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Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

Looking to buy a baseball bat cross necklace? You’ve got plenty of choices. They are actually more popular, in terms of search volume, then BBCOR bats. The necklace usually consists of three bats formed into a cross. Two are the cross bar and the other is the height. These represent the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

You might also like our Swingrail review.

All in Faith

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

If you are looking for the original baseball bat cross necklace then look no further than the All In Faith versions. These are, in large measure, the same cross necklaces that many major league baseball players have.

Pricing in the all in Faith versions range from the just under $50 to over $500 and upwards. The expensive ones are gold or silver and can be made custom. They take their baseball cross necklaces serious.

The All In Faith made our gifts for baseball players.

HZMAN

Baseball Bat Cross Necklaces

HZMAN cross necklaces are inexpensive but come with a cool design and in a few different colors. This is not an actual baseball BAT cross necklace. But, instead, a baseball necklace. It is durable considering it’s cheap.

Men’s S925

Baseball BAt Cross Necklace

The best rated baseball bat cross necklace is the Men’s S925. This is a basic, unbranded, 3 bat cross necklace that comes in at a fraction of the cost of the All In Faith. It’s built well and, although inexpensive, is far from cheap. It is unpretentious and straight forward. We are huge fans and this comes highly recommended by us.

Athlete’s Cross Necklace

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

Although not an actual cross made out of bats, the Athlete’s Cross necklace is a pendant with an engraved baseball and cross insignia. On the back of this pendent is the scripture on Luke 1:37: With God All Things are Possible. It runs affordable and, if you want something a bit different and don’t like the full on bat cross this will do you some good.

RMOYI

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

RMOYI is a foreign company that makes a type of stainless steel into a black three bat cross design. Most reviews think the neckalce is a great steal. Simple and without much fanfare. This is an imported produce that will fit the tight budget of a sibling or teammate gift.

MLB Player’s Cross Necklace

Javier Baez is likely the most popular baseball bat cross necklace wearer. Although there are several more. He wears, as far as we can tell, the All In Faith version. These are generally the most expensive, most well known and some of the better quality we have seen.

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace Recommendations

If you are looking to save a few dollars on your baseball bat cross necklace, we recommend a 316L stainless steel cross necklace from a major retailer who accepts returns, like here.

As of the writing of this article, over fifty major league players and countless more minor leaguers are showcasing two very important parts of their lives: baseball and their faith.

The cross itself is formed from the union of three crossed baseball bats. These three bats symbolize God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This Trinity lies at the center of every Christian athlete’s core beliefs. This pendant allows baseball players and fans alike to showcase these beliefs on and off the field.

Other Baseball Bat Cross Necklaces

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

There are a number of off brands producing inexpensive baseball bat cross necklaces. You can find the vast majority of these with a search like this one on Amazon. These range from just a few dollars to closer to $50.

Our experience with these types of products is you generally get what you pay for. Cheap chains, necklaces and pendants don’t appear to last very long. If we were to buy one on a budget, then we recommend finding one in a 316L Stainless steel.

If you are willing to afford more, then take a look at the Five Tool baseball bat cross necklaces below.

Learn More

Five Tool Branded Necklaces by Allinfaith.com

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

All in Faith, www.allinfaith.com, is now the parent company of the “Original FiveTool Necklace”. They are the original cross necklace makers and produce a more expensive, and higher quality product than is found on places like Amazon and eBay. Generally, Five Tool cross necklaces are the necklaces you see around MLB players’ necks.

All in Faith comes from very humble beginnings, going from only offering a single cross to eleven different styles of necklaces in gold, silver, and for the high roller, one a 14k diamond studded version. Below we will give the specs, along with prices of their top five necklaces sold.

All in Faith Details

All in Faith hand makes all of their necklaces out of .925 sterling silver, 10k or 14k gold. Necklaces are available with or without a stainless steel chain or solid gold rope chain. Handmade items can take up to 6 days for delivery.

