Sam

Catchers masks; then and now

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Watching Buster Posey in the World Series, I cannot help but recall the old days when catchers would just flip around their batting helmet before putting on their catcher’s mask and that would be all the protection they needed behind the plate. That has become something of a classic look nowadays as so many catchers, like Posey, have gone to the” hockey style” catcher’s mask, a mask which looks like it was developed not in the musty office of an aging Rawlings sales rep but  in a aero-dynamics lab on an American university campus somewhere. For the old school baseball fan, like myself, who grew up watching austere receivers like Johnny Bench or Bill Freehan the new mask is an eyesore and just another useless accessory, like the ankle guard or personalized wrist band, that threatens the visual simplicity of the game.

And then there are the special oversized helmets for players who have suffered a head injury or concussion, like David Wright, or Francisco Cervelli. Every time I see Cervelli in that ridiculously oversized helmet I cannot help but think of  Marvin the Martian from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.  I wonder how would Freddie Patek, all 5’4″ of  him would  have looked in one of those ?

This proliferation of specialized helmets is, I suspect, a reflection of our over-protective society and baseball’s propensity in recent years to fashion a new look for itself in an effort to attract younger fans.  Fortunately, I have not met anyone who likes this trend.

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  1. you can also mention the reclining cushions that some catchers wear on their calves. these v-shaped cushion take some of the weight off the knees to make it easier to crouch. some people have said the oversized batting helmets make players look like the great gazoo from another cartoon. you forgot to mention the elbow armor that batters wear as well….

    • put you comment on my page so I can get more traffic.

      I know about the elbow armour, I am saving for another post. Have already posted about shin-guards.
      Did you watch the Swoboda clip.

      Need to do a special post about Alex Johnson one of these days. Man, was he a mixed up cat.

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