|Source: The American League Catcher|
Every year at the Home Run Derby two faceless and nameless catchers are chosen to help out with the All Star festivities. These guys are former Minor League baseball players whose careers dried up and by former connections, are called on to do bullpen catcher things at the All Star game—throw batting practice, long toss with pitchers, and of course, catch bullpens. But the only time these guys get screen time is the Home Run Derby, and they’re behind a mask. And a company out there is just itching to supply those masks.
Wilson, the official catcher’s gear provider of the MLB, (They’re really only called that because some of the Umpires use the gear, other than that three catchers use the Promotion gear currently) supplies this gear. The two catchers get custom A2403 Pudge gloves which they get to keep after the event is over. Both with slightly different, but both very bright, color schemes that wouldn’t be allowed in a Major League game because of their bright colors. The American League’s catcher had an orange pocket, and the National League catcher had a white pocket. They also get a fresh new set of the Promotion Gear in the home teams colors. This is the case in recent years, such as in 2012, when the Royals hosted the game, or 2011, when the Diamondbacks did. Also also there is no more Home Run Derby collar logo as you saw in past years.
The last time a Major League catcher has worn a Wilson hockey mask was in 2011, with Josh Bard. Currently Wilson really only supplies catcher’s gear to the Umpires, A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz, and Wilin Rosario. Wilson has been the official catcher’s gear provider for a while now and I find it funny that the only catcher they can make get to wear their hockey helmet is the guy they call up to catch the Home Run Derby.
|Source: The National League catcher|
At the Futures game one of my favorite young prospects Austin Hedges was catching for the USA. A prospect in the San Diego System, Hedges uses a Rawlings CP950X chest protector and a set of Rawlings LG950XPRO shinguards. He also mixes in an All Star MVP4000 helmet as well.
Also Salvador Perez broke out the white All Star System 7 with the road grey’s. You either love it or hate it.