The History of Baseball Equipment

To some, it would seem like catchers have always worn the accustomed; "Tools of Ignorance". However, that is certainly no the case, catchers began wearing masks and mitts in the 1870's. A man by the name of Fred Thayer invented the catchers mask; in 1876.

Harry Decker is credited for designing and patenting the first "modern" catcher mitt; which were commonly known as "deckers" back then, supposedly in honor of Harry. Decker later sold the patenting rights to A. Spalding, who at the time, also, created other baseball equipment.

Charles Waite, was the first man to appear on the field with a glove; it was a tan, ordinary, thin work glove. Waite hoped that the spectators wouldn't notice; but they did and as a result, he was ridiculed by fans who called him a sissy! However, over the next ten years, more and more players began wearing gloves, defending themselves from insults by saying that it helped game performance; which it did. Another thing that helped popularize the use of gloves was when Albert Spalding, the then famous entrepreneur, and sporting goods salesman started to both wear them and sell them!


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