Now that we are through the holiday season and the new year, we have lots to look forward to. As the winter progresses, the weather will soon start to get a bit warmer and the days a bit longer. This means only one thing: baseball and softball season is coming up. As a baseball or softball player, this is an amazing thing to look forward to, get excited for, and prepare yourself for your first practice in the new year.
Baseball and softball are similar in many ways, including the positions that are needed for each sport. While it’s arguable that every position plays a key role in the game of each sport (which is very true) there are a few positions that really go above and beyond within their roles and responsibilities that make baseball and softball what they are.
One particular position that comes to mind has to be catchers. Whether for baseball or softball, catchers play a key role in the game and can even be the player that can have the defining actions to win or lose a game. Catchers are pretty underrated when it comes to baseball and softball positions, as all of the glory tends to go to the pitchers.
While catchers may be the underdogs of any given baseball and softball team, that doesn’t mean their equipment and gear should be underestimated either. Being a catcher can be a dangerous job, as your trying to catch a ball that’s flying directly at your face with a metal bat that swings near inches from your head.
Needless to say, catchers need protection. That protection comes in the form of catchers equipment sets. You can’t play as a catcher without this necessary gear, and no two catchers have different types of gear. Let’s break down what each catcher has to wear during each game and determine what each piece of equipment does to protect them.
What’s Included in a Catchers Equipment Set
● Hockey-style catcher’s helmet
This type of helmet is no joke. This is not your run-of-the-mill batter’s helmet. A catcher’s helmet is designed to protect every part of the head and face. With something that resembles a hockey helmet, a catcher’s helmet has a wide wire cage that protects the face from fly balls and swinging bats, while the rest of the helmet protects the rest of the head from whatever else might be coming their way.
● A chest protector
As mentioned above, balls and bats are constantly in the general vicinity of a catcher’s body. While the job of a catcher is to catch the ball as it’s being pitched, sometimes they fail to catch those balls. A chest protector is in place to protect the chest and stomach area of a catcher in case any fastballs are missed by their gloves.
● 2 leg guards
Catchers have a very distinct position they must remain in most of the time. They are crouched down below the batter to allow them easy access to home plate and the ball. Again, for the protection of the catcher, leg guards are a necessary part of every catcher’s equipment set as badly pitched balls can result in a nasty hit to the shins.
Being a catcher is hard work. It doesn’t have to be made harder with improper catcher’s gear.