Protecting Catchers

February 23, 2017

The Cleveland Indians' athletic training staff knows that foul tips can bring trouble for catchers. During spring training, however, the team will begin testing a facemask prototype to help reduce the injury risk associated with them.

“We’re one foul tip away from a catcher having a potential mild traumatic brain injury or concussion,” Jeff Desjardins, ATC, Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Indians, told News 5 Cleveland.

The facemask uses proprietary military-grade ballistic padding. The padding comes from Team Wendy, which is based in Cleveland and has been the sole provider of standard issue pad systems and retention systems for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army over the past 10 years.


“We wanted to know if there’s a way to build off military headgear and perhaps develop a system that would provide more protection,” said Lonnie Soloff, DPT, ATC, Senior Director of Medical Services for the Indians.

In its testing for the equipment, Team Wendy used a simulator to shoot baseballs at the facemask that had G-forces higher than 40. So far, the data and feedback for the facemask have been positive.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to make an impact down the road on youth ball players, as well as be able to share the knowledge that we’re developing together,” said Jose Rizo-Patron, Team Wendy CEO.

The Indians’ catchers will be the first to test the facemasks. The team’s first spring training game is scheduled for February 25. 

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Vicis Zero1 earns highest ranking in NFL and NFLPA testing

For the second year in a row, the Vicis Zero1 helmet has earned the recognition of being the top-rated helmet of both the National Football League and the NFL Players Association. The results of  their annual Helmet Laboratory Testing Performance Results were announced recently. In its annual testing process, the NFL and NFLPA examine the performance … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Olympian Strength Aquatic Training & Rehabilitation

Coaches and athletic trainers can now help their athletes rehabilitate and build muscle faster with the AquaFit from Hudson Aquatic Systems. When using the AquaFit, athletes will receive the benefits of exercising in water, lowering impact and increasing outcomes in half the time of land based workouts. The stabilizing and buoyant effects of water also … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Expand Your Weight Room

Strength and sport coaches can now expand the versatility of their weight room with the Club KettleBlock Handle from PowerBlock. Founded in 1991 by specialty fitness equipment designers, coaches can be certain that PowerBlock products are made specifically with those in the fitness industry in mind. Coaches can simply replace the dumbbell handle on their … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Elevate Your Game

As athletic budgets decrease, programs are looking for new ways to give their teams the best equipment possible without breaking the bank. Athletic directors can now offer multiple teams the same quality scoring experience with the Basketball/Volleyball/Wrestling Scoreboard & Timer from Eversan, Inc. With an 180-degree viewing angle provided by an innovative design, fans, athletes, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Pure Hydration

In the heat of competition, the last thing that coaches and athletic trainers should be worried about is whether their athletes are properly hydrated. With the Vertical Power System from Waterboy Sports, there is no more need for this concern. Players always have fluid at their fingertips, as this system has a 23-gallon water tank … CLICK TO READ MORE...


Stay at the Top of Your Game!
Receive articles like this by signing up for our newsletters