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Selecting the right catcher’s mitt for you can be a little more complex than the standard baseball or softball fielding glove. There are many factors to consider such as sizing, web style, leather quality and the amount of time it will take to break in. We will discuss all of these things below in order to hopefully make things a little more clear when looking into new baseball catcher’s mitts or softball catcher’s mitts!
You may be wondering why some players and coaches refer to their catcher’s gloves as “mitts” – well, it’s because technically speaking, they’re not gloves. A “glove” has cut fingers, just as you see in fielder’s gloves; while a “mitt” does not have any fingers cut. If you think of when your hands get cold, you can put on gloves or you can put on mittens. Gloves have individual fingers, while mittens cover the hand – same idea when it comes to the appearance of a fielder’s glove and catcher’s mitt. Although in the baseball and softball world, these terms are usually interchangeable.
The easiest way to think of the difference between a glove and a mitt is; a mitt has two holes, one for your thumb and one for your other four fingers. A glove will have five individual holes, or finger slots, for all five of your fingers. This is why what both first basemen and catcher’s wear is called a “mitt”.
When it comes to web style and glove backs for catcher’s mitts, there are really only two types that are used. These are two-piece closed webs and closed webs. Both of these styles help to conceal signals to the pitcher, provide a stronger, deeper pocket, and allow for extra padding to help protect the hand when catching hard thrown pitches.
Whereas regular baseball or softball gloves differ in the amount of padding they possess, catcher’s mitts will always have a large amount of padding to protect the catcher’s hand from hard thrown pitchers. Some catcher’s mitts may come with a wrist guard or pad attached that will help protect the wrist from foul tips or blocking balls in the dirt.
Just like regular baseball or softball gloves, the quality of leather in your catcher’s mitt can be completely up to personal preference. Being a catcher requires catching pitches repeatedly and frequently, so investing in a mitt with higher quality leather that will last a long time is something important to take into consideration.
Due to the large amount of padding required to make a catcher’s mitt, it can take quite a while and a lot of work to break them in to a point where they are game ready. Most catcher’s mitts come extremely stiff, so it is important you take the time to break them in thoroughly so that pitches do not fall out of your glove when catching.
When looking at outfield or infield gloves vs. catcher’s mitts, you may have noticed that the measurements are different. Typically, fielder’s gloves can range from 10” to 14”, depending on age-group and sport. Catcher’s mitts, on the other hand, can range from 30” to 35”, also depending on age-group and sport. Youth catchers will want a mitt that is 31” and under. Adults will want a mitt that’s 32” and over.
So why the huge difference? This is because catcher’s mitts are measured by the circumference of the glove, while fielder’s gloves are measured by length. A fielder will be concerned about length based on position for: transition, fielding ground-balls and catching fly-balls. A catcher, on the other hand, will be more concerned about how big around the glove is for: catching the ball from the pitcher and digging wild-pitches out of the dirt.
When choosing a new catcher’s mitt, it is important to make sure you find one that perfectly fits your hand and is the right size for the sport and level of play you will be using it for. This is because, as a catcher, you will be making lots of quick movements with your catching hand, so do you do not want the glove to be loose or too tight on your hand and wrist. It is also important to know the differences between a baseball and softball catcher’s mitt.
The softball catcher’s mitt has a deeper pocket and thinner side walls to accommodate for the bigger ball. Catcher’s mitts are also measured differently than the standard fielding glove. Instead of the standard measuring, they are measured around the circumference of the glove to capture the entire catching area of the mitt. The standard size range is from 29.5 to 34.5 inches for baseball and from 29.5 to 35 inches for softball.
|Under 7||29.5 - 30 "|
|8 - 10||30 - 31"|
|11 - 13||30 - 34.5"|
|14 +||32 - 34.5"|
|Under 7||29.5 - 30"|
|8 - 10||30 - 32"|
|11 - 13||31 - 32.5"|
|14 +||33 - 35"|
Catchers control the game from behind the plate. With vision of everything happening on the field in front of them, it is important they are well equipped with the right gear. Remember, you can always visit a MonkeySports superstore location for in person advice and shop baseball catcher’s mitts and softball catcher’s mitts as well as other catcher’s gear online or in-store!
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