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 Post subject: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a good/great catcher's mitt for a 13 yr. old with size adult "small" hands?? I just purchased a HOH PRO MESH catcher's mitt and even with the thumb/pinky/wrist tightened all the way, there is still quite a bit of play. It's better when he wears a batting glove, but it's still a bit loose.

I'm thinking of picking up a Pro Preferred Pro Taper catcher's mitt, but I'm afraid that break-in will take forever on a stiff/hard catcher's mitt.

Would steaming or Glove Busting a catcher's mitt be a good idea? I'm thinking that forming a pocket might not be as important with a catcher's mitt. My son can barely close the HOH with one hand. So anything stiffer would probably be a nightmare and impossible to use for the upcoming summer travel season.

Thanks much,

skc


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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:10 pm 
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If your worried about break in time, maybe a gold glove pro taper? I would opt against steaming a pro preferred though. It would probably make the pro preferred feel like a gold glove for a lot more money.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:31 am 
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lindz1817 wrote:
If your worried about break in time, maybe a gold glove pro taper? I would opt against steaming a pro preferred though. It would probably make the pro preferred feel like a gold glove for a lot more money.



The "better" catcher's mitts are super stiff. I would figure it would take months to break in a Pro Preferred or similar quality mitt.

But I don't like the crummy lining and lack of padding on the less expensive mitts. Catching is a tough position to learn as my son is finding out. I'm thinking that having a glove he can't close doesn't help LOL.

skc


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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:46 am 
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I have only caught 2 games in my life, and from my experience, they both sucked! Needless to say we got beaten badly beaten both times, but it was good fun (when I got to catch the ball instead of watching it get hit to the wall). I would let your son take the few months to break the glove in if he (or you if you can throw to him) has the time to break it in, rather than using the steamer. Just my opinion of course, but I'm sure others have more experience to offer. Good luck buddy! Let us know what you decide and how it turns out.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:50 pm 
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hey I´m 16 and I have medium to big hands, so I can´t tell you anything but this: he will hate having to break in the new mitt. But I agree with skcheng. The best mitts are generally stiff to super stiff. But once it´s broken in he´ll love how the pocket is molded to his hand. And that mitt will last a lot of years


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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Put a light coat of nokona conditioner and leave it in your car on a hot day or couple of days and it will soften it up a bitt and help form it to your sons hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Hands Catcher's Mitt and Break-in??
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:05 pm 
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skcheng wrote:
The "better" catcher's mitts are super stiff. I would figure it would take months to break in a Pro Preferred or similar quality mitt.

But I don't like the crummy lining and lack of padding on the less expensive mitts. Catching is a tough position to learn as my son is finding out. I'm thinking that having a glove he can't close doesn't help LOL.

You've answered your own question. It would take a very long time. Don't forget, even the pros need weeks and weeks of daily bullpen sessions to get a high-end mitt even close to being game-ready. And these are guys that are catching pitchers throwing 90+ mph with 75+ offspeed stuff. How hard does your average 12 or 13-year-old throw? Right. So count on a good break-in on a high-end mitt to take considerably longer for a youngster.

Now some may disagree, but to me it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to spend a ton of cash on a pro-quality catcher's mitt for someone under the age of 16 (15 if he's matured fast) for the following reasons:

1) Lack of hand size and strength to properly close the mitt. Hand fatigue sets in quicker. Break-in is a chore.

2) Stiffness and thickness of the leather is basically "overkill" because the vast majority of pitchers under 16 don't throw hard enough the really stress the leather of the mitt. The less expensive pre-oiled, game-ready gloves can easily last a couple of seasons in most cases.

3) The kid has to wait 6 to 12 months the get the mitt broken in to the point where he has enough faith in it to actually use it in a game. No young catcher wants balls popping out of his mitt on routine pitches. It makes them look bad and, mentally, it's a confidence breaker.

I disagree with your statement that inexpensive mitts have "crummy lining" and a lack of padding. Some do, but not all. Unless your kid is catching someone with 85-90+ heaters, the padding in the mid-range mitts from Louisville, Rawlings, Mizuno and Akadema is more than adequate to protect the hand of a young catcher. I've caught bullpens for guys throwing high 80s with a 100-buck Akadema Pro-Soft Praying Mantis mitt and didn't feel a thing...I bought it because it's one of the few decent mitts made that you can buy for lefty throwers...and it's a pretty nice mitt. (In case you're wondering: No, I don't catch in games... just an occasional bullpen or two when I'm needed :-) )

All of us as parents obviously want the best for our yougsters who play ball, but we sometimes tend to get too wrapped up in what I call the "status-symbol mentality" ("my glove was more expensive than your glove" or "It's gotta have the HOH stamp on the palm") and overlook what's really practical for them as players at their current stage of development. And with that statement I don't mean to imply that you fall into this category. It's just a general observation.

If you think about it, for the price of a Pro Preferred mitt you could buy your burgeoning backstop a new Omaha Pro, MVP or Gold Glove series mitt (that he could use almost right away) every season for the next three years. To me that makes more sense. When a young catcher (along with his pitchers) has physically matured to the point where it makes sense to buy a glove or mitt that will hold up over several seasons and stand up to the rigors of high-80s-cheese, then by all means, make that investment in his baseball future.

Just some food for thought. (Wow...sorry that got so long :))

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