One of the toughest jobs in baseball is being the catcher. Scratch that, one of the toughest positions in all of sports is the catcher position. Locking down home base isn’t easy, this is true even in youth baseball. In this position, you have to worry about foul tips, errant baseball bats, players aggressively sliding to home plate, and staying even keeled through it all while wearing a ton of equipment. That’s a lot of physical abuse to take, and any chance you get to make a catcher’s job easier is going to improve performance. The concept of backstop players not wearing the best catchers gear is foreign these days in competitive play.
In the past, catchers sometimes only wore a simple baseball mitt, rather than the padded gloves you see them wearing today. No team or league today would have their catchers standing behind the plate without protective gear. The first person to wear protective padding was Roger Bresnahan, who also happens to be a baseball Hall of Famer. He was actually ridiculed for wearing it because it was wimpy and unmanly.
Thankfully, he didn’t stop wearing it and the trend soon spread to other players and teams. Now, players are protected from fastballs and metal cleats that could cause a lot of damage.
What to Look for in Catchers Gear Sets
Before you purchase a full set, you need to make sure you’re getting the right size. Roughly speaking, with catchers gear, there’s intermediate sets (ages 10-15), adult (age 15+), and youth for those players under 10 years of age. Most manufacturers make 2-3 models of their catcher’s gear set so you can find the one that’s right for you or your family.
Another thing to check on: make sure your child’s team doesn’t already have one. In most cases, Little League teams have all the uniforms and gear necessary for its players. Of course, these catchers sets are usually cheap, uncomfortable, and pretty darn smelly which are some of the reasons why folks buy their own set.
Next, you want to ensure the set you do purchase is high quality. The key thing to look for is that it is easy to adjust and get on/off. Catchers oftentimes have to remove and put on their gear fast in between innings. This is especially true if they’re also a batter. Rushing around like this can create a lot of stress for the young player. Sidestep these issues altogether by getting a well designed set.
Benefits of Purchasing Full Catchers Gear
Paying a bit extra for a quality set of gear will pay dividends for season after season. On that note, let’s get into the benefits of ordering catchers gear sets.
- Economical. One of the reasons buying a full set is optimal is because it’s cheaper. You don’t have to worry about purchasing everything separately. The shipping costs will also be lower.
- Convenience. Since you don’t have to buy the pieces separately, you can get them all from one location. This is more convenient for you since you don’t have to do a lot of shopping around.
- Better Rewards. Some sellers offer incentives for the gear sets they sell. Take advantage of this to get even more out of the deal.
- Matching Sets. Many sets come in a variety of color options which boosts the aesthetic appeal. You can even find colors that match the team colors. Of course, wearing catchers gear will ensure the athlete doesn’t get hit and injured while playing their position. A full gear set offers better protection since it covers all the important areas and each piece is made to fit with each other. That makes it more comfortable, especially for those long games in warmer weather.