Sweat, dirt, equipment, foul tips.
There's nothing glamorous about being a catcher, but Joe Gallinatti loves every minute of it.
"I like to be involved in every pitch. I don't like to wait around," the Valparaiso senior said. "You have to be a leader. In football, I played safety. You're always waiting for the big hit. I like the physical aspect of (catching)."
Back in second grade or so, Gallinatti's Denims team needed someone to catch Garrett Walter, now at South Central.
"They called him 'Babe,'" Gallinatti said. "Nobody could catch him. I said I'd try it."
Catching has been his position from that day forward.
"He's tough," said Valpo coach Dave Coyle, who also knows Gallinatti from football and his marine biology class. "He's gets hit with balls and bats. He'll catch a doubleheader and he doesn’t blink. He doesn't take a play off. He just doesn't stop. He's a captain on the field. He tells the defense what needs to be done. I love him."
Gallinatti took over as varsity backstop last year and quickly developed a reputation for being a wall.
"It's coach (Chad) Evans' goal every game for there to be no passed balls," he said. "He doesn't care how high, low, outside. If I can touch it, I should get it. If there's an 0-2 and the pitcher wants to throw a curve ball in the dirt, I want him to trust me to block the ball. I want them to know they can feel safe throwing anything they want."
Quickness and familiarity with the pitching staff, many of whom Gallinatti has played baseball with for years, help, too.
"If I know the pitcher, I kind of know what's going to happen," he said. "I've caught them for a long time. That's why it's so much fun. I've known them all from summer ball. Our morale is great. It's so much fun practicing with them every day."
In addition to his defensive prowess, Gallinatti has progressed into a potent middle-of-the-order hitter. He leads the team with a .404 average and 31 RBIs and is second in runs scored (31).
"We worked on shortening his stride, sitting back and waiting," Coyle said. "He's seeing the ball so well. Being a catcher, he knows a lot of times what the pitchers are going to do."
Gallinatti, who blasted a grand slam off Chesterton's Jake Post in the sectional, also credits Scott Elrich, Ralph Bufano and Chris Smith -- his coaches with the Indiana Breakers -- for helping him with his swing and his mental approach at the plate.
"It's like night and day," Gallinatti said. "There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work at The Barn. I'd get so mad at myself. You have to be patient. It's going to come when it comes."
The list of colleges recruiting Gallinatti include Western Michigan, Illinois State and Chicago State.
"Wherever he goes, they're going to get a diamond, the kind of worker like they've never seen before," Coyle said. "I was laughing at the (awards) banquet, my life has been filled with Gallinattis for years. There's one more left. That's going to be a sad day. They're all competitors. They don't understand the word quit. Just a great family, great parents (Tony and Dawn)."