Contrary to what many assume, being a baseball catcher is much more complicated than it looks. Not only the catcher has to squat to get himself ready for the pitch, but he should also give the pitchers the signal to suggest what kind of pitch the pitcher should throw. In addition, the pitcher instructs the other defensive players on what actions they must take.
Like many other baseball positions, the catcher encounters unique issues, including foul balls and wild pitches. In addition, he experiences other hazards, like colliding with charging runners at the plate. And these are the reasons why protective gear is essential to ensure the catcher is safeguarded from any possible injury.
The top catcher gear manufacturers ensure that they offer the best protective gear to keep the catcher protected but comfortable when they wear them on the field.
Catchers – professionals, amateurs, or beginners – may want to consider these top catcher gear manufacturers.
BRG Sports (formerly Easton)
Easton was founded in 1922 by James D. Easton. After he died in 1972, the company changed hands and was handed over to his son James L. Easton. It eventually became BRG Sports.
Now one of the biggest names in athletic apparel, BRG Sports creates some of the best catcher gear in the market. One of its popular models includes the Easton Elite X Catcher’s Set, which might cost you a bit. Still, its durability and toughness allow for repeated uses while keeping the catcher safe and protected.
Another set from the company is the Easton M10 Catchers set, recommended for players aged 16 and older. It features a Mako-inspired performance with 26 color options and a customized look when stepping on the plate. This gear is durable but also light, and it has a ventilation system to keep you cool while it drives the hot air out.
- Well-built and durable products
- Good bang for your buck
- Products ensure the catcher’s safety remarkably well
- Sizing problems may occur.
- Some gear might be somewhat difficult put on and take off.
Wilson Sporting Goods Company is an American manufacturing company specializing in sports equipment. It is based in Chicago, Illinois, and owns many other popular baseball-related brands like DeMarini and Louisville Slugger. Sulzberger and Son’s, a meatpacking company based in New York, established the “Ashland Manufacturing Company” to put its animal byproducts to use. It started small in 1914, making tennis racket strings and violin strings, among other small stuff. However, it didn’t take long before the company dipped its toes into the sports gear industry and started manufacturing tennis rackets and baseball shoes.
In 1915, when Thomas E. Wilson was appointed president of the company, Ashland Manufacturing Company was renamed to Thomas E. Wilson Company. The company made many historic moves through the intervening years, such as hiring Arch Turner (designer of the leather football) and striking a deal to become the official provider of game balls to the National Football League. That deal continues to exist to this day.
In 1970 PepsiCo bought Wilson off of Ling-Temco-Vought – which had purchased it in 1967 – and saw Wilson manufacture and commercialize balls for the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.
Wilson, the proven name in baseball equipment, has an excellent lineup of baseball gear. One of them is the Wilson C1K Catcher Set, which provides the ultimate protection to catchers without sacrificing comfort. You may be surprised how reasonably priced Wilson’s catcher gear is.
- Tough and lasting products
- Excellent design that fits the body well
- Velcro straps might come loose or open up occasionally
Rawlings was founded in 1887 by brothers George and Alfred Rawlings in Saint Louis. Rawlings is the same company that introduced football shoulder pads and all-weather football.
After the ingenious suggestion of one Bill Doak and the subsequent purchase of his patent by Rawlings in 1920, the company had the honor of inventing the webbed catcher’s glove. The glove is now the standard all across the globe. This move made the company the preferred choice of professional players regarding gloves. In 1957, Rawlings introduced the future major award for baseball, the Gold Glove Award.
As Rawlings has been in the baseball field for many decades, you can expect it to be a renowned name for high-quality baseball gear. Rawlings has been supplying baseball used in the big leagues in each game.
One of the easiest ways to patronize Rawlings is to purchase their complete catcher gear sets. They come in different sizes and styles. The best way is to purchase the entire set rather than to buy the items individually. It will save you more money and trips to the sports shop. In addition, you’re paying for the name, and the high-quality products are reasonable prices. The most popular Rawlings gear mostly comes from the VELO series.
- Good products that get the job done.
- Lacks variety in the full set lineup.
Mizuno is a Japanese-based sporting goods company known globally for its high-quality products. As for the baseball catcher gear, Mizuno is known for its Samurai series, one of the most popular and sought-after complete catcher gear sets among players of all ages and skill levels. The Samurai series has several useful protective features and a variety of color schemes. Despite the usual protective features, the gear does not compromise comfort. That is why Mizuno is well-favored by many catchers – beginners, amateurs, or pros.
Founded in Osaka in 1902, Mizuno quickly made a name for itself and started manufacturing products on a by-order basis. Soon after, professionals sought its golf clubs, and the company launched the world’s biggest golf club showroom. In 1941, it acquired the name it uses up to this day, and in 1961 Mizuno opened its first American factory. Since then, Mizuno has seen nothing but rising popularity, and its sports gear is as good as any.
- Some of the best catcher’s gear out there
- High-quality materials that will last a very long time
- Not much variety to choose from
Louisville Slugger is another trusted name in baseball equipment, including its catcher gear, which comes in several sizes and styles to cater to all players of all ages and skill levels.
Some of the most popular Louisville Slugger full catcher gear sets include the Series 5 and the Series 7. Louisville Slugger’s catcher gear sets are known for the combination of protection, comfort, quality, durability, and affordability. Many of their gears have the precision pad design for a great fit to fully cover the chest and the body, while the chest protection itself is constructed with multiple foam layers.
Louisville Slugger came about when a 17-year-old boy offered to help a baseball player who had broken their bat on the field. John A. Hillerich used his father’s woodworking shop to fashion Pete Browning a new bat. This incident kicked off a chain reaction that would end up with John A. Hillerich inheriting his father’s company and renaming it “Louisville Slugger” in 1894. Louisville Slugger was the company that started the practice of athletes signing bats. Naturally, as the company grew, it ventured into other fields, including sportswear and sports gear production. Louisville Slugger catcher sets are great products, and you can never go wrong with one.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Excellent on the field
- Does the job and does it well
- Severely lacks variety.