingers more visible to the pitcher. 

Individuality and Self-Expression

Few baseball catchers want themselves to stand out more than all the other players. For this, they sometimes wear fashion items of many colors like bands, glasses, and others. And a unique nail color is just one of these things that sets them apart.

Some catchers use nail polish with their favorite color just out of fashion and style. This can be one of the reasons behind guys painting their nails white

Grip Improvement

During game time, baseball players have to wear dresses of many layers. And this causes excessive sweating for them, especially in the hands. So, wearing nail polish can reduce the amount of sweating and improve the ball grip for the catcher. 

What Colors Do Catchers Paint Their Nails With?

Baseball catchers use different polish colors on their nails for specific reasons. The most common colors used by catchers during baseball games are:

  • White 
  • Yellow
  • Orange

Source: The Baseball Catcher

Catchers also wear nail polishes with neon forms of other colors and also with certain stripes for a more improved visibility. These different color nail polish may mean different things. 

What Other Things Catchers Use To Make Their Fingers More Visible?

Besides using nail polish to make their fingers more visible, catchers use other things as well. These other things used by catchers are:

All of these things have their own benefits and disadvantages if they are used:

Pros Cons
Nail Stickers and WrapsEasy to removeNail friendlyWater-resistantLong lasting timeNeeds to be cut based on each nail size
Athletic TapesPrevents injury Relieves painImproves gripNeeds regular cleaningCostly
ChalkCheapImproves gripMessy 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Catchers Signal Pitchers?

The main reason why catchers signal pitchers is to show what pitch is coming. They also do it suggest what type of pitch is the best for that moment. 

How did the nail polish tradition begin among catchers?

It is difficult to know the exact date when catchers started using nail polish. But, it first received attention when Russell Martin (former catcher of New York Yankees) used a bright nail polish in 2011. At first, he used white-out before switching to bright nail polish colors.

Do other players wear nail polish in baseball?

Other players are permitted to use nail polish. But, baseball players, other than the catcher, don’t wear any nail polish. This is because there is no benefit to them using it for the game. 

Who are the catchers that have been known for painting their nails?

Many baseball players have made headlines for wearing nail polish. The most popular players are Jorge Posada, Russell Martin, Robinson Chirinos, Willson Contreras, and Christian Vazquez. 

Final Thoughts

Catchers painting their nails nowadays is a common thing in baseball. Mostly they do it for getting a competitive edge against their opponent through better communication with the pitcher. 

Hope this article on why do catchers paint their nails was helpful for you in giving valuable knowledge on the topic. 

Katharyn Riedel

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