For those of you who were signed up for my email newsletter last year you may remember my holiday gift guide. I got a lot of positive feedback from parents and players about that newsletter so I thought I’d do it again this year. In this blog post I’ll list my Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Catchers in 2011. The gifts will range from about $5 to around $300 so there will be something for everyone.
Every baseball player needs a good pair of sunglasses, and nobody makes them better than Oakley. These are stylish glasses, but the main reason that I like them is because they’re not too big and bulky and can easily be worn underneath the facemask. Some of the larger sunglasses seem to be too cumbersome to wear during a game, but these don’t ever cause a problem. Pick out a color scheme to match your team colors! These can also be found on Amazon.com.
This has become a very popular item among all baseball players, but it’s especially useful for catchers. Sure, it’s stylish and there are a lot of colors to choose from, but what I really like about this wristguard is how much protection it offers. All catchers know that one of the most painful get hit is in the wrist. There isn’t a whole lot of “meat on the bones” around the wrist and this area is exposed when blocking balls. Plus, the neoprene design helps keep sweat off of your hands during those hot summer games. For only $22 this is something that every catcher should have…for protection, and for style!
This product has been able to help thousands of players not lose innings behind the plate due to nagging thumb injuries. Most people wait to order one until they have suffered a hyper-extended or broken thumb, but it’s great for preventative reasons as well. The off season is a great time to start using one so that you don’t get hurt during spring training and set yourself back. If you order a backup Catcher’s Thumb they’re on sale 2 for $60.
The CPS app works on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. It was released just before last baseball season and is being used by some of the top college baseball programs. It allows you to capture the most detailed defensive statistics available for catchers and immediately email them after the game is over. This helps catchers by making them aware of exactly how many balls they are blocking and blocking, their pop times, Catcher’s Earned Run Average, and a ton of other useful statistics. If you’ve got an iPhone you need this app!
If you follow me on twitter or facebook you’ve probably heard me say a number of times that my favorite catching gear is made by All-Star. I believe that they make the highest quality catching equipment that you can find and their mitts are no exception. This is the mitt that I used my last few years with the Braves and I would recommend it to anyone. There are a few different sizes to choose from, but my personal preference was the “SBT”…that’s the smaller size. Getting a mitt for the holidays gives the player plenty of time to break it in before the season starts!