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Used Wilson Catcher's Set 8"
Retail price: $150

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Baseball Catcher's Equipment Frequently Asked Questions

Evolution of Catcher's Gear

Catchers didn’t always wear protection. The first catchers to wear full padding during MLB games were ridiculed by fans and opposing teams, who thought they weren’t brave enough to sit behind the plate without protective gear on. The first ever catcher's mask was introduced in the 1870s, along with a mouth protector made from rubber. The first catcher's mitt -- just a larger glove with more padding -- was first patented in 1889. In 1921, the platform mask was born, made of aluminum bars as opposed to mesh. Throat protectors became standard additions to catchers’ masks following an injury involving a Dodgers catcher in 1976. Women can be thanked for the creation of the chest protector; as the story goes, the first chest protector was made by a concerned wife who didn’t want her husband to be a sitting duck behind the plate.

Catcher's Protective Gear Sizing Guide

Youth catcher’s gear should always fit snugly. Buying larger protective gear that they will grow into in a few years simply won't keep them safe in the interim. The same rules apply for adult catchers: all gear should fit snugly.

Chest protectors need to cover all critical areas, including the ribs, collarbone, heart, and stomach. Many chest protectors come with a removable groin protector as well for those who want extra protection. Leg guards should extend slightly above the knee, as well as cover the entire shin. For catcher’s masks, you can choose between a traditional style mask or a hockey style mask. Both fit in different ways, with hockey style masks having adjustable straps and traditional masks being easier to remove and put on.

Best Catcher's Protective Gear

The two best options for youth gear are the Louisville Slugger Youth PG Series 5 Catchers Set and the Mizuno Youth Samurai Box Set. Both of these have excellent padding, offering lots of protection without being overly heavy for younger players. For adults, an excellent choice is the All-Star System 7 Adult Pro Catcher's Set, which is popular among professional players. With this, you know you're getting high-quality gear that's durable and will last for years to come. The Easton M10 Adult Custom Catchers Set is another smart choice, with built-in ventilation to keep you comfortable in warmer weather. Lastly, the Rawlings Sporting Goods VCSA-B/GPH Adult Catcher Set Velo Series provides an all-around protective performance while being flexible enough to enhance a catcher’s mobility.