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Catcher's Equipment - Tools of Ignorance
(Click equipment for detailed look)
HISTORY MITTS MASKS SHIN GUARDS CHEST MISC SIZING
 
Anti-Spike Protectors - The Shin Guards


Among the tools of ignorance, the designs of masks and mitts have evolved the most, in response to the way baseball is played. By contrast, shin guards and chest protectors haven't changed as much.

The curiosities that Roger Bresnahan wore 86 years ago actually were a modified version of the leg guards worn by cricket players. Rods of light cane encased in padded fabric covered the shins, and padding protected the knees. Over time, padded leather covered the kneecaps, insteps and ankles. Hard, heavy fiberboard appeared in Rawling's guards in 1916 and during the 1920s and '30s it supplanted cane. The hinged Shin Guard was developed by the Dodgers in the late 1950's, one of three notable catcher inventions they created. By the 1960s, light but tough molded plastics replaced fiber. How tough? Announcer and former catcher Tim McCarver survived two collisions in which the spikes of ex-Met Tommy Agee became embedded in the guards.


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