After Geovany Soto went down with an injury last month, Lou Piniella pulled Jake Fox aside the green grass at Wrigley Field.
"Can you catch?" Piniella asked his utility third baseman.
"Sure skip, I can play any position you need me to," Fox replied.
The versatile Cub carries with him outfield gloves, a third baseman's glove and catching gear, just in case.
"A minor league coach told me to always bring my catching gear with me, so I do," Fox said.
Recently he started attending the pitcher's meetings. "The first time I did, Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild looked at me and said 'what are you doing here'!"
Late Monday night when Piniella's bench got thin he called on Jake Fox to take over behind the plate. While Fox is listed as an infielder/outfielder, he is a catcher at heart.
"(Pitcher) Randy Wells was giving Lou a hard time saying he could catch!" Fox laughed as he explained his appearance in the thirteen inning win. "I was having so much fun, the home plate umpire was kind of serious and I was goofing around. That late in the game those relievers only have a pitch or two that they're going to throw, so it's not that hard."
As a matter of fact, when Astros slugger Carlos Lee came to the plate, he turned and looked at Fox with a question.
"What position do you play? Are you a catcher?"
"OK, I can be," Fox said.
"Aren't you a third baseman?" Lee joked.
"Sure" said Fox, "I can be that too!"
Watching Fox during warm ups will make you exhausted. He takes infield practice, then switches gloves for outfield fly balls, and will even catch a little.
It's a living anyone would love to have.