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Catcher’s Corner: Jorge Posada to Wil Nieves, Passing Down the Tools of Ignorance

Source: J. Meric/Getty Images

Wil Nieves wears TPX, a brand that doesn’t get much use behind the plate.  The TPX gear is available here, and the Omaha Flare here.  

Teammates share gear with each other all of the time. If it’s a good product, more catchers want to know about it and use it. And sometimes gear gets passed on from a star to a backup, one generation to another, a good example of this is Ivan Rodriguez.

After playing in Detroit in 2008, Pudge came to the Yankees in 2009 after wearing the orange Wilson pads and steel mask he wore with the Rangers in the early days of his career. Jorge Posada, the poster boy of Nike catchers gear, helped design the titanium mask and gear that he wore behind the plate with the Yanks. Pudge liked it and matched it with his Wilson Pillow Protector (Wilson doesn’t sell these anymore, outdated technology). To me it works as well as any other of their new fancy ones. Good luck on Ebay with that one. He didn’t even bother to use his old Wilson pads, just colored out the symbol. Like Longoria with the NB cleats, players will color or put tape over a brand if they prefer that product, but it conflicts with their contracts. When Wil Nieves came to the Nationals in 2008, I-Rod asked him if he was sick of the steel mask he was wearing with the Yankees and if he wanted to try something new. Nieves said yes, and he’s been using the titanium mask ever since. With the Nats in 2008, with the Brewers in 2011, with the Rockies in 2012, and finally with the D-Backs in 2013.

Nieves wears it just like Pudge did. He has to color out the Nike symbol too. He probably just borrows the Nike mask from teammate Miguel Montero, who uses Nike gear.

Source: AZ Snake Pit

Just another example of how gear passes on from one catcher to another. The better gear will replace the old gear sooner or later by catchers talking in the clubhouse. Always has, always will.

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