Submitted by Jennifer Davies, special to MSBL
Approximately 16 million Americans play baseball. With so many people running the bases in ballparks across the U.S., there’s tons of personalities represented by the sport’s many players. Baseball is a diverse sport whose positions run the spectrum of personality types. While one’s personality by no means guarantees success at a designated position, it contains characteristics that can be linked to certain positions. Pitcher? Catcher? Outfielder? Here’s the baseball position that best suits your personality.
If you consider yourself a leader rather than a follower, organized rather than scatterbrained, and decisive rather than ambivalent, you might be a pitcher (at least at heart). The pitcher is the nucleus of a baseball team. All plays begin with the pitcher, so all teammates rely on the pitcher to make the right decisions. Although it may seem at times like pitchers are introverted, their attraction to the spotlight makes this a dubious notion. Going by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, plenty of pitchers fall into the ENTJ category, which denotes extroversion, rationality, concentration, and seriousness. But don’t give too much credence to the “seriousness” part. While virtually all pitchers are serious about their craft, many of them turn into goofballs when the game is over.
Everyone knows that introverts tend to keep to themselves. This means that baseball is not a natural fit for most introverts. However, if you’re an introvert that happens to be athletically-inclined, you might be suited for outfield. Outfielders stand by themselves and see less action than other players. This just means that they need to be more focused and explosive than other players. INFJ is a suitable Myers-Briggs category for outfielders. INFJs are creative, thoughtful, self-sufficient, and self-sacrificial. Although outfielders are content deferring the spotlight to their teammates, they’re not averse to the sudden bursts of fanfare that follow a spectacular catch.
The Introverted Leader
While all plays begin with the pitcher, most of them end with the catcher. The unsung heroes of baseball, catchers are introverted in the sense that they’re comfortable in a condensed space between home plate and the pitcher’s mound, yet extroverted when they’re forced to control the entire game after a chaotic event like a stolen base attempt or bases-loaded bunt. The catcher is a team’s last line of defense, so people who are hardworking, resilient, and reserved (yet extroverted when it matters) may find a home at this position.
The pitcher may be the de facto leader and the catcher the unsung leader, but the infielders are the congress that keep these two oligarchs in check. Helmed by the shortstop, the infielders form the largest percentage of a team, and are thus required to be vocal, reliable, and systematic in their approach to baseball. The corresponding personality type is ESTJ, which is an extroverted category whose one-word applied profession is “supervisor.” If you consider yourself an authority figure who cares more about results than theory and team success rather than individual accolades, the infield may be the place for you.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, baseball has a position for you. Although athleticism is a necessary trait for a baseball player, it’s only part of the package. According to Yogi Berra, 90 percent of the game is mental.