Catchers are constantly having balls hit off of them. A catcher must learn proper techniques and mechanics to be successful at this position. One thing that can help a catcher feel safe is to not only have good catching gear, but know how to wear it.
A baseball catcher must always wear a cup (athletic supporter,jock strap). This should not need a lot of explanation, but you would be surprised how many catchers take the field without it. Keep the jock strap tight so that the cup does not move around while playing.
2. Shin Guards
When putting on shin guards, before strapping them up,make sure the strap is on the inside of the leg. Pull the strap around the leg toward the outside, and hook to the hooks on the outside of the shin guards, with the hook facing up toward the sky. Do not hook straps on the inside of your leg, reason being, is that when you run the hooks may catch the shin guard on the other leg, causing you to fall. The last thing you want to happen is trip and fall trying to make a critical play. Make sure to buy shin guards that fit your size. Shin guards that are to tall or too short will be uncomfortable on the back of the knees when squatting down to receive pitches, so buy shin guards that work for your height.
3. Chest Protector
The chest protector is the piece of a catchers gear that gets hit the most. Same as shin guards, choose a chest protector that fits. If you are a small guy or girl, don’t choose a big, bulky chest protector. Make sure when purchasing one, that it has a sternum plate. This is underneath the foam padding, that aids in keeping your heart and sternum safer. Tighten the chest protector to conform to the body. Pull it up high under your throat, giving coverage to your collarbone and upper chest. The looser you wear your chest protector, the more area that is exposed increases the chance of getting hit with the ball, so keep it snug to the body.
4. Catchers Mask
There are two types of mask. The two piece helmet and face mask, and the hockey style mask. First, the helmet and face mask needs to be worn snug to the head and face. If it is loose and moves around, you are putting yourself at risk of it falling off. Also, if your mask is loose, it could possibly fall over the eyes when trying to move to catch a pitch or block a pitch thrown in the dirt. The mask padding on the lower part of the mask should be worn on the front part of the chin, just under your bottom lip. There is no room for error when wearing this type of mask. Your ears and the sides of your neck are exposed, so you must make sure your receiving and blocking techniques are correct, IF NOT IT COULD RESULT IN A SERIOUS INJURY.
***Next is the Hockey style mask. Most catchers, especially younger players,must wear the hockey style mask. It gives full protection of the face, ears, and back of the head. This mask should also be worn snug against the face and head. Since the hockey style mask covers the entire head, you can leave it on for some plays, as where the two piece would need to be taken off.
5. Catchers Glove/Mitt
A glove is a very important piece to the catchers gear. A catcher must use a glove that feels comfortable. Look for a glove that has a good leather, a good shape, and a good pocket (inside part of the glove that catches the ball) Not all catchers mitts are shaped the same, so find one that works for you. Also, take care of your catchers mitt. Put a ball in your glove when not using it, this will mold the glove and keep it in good shape.
6. Baseball cleats
Wear cleats during practices and games. When a catcher makes a throw to the bases, you need to land on a firm front foot without sliding. If you practice throwing to the bases or practice fielding bunts while wearing tennis shoes, you may slide when planting your foot, possibly injuring yourself. Don’t take this risk, wear your cleats during all drills.
Other Optional Catchers Gear
1. Catchers Thumb
A protective splint worn over the thumb on the gloved hand to protect the thumb from getting bent back, this happens from catching the ball the wrong way, or from a hitter’s foul ball.
2. Knee Savers
Catchers wear knee savers to support the ligaments in the knee, which can, overtime stretch and tear. Knee Savers also provide cushion for the catcher while in the squatting position.
3. Inner Protective Glove
Worn inside a catchers mitt to help absorb the shock from balls received from the pitcher.
4. Elbow Brace
Worn over the elbow, on the arm of the catching hand.
Catchers don’t have to wear wristbands,but it will give a little protection to your wrists and forearms when blocking. Some wristbands manufactured come with extra padding for additional protection.
Proper Care of Catchers Gear
A catchers gear is his armor. Take care of your catching gear, and it will take care of you. Make sure you clean it after every practice and game, as well as inspecting it for any damage.
It is important to look sharp in your catchers gear. If you look good in your gear, that is the first opportunity to get noticed. A pro scout or a college recruiter is looking for someone that stands out and looks good doing it. Don’t look like a slob in your catchers gear. Let everyone know that YOU are THE CATCHER.
Hopefully this information has provided you with some helpful info concerning Catchers Gear.