Five Tools Product Offerings

Baseball Bat Cross Necklace

  • FiveTool’s standard silver pendent is 1.5 in long by 0.9 in wide with optional chains ranging from 18 to 24 inches. The price point for the standard silver is $64.99 to $69.99
  • Standard 2.0 silver pendent is 1.5 in long by 0.95 in wide with optional chains ranging from 18 to 24 inches.The price point for the standard 2.0 is $69.99 to $74.99. The main difference in this model is that at the top of the center bat is a baseball that the chain runs through instead of the standard closed hook on the original.
  • Youth silver pendent is slightly smaller at 1.207 in long by 0.761 in wide with optional chains ranging from 16 to 24 inches. The price point for the youth is $59.99 to $64.99
  • Custom number pendent is 1.4 in long by 0.85 in wide with optional chains ranging from 18 to 24 inches. The price point for the custom plate pendent is $84.99 regardless of chain length. This necklace includes a homeplate in the center of the cross with your selection of number from 0-99.
  • FiveTool also has a pendent with a batter who is carrying a cross instead of a bat. It measures 1.07 in long by 0.55 in wide with optional chains ranging from 18 to 24 inches. The price point for the standard silver is $64.90 to $84.90
  • FiveTool also has gold varieties of the above necklaces ranging from the 10k gold standard at $285 to the 10k XL standard with a 24 in gold chain at $2055.

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There are a number of fantastic options for great batting tees on the market and we’ve tried most of them. As a consensus, Just Bat Reviews writers and players like the Tanner Tee Heavy as its overall best batting tee. However, the Atec T3 tee also received high marks. We discuss our reasoning below as well as some options for any one looking for the top hitting tees.

(You might also like our article on the best pitching machines)

Best Batting Tees

Rank Model Review Price
1 Tanner Heavy Tee 5/5 $$
2 Backspin Tee 5/5 $$$
3 Atec T3 5/5 $$
4 Juggs Tee 5/5 $$

Why You Need a Great Tee

Hitting a baseball… one of the most frustrating, yet rewarding things an athlete can try to do.  How can a player best prepare for a piece of leather less than 3 inches in diameter hurtled toward you anywhere from 40mph at the youngest ages to 95mph+ at the elite levels?

How can that athlete make their round boomstick hit that ball and make it move forward into the field of play?  Continuous practice, high numbers of repetitions, different scenarios… repeat.  Not everyone has access to a pitching machine, let alone the space needed to successfully get in the number of reps needed to be successful at hitting a baseball.

Tee Work is the Answer

Best Batting Tee

The best answer to this situation, and by many, the fundamental piece of developing a “big-time swing”, is tee work – and a lot of it!  If a player dedicates themselves to work hard, why should they work to refine their skill with subpar equipment?  Today, we look at some of the top batting tees we have tested and one that is new to the game of pro-level equipment.

Expensive Tees vs Rubber Tees?

The Tees we discuss below might be in the eyes of many when comparing to the hard rubber tees you can buy at the many big chain retail stores. But the durability, functionality, and ease of continued use will make the investment well worth it!

If you are serious about tee work then we think, to put it bluntly, the cheaper rubber tees you might purchase at major outlets is a waste of money. They break quickly—especially if you are using it with serious ball players.

Tanner Tees

If you are even remotely familiar with the game of baseball, you will have heard of the brand Tanner Tees.  From little league up to the most elite levels of baseball, Tanner Tees are a staple in every practice facility or hitting cage.  Today, we are going to look at the two Tanner Tees that make it to the top of our list.

Tanner Tee – The Original

How can you not look at a baseball tee and see that it has an endorsement from hitting legend Tony Gwynn?  The Tanner Tee – The Original is and has been the standard for batting tees for over 25 years.  This tee is hand crafted in Sarasota, Florida.  The tee is comprised of two parts – the adjustable stem and the weather resistant polymer base.  What sets the Tanner tee apart is the hand-rolled FlexTop.  The FlexTop is an extremely flexible, yet sturdy rubber role at the top of the stem allows for the bat to pass through the contact point without much interference.

This is a total difference in response you will receive from the typical rigid plastic stem that many major brand tees offer.  If you miss-hit the ball or swing lower than intended, the tee will receive the impact and fall over.

