A catcher's job is the most difficult in baseball. Even that's a bit of an understatement. It is the most robust position in almost all sports. Even in youth baseball, locking down the home base isn't an easy task.
Any player in this position has to bear a lot of physical strain. He has to worry about errant baseball bats, foul trips, and plays aggressively sliding into the home plate.
There are a few significant roles in any sport that are unparalleled to the remaining roles. For example, a goalkeeper in football or hockey, the wicket-keeper in cricket, to name a few.
Similarly, in baseball, the most significant role in any baseball team is arguably that of 'the catcher.'
If you are even remotely acquainted with the game, you know that the catcher wears the most number of gears as compared to any other players.
And that is understandable as they stand at the home plate directly behind the batsman; they are directly in the way of the pitch.
To get a severe injury is a strong possibility if you are not well-equipped in terms of safety. Even though the right gear doesn't protect you completely, it reduced the impact to a great extent.
Here, we would love to put up a list of products that would help you have the best accessories for yourself. We would mainly focus on having the products that have the entire set, as it is more comfortable and easy for you to have one with yourself.
Top 5 Best Catchers Gear Sets
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This gear set has been quite popular among young players and also been regarded as one of the best of its type. It comes at an economical cost of $100 without compromising much on quality.
Wilson offers this three-piece gear set in four colors black, red, navy, and royal blue so that you can match the colors of your team. The small size of this set is for ages 5-7 and the large size for ages 7-12.
The product is perfectly well priced for those who are trying out the game for the first time or are not very sure if they would continue this for long cause it is not very durable.
If you are an amateur, this is the set you must start with, as it is reasonably priced, but would not keep up with the performance for several seasons. So, it might fail you at times when it comes to durability.
According to some customer reviews, the Velcro on the chest protectors and shin guards wears out in some time.
If you are aged between 8 to 12 or if you are looking to buy the gear for someone of that age group, there is just no way you would find a better set than this one. This set is specially designed for players of that age and is possibly the best that we have in the market.
Besides its affordable price, it offers an excellent blend of comfort, quality, and durability. Its multiple foam layers provide well-built chest protection and great rebound control.
The product comes along with a perfect design, which helps make the pad feel like a second skin when it is used on the body. Its redesigned leg guards offer an improved fit to the body. This product, unlike other cheap gear, provides excellent comfort and protection, rather than feel rigid and stiff.
If you are looking for a catcher's gear set, well, then you have it here. Possibly one of the best catcher's gears available; the set is perfectly well designed to make sure that the catcher does not face any problem in his natural movement.
The set comes with a helmet, the chest guard, three knee leg guards, and the impact-resistant cage. The chest guard is made of a foam, which helps to absorb the impact and thus reduces the chances of any damage that the catchers' may face while in the field.
If you are looking for an economical set, then this is surely something you must try to avoid. The set does not compromise on quality and thus is also not moderately priced. All the items in the set can be adjusted to help get the best out of them.
Along with all the other mentioned points to look out for, the COOLFLOA venting technology, along with the light-weight design, clubbed with the moisture padding, makes the product one of the best of its type.
Once again, a set from Rawlings, which is readily usable by players aged above 15 years. You can well call this as the adult version of the Velo Catcher set. Having almost all the features as the Velo Catcher set, this set too makes sure that it meets the needs and demands of the players in the best possible way, and provides the players with the best quality.
The COOLFLOA technology, which much like the other variant, is also present in this one, helps keep the players cool even when they play under the raging sun.
Also, being perfectly adjustable, it is suitable for almost everyone unless one is too tall or too short. The adjustments are pretty good for the average-sized players.
Also, yet again, the price for this set is much more than that of the others of this type.
Thus, this set is not for those who are looking to try their luck in the sport, take this up only if you are really serious about the game and want to be a part of it.
If you ask any regular player about the set that they love most, it's for sure that All-Star would surely be a part of their list.
One thing that is true with this company is that no matter what, they do not ever compromise on the quality of the products that they make, and much like you might have already anticipated, they do not have the cheapest rates when it comes to their gears. The company comes with sets that are available in various age groups and thus sizes.
For the adult ones, you would have a chest protector, which is 16.5 inch and also the leg guards of the same size. If you are using a 7 to 71/2 hat, then the helmet too would fit in perfectly on you.
The steel cage comes with the 'I BAR VISION', which helps the players to have a wider view, and this is a real help for players to note and act when it comes to pop-ups. Various players in MLB use this product while they are on the field.
Best Catchers Gear Sets Buying Guide
With the rise of e-commerce, buying the best catcher's gear has become more accessible. It provides you with a medium to purchase quality products, but without any guidance, it is difficult to buy the best product. This buying guide explains all the catcher's gear that you might ever need.
As catchers sit in a squatting position, their face gains risk of getting hit with a fastball. Catcher's mask behaves as a barrier to protect your skull, face, and throat. Traditionally they had a cage-like structure covering the face.
They usually start from around $19 and can get pretty expensive with professional gear costing about $400. If you are a young league player, all you need is a helmet strong enough for prolonged use and has the best protection.
