Monday, April 5, 2010

Buying Youth Catcher's Gear

By Matt Danner

Parents face a tough choice when deciding whether or not to buy their child a youth catcher's gear set. In most cases children are still growing and spending $100 or more on catcher's gear may not seem like a sound investment. For some families, money is no problem and their children receive new catcher's gear and mitts every other year. But, for most families money must be spent wisely.

As a parent, you must first determine if your child is serious about catching or if it's a passing fad. Most teams have a set of gear to use, so, if your child is curious about trying the position, encourage them to use this gear first. Although, be aware that many times this gear is not very well maintained and can also pose a minor health risk if multiple kids are sharing equipment. If you discover that your child is serious about catching, you should consider buying a full set of gear.

How much should you spend on a complete set of youth catcher's gear?

Expect to spend about $100 for a complete set of the basic youth catcher's equipment and glove. Higher end catcher's gear and the top of the line catcher's gloves can combine for a $900 price tag. A typical or average set of gear with a decent mitt will run you around the $200 - $300 range. Cheaper sets can be found online and these online stores usually offer discounts when purchasing complete sets.

If this price tag still seems too high and your child is serious about catching, I do recommend at minimum buying their own catcher's glove. Prices for catcher's gloves can range between $25 - $200.

Make sure everything you purchase has a warranty!

One last point. Do not make the mistake of buying a set that is too big for your child thinking that he/she will grow into it. Catcher's gear should fit properly. Proper fitting catcher's gear is important for two main reasons: safety and performance.

Shop around different sports stores in your area or check online to find equipment in your price range.

Some brands that you should consider for catcher' gloves include: Wilson, Easton, Mizuno, Rawlings, Akadema, and Nokona.

Brands that sell youth catcher's sets and bags are: All Star, Rawlings, Easton, Wilson, Mizuno, Diamond, McGregor, Nike, Schutt, and Under Armour.

Baseball Catcher
Baseball Catchers Gear

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Air Time said...

What do you think about things like Knee Savers. Do they actually do anything?

CB said...

actually my son has been catching since he was 7 years old. i offered them but he never wanted to used them. he's now in high school and his hamstrings and thighs are very strong. no evidence but somehow I think knee savers make catchers a bit lazy. you rarely see college or pro players using them.

Doug's said...

Overall, knee savers would be a benefit to young catchers at this stage of their development.
Also a very important piece of gear IMHO is a padded glove (Palmguard,TPX) to protect the hands from constant beatings. Overall I suggest shopping around and forgo what is cool to what is best.

Enno said...

By Matt Danner Parents face a tough choice when deciding whether or not to buy their child a youth catcher's gear set. In most cases children ...