Sunday, August 12, 2007

Help, please

I know there are some baseball fans out there (Stewart, Jon?) and while I've done some research for a story I'm working on, I can't find the answer to the burning question: do baseball players still wear cups?

I know that kids' baseball requires them, but from what I can gather so far, that may not be true for adult players. Is it only pitchers now? No one? Anyone who wants to, according to preference? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'm mainly concerned with the habits of local, amateur teams--you know, the ones sponsored by Joe's Bar & Grill type teams. It's actually a rather important plot point since the heroine and her best friend decide which team won based on the cups the players are wearing and how well their pants fit. Are the cups and jock straps one size fits all? How does a soft cup differ from a hard cup? I've only seen the hard ones. (No comments, please.)

Ok, any help would be appreciated. Thanks. :)


Charles Gramlich said...

Starts to comment...and thinks better of it. They still wear caps in pro ball. I don't know about amateur stuff. Most likely some do and some don't. Never played baseball myself. I'm more of a football fan.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh, as for jock straps, they come in many sizes. I don't know about the cups.

Kate S said...

Thanks, Charles. :) There is an amateur baseball player at work I thought about polling, but just couldn't work up the nerve to go up to him.

"So, um, Jeffrey, do you wear a jock strap and a hard or soft cup when you play ball? And would you mind telling me what size?"

Yeah... can't see it. Not unless I want I want a harrassment lawsuit on my hands. :)

avery said...

Even worse would be if you slipped ol' Jeffrey a note with all those questions on it. "Do you wear a cup? Check 'yes' or 'no.' If 'yes,' move on to question two..."

Why don't you call your local amateur team's office? I'm sure if you said you were a writer and had some questions, they could dig up someone who knows the answers. Most people are pretty helpful when told their information is for art's sake. I've already harassed a funeral director and a biologist. They were both extremely kind and helpful.

Steve Malley said...

There are a variety (though not a great one) of sizes and styles of cup available. The one I used to wear for sparring had extra protection 'underneath' (good when expecting a kick in the nadsticles), whereas my college roommate's for basketball struck me as a more decorative affair.

I'd think the baseball players still wear cups. Where else will they hide their betting slips and vials of crack cocaine? :)

Avery's right: you can get people to tell you just about anything with those four magic words, "I'm a writer... research."

Travis said...

Wearing a full cup actually is a matter of choice for most professional baseball players.

However all catchers wear them, for obvious reasons. Most pitchers do, again for obvious reasons.

However, the farther away from the plate the position player plays the more likely he is to go for comfort.

I read a story in which Adrian Beltre confessed that he often did not wear a cup as a young player because his family couldn't afford to purchase one, and the league was too poor to furnish them. So he got used to not wearing one. But in the minor leagues he played for a manager that required it. The manager would sneak up on the players with a bat and jab it at them to see if they were playing by the rules!

That's probably more than you wanted to know.

Pythia3 said...

My mom always said that the world would be a much different place if men wore cups and their sizes were known . . . or I should say; they were known by their sizes (sound familiar ladies? 36C, 34B, 38D . . .)
Good luck gathering your info, Kate!

Kate S said...

Avery and Steve - I'm honestly a bit of a wimp when it comes to calling someone like that. I'd feel like a fraud to say "I'm a writer doing research" even if that's what I'm doing. Pathetic.

Thanks, Travis. That's helpful. I think I've come up with another angle so that I can away with some vagueness in this area. :)

Pythia - too funny.

SQT said...

I'm with Pythia. Every dude wants to know our cupsize is but they get to have all the mystery. No fair.

Sphinx Ink said...

I know this is a serious pursuit in support of your quest for authorial accuracy, but the scenarios it brings to mind are...shall we say, priceless? I empathize with your shrinking from phoning to inquire, however.

I endorse the suggestions by Pythia3 and sqt--let's call it the Right-to-Know Movement!

Jon said...

I don't play sports that might endanger my groinal area.

Maybe, if you get over your fear of calling, you might contact a sporting goods store.

As to male cup sizes, I do remember when Eldrige Cleaver designed pants for men with stitching, seaming and darts to outline the genitals. They never caught on for obvious reasons. If they had, Michael Jordan might today be advertising Hanes codpieces. (Look who we've got our Hanes on now.)