Category: Catching
MLB Experimental Rule 7.13 Regarding Home Plate Collisions

MLB Experimental Rule 7.13 Regarding Home Plate Collisions

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Major League Baseball has finally published the language for the new rule regarding plays at the plate and home plate collisions. Like the Designated Pinch-hitter rule, this is ...

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Buster Posey Aftermath: What Should Be Done?

Buster Posey Aftermath: What Should Be Done?

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The awful result of a homeplate collision that ended the season of Giants catcher Buster Posey has prompted many to pose questions about the catching position, MLB rules, and ...

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Catching: Proper Footwork Starts with the Feet

Catching: Proper Footwork Starts with the Feet

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Nearly every catching instructor you speak to, and every published book and article on catching, will point out that footwork is the key to success for a backstop. But how many ...

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Treating Jammed Fingers

Treating Jammed Fingers

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If you are a catcher, and have been catching for any significant length of time, then you know all about jammed fingers. A jammed, or sprained, finger is often the result of your ...

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7.5 Baseball The Ripken Way

Baseball The Ripken Way

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Cal Ripken, Jr., and his brother Billy teach baseball fundamentals in a style they call "The Ripken Way". This is the book behind the style. There are dozens of books on the ...

Catching: How to Frame

Catching: How to Frame

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Nearly every young catcher I meet is either proud to show me how well he can "frame" a pitch, or he wants to know how to do it. So here I will teach all about framing, for the ...

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Catcher’s Gloves: Recommended

Catcher’s Gloves: Recommended

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Through the years, I’ve used catcher’s gloves from Wilson, Rawlings, Spalding, Mizuno, and most recently, Akadema. As a youngster, and through high school, I used a glove with a double break; one break on each side of the wrist pad. It was a clumsy, heavy design, and in college switched to single-break gloves. The Rawlings gloves had a good feel in my hand, and strong, durable leather, but the leather lacing was thin and weak. Since I caught a few guys throwing over 90 MPH, the lacing around the webbing would break. So I started using Mizuno gloves, which had stronger lacing and were much lighter, thus easier to handle. I swore by the Mizuno’s until recently, when I was introduced to the Akadema “Reptilian” series. There are a few things I love about the Akadema gloves. First, the quality of the leather (including the lacing) is top-rate. Years ago, Rawlings’ “heart of the hide” was supposedly the best leather but today’s examples don’t hold a candle to Akadema. Secondly, the unique design makes much more sense than the conventional / traditional catcher’s mitts. It is a double break, but the “second” break is way up along the top of the thumb, and actually serves to form the pocket. That design is crucial for two things: it makes it easy to catch the ball in the pocket, and it prevents thumb injuries. Conventional gloves have one long pad on the thumb side, and thumb sprains occur if you catch a hard thrower who is frequently crossing you up wild inside, or if you get a foul tip against the pad. The way these “Reptilian” gloves are designed, your thumb is in a very safe spot, away from the shock of those situations. The third thing I really like about this glove is the break-in period, which was extremely quick. In the past, I always had two catcher’s mitts: one for games, and one for practice that I’d break in. The break-in period generally took 2-3 months of catching pitchers every day. These gloves take 2-3 weeks. This is the 32.5? catcher’s glove, suitable for younger / smaller catchers: Catchers with larger hands and frames (high school and up) will probably be more comfortable using the 33.5? glove. This is the glove that I use. It took only about two weeks to break in for game use, and is hands-down the best glove I’ve used in over 25 years of catching.

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