YORK - They are called the tools of ignorance.
Is anyone really that smart to put on a mask, a chest protector and shin guards to catch a fastball from a former major league pitcher?
That pitcher is Corey Thurman, once a member of the Toronto Blue Jays who now pitches for the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League.
Thurman's training partner during the offseason?
It's not a regular catcher.
It's Darrell Henry, the Revolution's play-by-play broadcaster. Which begs the question -- is Henry the most versatile announcer in all of baseball?
"Oh man, maybe the craziest," Henry responded Friday afternoon to that question from CBS 21 News Sports Director Jason Bristol.
Henry squats and prepares for an assortment of pitches from Thurman: a 92-mph fastball; a change, curve and a cutter.
And he catches...most of 'em.
Even though Henry hasn't played baseball since graduating from York Suburban High School, Thurman doesn't hold back.
"Darrell's always like, 'Bring it to me,'" said Thurman. "I'm always like, 'You got your cup on?' Because you got to protect your boys."
No doubt. How about today's cup check?
"Never leave home without it!" said Henry through his catcher's mask, confirming his cup is where its supposed to be.
What about his glove hand? Henry says his left index finger takes a beating during the first few bullpen sessions with Thurman. A former team trainer also designed a piece of protection for his thumb.
Thurman set the club's single-season record for victories (13) and ERA (3.33) in 2011, ranking second best in the league in both categories. He also finished second in the league with 111 strikeouts, tied for the league-lead in starts (25), and logged the third most innings (140.2).
Obviously, the Thurman-Henry battery is a unique relationship.
Three years ago, 'Thurm' needed a catcher in the off season and Henry decided he was up for something different. That partnership continues in an empty Sovereign Bank Stadium each spring, before the rest of the team arrives for spring training.
York, the two-time defending league champions, begins the season on April 26 in Texas against Sugar Land. The home opener is May 1.
"It's been a blessing in disguise, I 'aint going to lie," said Thurman of Henry's willingness to catch for him.
"I always wanted to try to stay playing, somehow, to some extent...and being able to help him is awesome," added Henry.
For this broadcaster-turned-catcher a well done bullpen session is indeed better than well said.
Some video used in this story is courtesy of YouTube/York Revolution.