These are different from the average baseball grove. Made from leather, these have a fingerless design with extra padding. They look a lot like the practice mitt, but it has a funnel-like space to reel in the ball.
They are different from other baseball gloves in terms of measurement. Where a usual baseball glove is measured from top to bottom vertically, a catcher's mitt is measured by circumference. For reference, a 32.5" glove is perfect for players till 12 years of age. Their sizes can reach up to 34".
Also called 'spike protectors', these are mainly for protecting knees and legs from stary balls. These can also prevent any type of injury from the spikes of the base runners. Nowadays, they come with a flap to cover the top of the foot.
Made up of gel, plastic foam, or rubber. They are used to protect the catcher's body if he fails in catching. Chest protectors today can cover the non-throwing hand as well.
It is worn by the catcher under his uniform to prevent injury by the thrown ball in the groin area.
Some Additional Equipment A Catcher Can Choose To Use
- Knee Savers: They act as a support for knee ligaments and are filled with air. Having a cushion-like build, they protect the catcher when they are in a squatting position.
- Inner Protective Glove: This is a shock-absorbing glove worn inside the mitt. It is also called the batting glove.
- Throat Protector: It is an important instrument no matter at what level the baseball game is being played. Made up of hard plastic, it hangs from the bottom to cover the throat. It helps to avoid any kind of injuries to the windpipe.
- Thumb Guard: It is located in the glove at the thumb portion. It gives protection to the thumb and avoids it from being broken due to the pitch from the pitcher.
Here Are The Things To Look Out For In Any Gear
Now that you are aware of the types of gears and the gears that you might need daily, here are some of the things that we would expect you to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of the gears.
- Safety: Possibly, the first reason why you are buying the gear kit at all is to make sure that you are safe while on the ground. Well, there is no way you can compromise with the primary reason why you want to buy the product for yourself.
- Comfort: When you are in the ground and all set to have the big day to your name, the last thing that you might want is the gear pulling you back from giving your best.
- Natural Movement: You must select a set that doesn't hinder your movement while on the ground. You should be free to stretch and slide to the best of your potential.
- Price: Well, no matter what, the price of a product is undoubtedly something that you would always have to consider. The most important thing that you should keep in mind is that the price does not assure the quality of the product, and even if you think it does, it might just not be the product that would help you have the maximum out for yourself.
- Size: Frequently, we have seen that people do buy bigger kits for growing teens and young children. The problem with the bigger set is that the kid is not comfortable in it, and as a result, the performance deters. Please make sure that you do not buy in sizes that do not fit you or the kids perfectly.
Best Catchers Gear Sets - FAQ's
Every day, there are a lot of people who keep asking us various questions when it comes to the catcher gears. We get just too many doubts to address them all at the same time, but here we would love to take the opportunity to discuss the most common ones!
What size catcher's gear do I need?
It is recommended to do accurate measurements. For a catcher's mitt, you need the right circumference. It is better to try different sizes before buying.
For children below 12 years a 32.5" is recommended and for players above 12 years can go for sizes ranging from 33 to 34 inches.
What equipment does a catcher need?
The primary essential equipment every catcher must wear includes leg guards, cups, catcher's mitt, and catcher's mask. However, if you succeed in your league career, you might require inner protective gloves and knee savers.
How well should the catcher's gears fit?
Things like catcher's mitt, catcher's mask, and the cup should be bought of a snug fit as they dissolve impacts better that way. All the other gear can be a bit loose if you want to buy them in your growing years. But only until it affects your game. You should not buy extraordinarily large gear.
How long should a catcher's gear last?
The answer to this question is purely subjective and depends upon how roughly you use and store it. Although if they fit you perfectly and you have completed your growing years, it should last several years before even showing signs of wear.
How do you get the smell out of your catcher's gear?
One can wash modern gears. But, if you want to preserve the materials and clean them, we recommend buying antibacterial and sanitizing sprays that are popularly used to clean bowling shoes. They will disinfect them too while clearing off the bad odors.
Should You Steam A Catcher's Mitt?
They don't have a structure similar to a traditional baseball glove used by other players. They need less time to break into them.
Although you can steam it like a baseball glove, it is recommended to be limited to a brief period and that too in the initial days. It is also recommendable to steam them from 5 to 10 minutes before matches to have a comfortable use.
There is a popular saying in baseball "floppy glove is equal to the sloppy game". Which can't be more true. If you buy the appropriate glove, you will notice the improvement in your game immediately.
Well, to make sure that you do not face that in your games, we have tried to help you with all the possible resources that would help you get the best accessories for yourself. However, there is something that we would like to add here.
Although we have tried helping you with the guide to buy the product, answered your frequently asked questions, and even did list some of the best accessories we have ever used, the best way to understand if a product would work for you is to try it out yourself.
There have been instances where we have seen that people who buy products suggested by someone else and simply repent it for years.
We hope that you don't end up repenting, and thus, we would request you to make sure that you buy the gear that suits your needs first and foremost.
Do share your thoughts in the comment section below!