Matt Blumberg cites a Harvard Business Review article:
Of the 30 teams in Major League baseball, 12 of the managers are former catchers. A normal distribution would be 2 or 3. Sounds like a case of a Gladwellian Outlier
, doesn't it? The authors explain their theory here…that catchers face their teammates, that they are closest to the competition, that they have to keep track of a lot of things at once, be psychiatrists to flailing pitchers, etc. Essentially that the kind of person who is a successful catcher has all the qualities of a successful manager.
Catchers in baseball, by virtue of their physical place on the field and job description, are uniquely positioned to build the skills that later make them good managers of teams.
Matt advises businesspeople to identify similar types of "training ground" positions within their own organization, and to rotate high potential folks through those positions to build a leadership pipeline.