Check out the 9 Best Catchers Equipment on the market right now:
1. AllStar System 7 Adult Pro Catcher’s Set
- Gear-up with the System Seven Pro baseball catcher’s package from All-Star Sporting Goods
- All-Star is one of the most preferred brands for Major League catchers
- Featuring the System Seven hockey style catcher’s mask along with System Seven chest protector and leg guards
- The System Seven Pro catcher’s set is the same gear worn by many Major League Baseball catchers and other professionals
- Recommended for ages 16 and Up
- System Seven Model MVP2500 NOCSAE Approved Hockey Style Catcher’s Mask – (7 – 7 3/4 Hat Size)
- S7 System Seven Chest Protector Model CP30PRO – 16.5 Inch
- System Seven Leg Guards Model LG30WPRO – 16.5 Inch
- Same Gear as Worn by many Major League Baseball Catchers and Other Professionals
2. Diamond iX5 Youth Baseball Catcher’s Package – Camouflage
- Gear-up with the iX5 Camo youth baseball catcher’s package from Diamond
- Featuring the iX5 mask with diamond-weave pattern and iX5 chest protector and leg guards
- The iX5 catcher’s set offers superior protection and comfort, plus a professional look
- Recommended for ages 9 to 12
- iX5 Edge Helmet – Hat Size: 6 1/2 – 7
- DLG-IX5 130 Leg Guards – Size: 13 Inch
- DCP-IX5 Chest Protector – Size: 14 1/2 Inch
3. Easton Stealth Force Custom Intermediate Baseball Catcher’s Set
- Gear-up with the Stealth Force Custom intermediate baseball catcher’s package from Easton
- Featuring the Stealth SE hockey style helmet with translucent polycarbonate shell along with custom color Force chest protector and leg guards
- The Stealth Force Custom catcher’s set offers superior protection and comfort, plus a professional look
- Recommended for ages 13-15
- NOCSAE Approved Stealth SE Catcher’s Mask: Model A165300 – Large (7-1/8 – 7-7/8 Hat Size)
- Custom Color Force Chest Protector: Model A165975 – Intermediate 15 Inch
- Custom Color Force Leg Guards: Model A165976 – Intermediate 14 Inch
- Lightweight, ergonomically designed
4. Mizuno Samurai Intermediate Catcher’s Package
- The Mizuno Samurai Catcher’s Set includes the newly designed G4 Samurai catcher’s helmet, G3 Samurai shin guards and the G3 Samurai chest protector
- DryLite Technology includes a series of high performance technical fabrics designed with special yarn, fabric structure, and dyeing process
- DryLite transports perspiration vapor away from the body, cooling down body temperature
- DryLite is comfortable, breathable, easy to care for, and durable
- Helmet Sizing: 7 1/4 – 7 5/8
- Meets NOCSAE standard
- Shin Guard Size: 15 1/2 Inch
- Chest Protector Size: 15 Inch
5. Under Armour UA PTH Victory Catching Kit (12-16)
- Includes Catching Helmet, Chest Protector & Leg Guards
- Recommended Age Group: 12-16
- Catching Gear Ideal For Entry/Intermediate Level Players
- High-impact-resistant ABS plastic shell designed to absorb & deflect
- AEGIS Microbe Shield™ helps against odor-causing microbes
- Soft, breathable dual-density lining materials in the mask
- Ventilation holes where you need them for greater breathability
- Mask features I-Bar Vision™ steel cage to increase cage strength & allow more vision
- Chest Guard uses moldable plastic inserts at throat, sternum & shoulders for added protection
- Leg Guards have repositionable, washable shin & kneepads
- 12-16 Catching Helmet: hat sizes 7 to 7 ¾
- 12-16 Chest Guard: 15.5″ sternum to navel
- 12-16 Leg Guards: 14″ from cleat to kneecap.
6. Louisville Slugger Intermediate PG Series 5 Catchers Set
- Perform at the top of your game every game
- TheLouisville Slugger PGS714-STA Series 5 Intermediate 3-Piece Catcher’s Set comes with a helmet, chest protector and shin guards
- New lighter, Precision pad designed chest protector fits better than ever before and doesn’t ride up when crouching
- Dense memory foam padding deadens the ball on contact and a new over the shoulder harness enhances a form fit
- More pad breaks allow the pads to better conform to the body
- Perforated mesh lining with metallic mesh cover reduces weight and creates better airflow
- Anatomically inspired, triple-knee design with a removable knee pad allows for a better fitting shin guard and a less restricted range-of-motion
- Intermediate Sizes: Chest protector; 14″. Shin guards; 14″. Helmet; one size (fits 6 3/8 to 7)
7. MacGregor Varsity Catcher Gear Pack
- Includes pro-style varsity catcher’s helmet
- Includes varsity chest protector and double knee leg guards
- Available in a variety of colors
- Also includes 4-inch throat protector
- Ideal for ages 15 and up
8. Easton Youth Black Magic Catcher Box Set
- The Black Magic Catcher Box Set from Easton is made with a smaller design specifically for beginning youth players
- The Black Magic Helmet delivers full face and head impact protection with a tough ABS shell and a steel cage
- The helmet’s lock-down closure attachment system offers a secure fit and ease-of-use
- The Black Magic Leg Guards have a protective PE shin plate design with double kneecaps for mobility behind the plate
- The chest protector features a double back adjustment mechanism with an easy to use Velcro closure attachment that offers growing players a custom fit
9. Easton Black Magic Junior Youth Catcher’s Gear Box Set (Ages 6-8)
- Junior gear set
- Includes helmet, chest protector, and leg guards
- Size of helmet is 6 to 7 inches
- Chest protector measures 14 inches
- Leg guard measures 11.5 inches