What is a Catchers Mitt – Behind the Plate

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There are nine positions in the game of baseball. Each position call for a different glove. Gloves are designed specifically to fit a certain position. There are quite a few factors that go into picking the right glove for whatever position you play. Here I am going to discuss what is a catchers mitt, and how you can pick the right one to help you dominate behind the plate.

A Mitt is Unique – Set Apart in Baseball

A catcher is a highly involved position. They are literally in on every single pitch. Out of all the positions in baseball, the one position I never played was catcher. It was hard for me to get over the fact that a batter was standing right there, swinging it as hard as they wanted to. So I have lots of respect for those who are able to stand up to the plate and face the pitches. It is not an easy position. So, as with all positions, it is important to have the right glove for the job.

A catchers glove is actually called a catchers “mitt”. It is called a mitt, because just like a mitten, it has no separation between the fingers. Although in the game of baseball and softball, these two terms are used interchangeably.

The reason the catcher position calls for a “mitt” instead of a glove, is the mitt design creates a much bigger target for the pitcher. It also allows the catcher to dig pitches out of the dirt when needed. A First baseman will also use a mitt, but it is not the same kind of mitt that a catcher will use.

Mitts take a bit longer to break in than a normal glove as well, due to the extra material. Often time catchers will buy a new mitt while continuing to use their old mitt to allow the new one a decent break in period.

Here I will discuss the different aspects of catchers mitt, and the importance of each.

  • Padding
  • Pocket Size and Webbing
  • How catchers glove is measured

Absorbing The Pitch – Eliminating Sting

Catchers gloves have significantly much more padding than any other glove on the field. Simply because they are catching fastballs one after the other. If using any other type of glove, you would have to catch a fastball directly in the webbing to avoid any sting in your palm. The padding on the edge of catchers mitt is essential.

The padding on softball catcher mitts are a little less due to the size of a softball (12″) compared to a baseball (9″). But this is made up for by a bigger size mitt for softball.

The padding on a catchers mitt is essential, click here to browse through different catchers mitts to keep you protected.

Picking up Pitches in the Dirt

A catchers mitt is more of a target than the other gloves, and like first base mitts, they are designed to scoop up wild pitches or a hard curve that may wind up in the dirt.
(For first basemen, they often have to scoop up wild throws from other infielders)

A catchers mitt should have a shallow pocket. A shallow pocket will allow for a quick transfer from glove to hand in order to throw out a runner stealing second, or to throw someone out at first after the pitch who may have had too big of a lead. This also allows for the catcher to throw the ball back to the pitcher quickly, which will keep the game going at a decent pace. And, since a catcher spends the whole game squatting, it would be harder on your knees if you constantly had to dig into a deep pocket after each pitch.

Out of the six different webbing types on a glove (trapeze web, modified trapeze web, I-web, H-web, closed/basket web, two-piece closed web), the two types of webbing that catchers mitt will have are closed web, and a two-piece closed web.

If a catchers mitt had an open web such as outfielders, infielders, and first baseman ( <– links to detailed descriptions of these gloves), the glove simply would not last. Consistent pitches would destroy the webbing in a fairly short period when compared to a closed web glove.

Great reviews of catchers mitts can be found here, as well as 1000’s of gloves.

Measured in Circumference – Creating a Target

All other gloves are measured from the tip of the index finger, to the bottom of the heel. But catchers glove is unique in that it is measured in circumference. This is done because catchers mitt is designed to create a target for the pitcher, any other glove simply will not do this as well as catchers mitt.

As stated before, a mitt is designed to pick up pitches in the dirt as well, similar to a first base glove in this respect. I have provided a detailed glove size chart here, but to save you the time here is a glove size chart for different age groups at the catchers position for both baseball and softball:

If you are looking for a youth catchers mitt, click here for a GREAT deal on Amazon, 51.95 and even lower!


AGE:         <7             8-10            11-13             14+

SIZE:   29.5″-30″    30″-31″    30″-32.5″    32″-34.5″


AGE:         <7               8-10         11-13              14+

SIZE:   29.5″-30″     30″-32″    31″-32.5″     33″-35″

(Remember, softball mitts are measure in CIRCUMFERENCE)

What Have We Learned?

As I stated before, I never played catcher. It is of my opinion that it is the hardest position to play on the field. So, what have we learned?

  • Catchers glove is actually catchers “mitt”, although the terms are used interchangeably.
  • Mitts take longer to break in than other gloves.
  • They have significantly more padding than other gloves to absorb pitches with no sting.
  • They are designed to scoop up pitches in the dirt.
  • They have shallow pockets to allow for quick transfer of glove to hand to throw base stealers out.
  • They have a closed web due to constant catching of fastballs, so they last longer.
  • They are measured in circumference.

If you are looking to purchase a catchers mitt, click this link to take you to Amazon, where you can browse all different types of gloves as well as reviews. Hopefully you can find the right one for you!

I hope that this article has informed you on what is catchers mitt. I believe that now you know just about everything you need to in order to get the mitt that you need to get the job done. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you as quick as I can. Thank you for reading!

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