Baseball Catchers Masks

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There's great variance in the design of baseball catchers masks on the shelves of sporting good stores. Basic no-frills masks such as those worn in the early days of baseball start as low as 30 or 40 bucks. Often, these are designed with one-bar views that give catchers better visibility that in turn helps them make tough plays.

At the higher rungs of the scale are new "hockey-style" baseball catchers masks that indeed look as though they're more at home at the rink than on the diamond. Some of this is undoubtedly the intimidation factor seeping into an otherwise unmarketable product. Then again, catchers are in arguably the most defensive position of any player on the field. As such, intimidation is rarely their strong suit (though it is certainly scarier sliding into home against a well-fortified backstop than a lightly armored pushover).

The Construction of Baseball Catchers Masks

Most baseball catchers masks are made from some type of polymer shell that's reinforced for even greater protection on the outside. On the inside, foam padding is essential, as a foul tip or wild pitch that even nicks the mask can rattle a catcher's cage, so to speak. Without the proper padding, the shell can leave scratches or lacerations to the cheek, forehead, or jaw.

Breathability is another critical factor in the design of catchers masks. These players are already shielded by heavy chest padding as well as knee savers, and shin guards. In short, there's a lot of bulk to move about even when runners aren't attempting to pilfer bases. The cooler a catcher is able to stay, the better the odds that he or she makes the diving stop or trap that saves a wild pitch and, perhaps, a go-ahead or winning run.

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