Baseball Catcher Mitts

Baseball catcher mitts are a savior for the hands of the player catching the fastballs of the pitcher. This type of glove can only be worn when playing behind the plate. Its unique design will not make it effective in any other position. Actually, it would probably hinder the player trying to use it on any other area of the diamond. When looking at catchers mitts to purchase, there are a few considerations to make to ensure you get work that will be effective for you.

The first thing you should look for when browsing through the variety of catchers mitts is the size. Try on several different brands and sizes to select the best one for you. It is important that the mitt fits properly and can be worn comfortably. There is nothing worse than losing your glove while in your position, with a pitch coming at you at several miles per hour. Proper protection can only be offered by a well fitting catcher’s mitt.

The quality of baseball catcher mitts is also an important factor. The glove should be well padded to prevent injury to your hand when catching fast pitches. It is best if the mitt is made with real leather. Softer materials can wear out faster, which can result in having to replace it sooner or risk damage to the palm of your hand. Also, full leather tends to keep your hand safer than other types of mitts.

Check out the padding of the catcher’s mitt before you selecting the right one for you. The padding should not be in the way of effective catching. If it is, you risk dropping or missing the ball, which can cause harm to you or can allow the other team to win. There should be more padding found in the area of the fingers than in the palm. This allows you to properly use the glove during game play.

Know what you are looking for when shopping for baseball catchers mitts. As mentioned, these gloves are specially designed and will only work for the position behind home plate. The mitt will not have finger cutouts, and will look more like a mitten than a glove. Also, when buying for youth players, make sure there is enough room in the finger area, but not too much room. Many parents want to purchase a larger mitt for their children to grow into, but this can be dangerous for both the ability and safety of the player.

There are few things you should known before shopping for baseball catcher mitts. It is important to understand the look and feel of a mitt as opposed to the other baseball gloves available on the market. You will want to choose a high quality mitt that offers appropriate protection for your hand to prevent injuries. Select one that fits well to help you catch the ball without hurting your hand.

Catcher Tips – The Art of Throwing Down to Second Base

The ability to throw out potential base stealers is an important responsibility of the catcher. Although most bases are stolen off the pitcher, a weak armed or slow reacting catcher will make the job quite easy no matter what the pitcher does to hold runners close to base.

The greater majority of the catcher’s throws will be to second base because of the long throw from home plate to the base and runners have a tendency to attempt stealing 2nd base more than any other. A good strong arm is essential, but it takes a quick release and accuracy to stop the running game.

Infielders must be coached in assisting the catcher when a runner is stealing as the catcher’s first responsible for catching the pitch. He may not always see the runner take off to steal, especially if there’s a left handed batter in the box. The infielders should immediately start shouting “He’s going!” “He’s going!” to alert the catcher the runner is attempting a steal.

The instant a catcher hears this he should shift his right knee towards the right field foul line. This motion allows a quicker turn of the hips toward the target, second base. This is important, the catcher should not stab at the ball or reach in an attempt to catch the ball quicker. This will actually slow the entire throwing process down. Instead, he should catch the ball where he normally catches it if not a few inches deeper.

As the catcher springs up and out with his left foot, he brings the mitt and the throwing hand together, gripping the ball and taking it out of the mitt. If he’s using the bare hand directly behind the mitt method, he’ll be able to retrieve the ball quicker. His mitt arm extends out toward second base, as his hips open his throwing arm should extend straight back.

To review this position. The catcher should be facing second base with the left side of his body. Both arms are fully extended in opposite directions. The catcher should throw the baseball over handed with the ball passing close to his ear. This is not only the quickest release, but by throwing directly over hand the ball won’t sail or trail to one side of the target or the other.

Depending on the catcher’s arm strength and / or age, there are a couple of different options for the feet.
Should he have a strong arm, coming out of the squat, he should step with his left foot towards the target and push off with his right foot.
Should his arm not be strong, coming out of the squat he can shuffle his feet, going forward and building momentum, and throw.

The major key to success is a quick release and accurate throw.

Coaching the Catcher in Baseball

The catcher in baseball has an important part to play within the team. To keep runners from stealing signs, the receiver uses two methods. One is called “light and dark.” If the catcher holds the glove elbow away from the body, the pitcher can see daylight between the arm and body. That could mean the curve or fast ball, whichever the battery mates agree upon.

If the elbow is against the body-“dark”-it could also mean “curve” or “fast ball.” The catcher sometimes uses his glove for the sign. If the glove is held with the little finger pointing down, as it normally is, that’s the fast ball. If turned so that the palm faces the ground, that could be the signal for the curve.

Naturally, if the catcher uses “light and dark” or the glove, he still gives signs, false ones, with his throwing hand.

Covering the Plate
The catcher in baseball, and managers, should pay particular attention to the fundamentals involved in guarding home plate against the runner trying to score. The catcher wants to “know” where the plate is located as he watches the ball wing toward him from the outfield or infield. To do this, he should straddle the plate. If the ball is hit to right, the catcher leaves the right field corner open. This forces the runner to slide in front of the catcher, with only a small area of the plate to touch.

If the ball is hit to left, the catcher again faces the throw, but leaves the left field corner of the plate open. The catcher-like the second baseman -should never stand in front of the plate to await the throw, nor should he stand up the line toward third.

This writer never likes to use the term “block the plate” when teaching catchers. It gives catchers the impression they are to hold the runner off. If a catcher attempts to stand between home plate and the runner with, or without the ball, he’s going to get hurt. The runner has no place to go, but right through the catcher. Very often, the runner won’t slide because there’s no room to slide. Furthermore, if the catcher doesn’t have the ball in his possession and the runner makes contact with him, the runner scores on the interference rule.

Play the Ball – Then the Man
Give the runner a place to slide. If the throw is late or wild, go after the ball and forget the runner. If you have the ball in time and the runner slides, block the foot reaching for the base with a knee. If the ball is coming from right field, drop the left knee-after the runner starts his slide, not before. If the throw is coming from left field, drop the right knee.

Naturally, the throw isn’t always going to be exactly where the catcher wants it. Ball and runner occasionally arrive at the same spot at the same instant. This may mean a collision. Again, though, the catcher should not try to hold the runner back. If the runner is standing up, he should make the tag and roll with the runner-letting the runner turn him around. If the runner is sliding, the catcher should drop on top of him.

On all tags, the catcher should turn the back of the glove toward the runner. When the bases are loaded, the catcher doesn’t need to make a tag. With less than two out, the play is often home-to-first.

After catching an infielder’s throw, the catcher must make the put-out and relay to 1st without hitting the batter. To accomplish this easily, the catcher puts his left foot on one side of home base and faces the fielder. After the catch, he steps forward with his right foot, pivots right and throws to the first baseman, who should be standing well inside the line with his left foot on the inside edge of 1st base.

In every game, the catcher in baseball has a crucial role to play.