This is not the case with the Tanner Tee.  It is recommended, however, that you either have something to weight the tee down or purchase a tee weight that is available to ensure the most available reps per hour without having to pick up the tee from bad miss-hits.

Original Tanner Tee Sizing

The Tanner Tee – The Original is available in three sizes: Adjustable 16-23in (Low Ball), Adjustable 20-32 (Youth/Short), and Adjustable 26-43in (Adult/Standard).  We recommend the Adult/Standard model for all of those out there looking for a tee unless you are in the early years of youth ball (5yrs to 9yrs).   The hitting cage at JustBatReviews.com is a long-time user of the Tanner Tee.

Best Batting Tees

Tanner Tee – Tanner Heavy

Best Batting TeeBest Batting TeeThe Tanner Heavy tee takes “The Original” by Tanner and adds a 10lb. heavyweight base built in, all other size options are the same.  The tee base is designed with three points of contact, which allows for maximum balance, while decreasing the likelihood of tee creep or knock-over from a tee-killing swing.

I have found that this model is really solid as it can sit on a raised home plate and sit perfectly without leaning the tee because half of it is on the plate and the other half is on the ground.

There is little, if any, need to have a tee weight involved in the setup here.  It is a great replacement for the Original Tee with a tee weight if you are looking to simplify the mobility of the tee from home to facility to the batting cage.  The other great part that I feel this tee brings is that the bottom plate is not a solid square.

The hitter can still see the majority of the white plate below when swinging and not have a blacked out square due to the base of the tee.  This would be a great option for tees that mostly stay in one physical location.

Backspin Tee

Best Batting Tee

See our full review on the Backspin tee here.

Atec T3 Professional Tee

Best Batting Tee

I have recently had exposure to this batting tee and it is very nice and solid.  It feels very similar to the Tanner in its stem and base.  The Atec T3 Professional Tee is built with industry leading materials to minimize swing interference and maximize positive contact zone.  This tee is very portable and easily moved to what ever environment you are trying to use it to improve your hitting skills.  This tee includes a high density base which is good for stabilization.

I do recommend, however, the very slick tee weight that slides over and fits on the base to control the tipping effect.  I think this is a much nicer accessory to stabilize the tee as opposed the sand bag that is typically used with the Tanner Tee – The Original.  If you want to try an alternative to Tanner Tees, this might be the one.

See our full Atec T3 Tee Review

Jugs Tee

Best Batting Tee

Jugs has been known for a long time in the world of pitching machines.  In fact, they are the #1 selling pitching machine company in the world.  The Jugs T seems very similar to the Tanner Tee and the Atec Professional T3 above.  The tee is adjustable from 24″ to 46″ inches to allow hitters to work on mechanics throughout the strike zone.

The claim of the Jugs T is that with its total weight of 10lbs, there are no extra accessories needed to keep the tee on the ground and not tip over.  One nice addition to this tee that the others lack is a built in handle to carry the tee.  The Jugs T includes a patented grip-n-go handle on the base for easy transport.

Final Thoughts on the Best Batting Tee

In the end, tee work will make a hitter better.  It comes down to how much and what drills you do to take that next step in your skillset.  We do recommend, however, that you invest in a piece of equipment that will stand the test of time and make the sessions as effective as possible.  The tees listed above start around $80 and move up to $115.  Professional level tees provide a professional level experience for the hitter.  Why give your hitter a sub-par piece of equipment?

Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

After trying a number of sunglasses made specifically for baseball we like Marucci’s MV108 performance set the best. Others are quite good too, and there is ultimatley little difference. But, Marucci’s were light, ultra comfortable and didn’t get in the way of anything we did—even bat. The budget conscience buyer will like the Ewin EO1 cycling glasses for less than $20.

Best Baseball SunglassesSee Color Options

Best Baseball Sunglasses

Rank Brand Model Review Price
1 Marucci MV108 5/5 $$$
2 Ewin E01 4/5 $
3 Under Armor Men’s Igniter 4.5/5 $$
4 Under Armor Kids UA Menance 5/5 $$$

Best Place to Buy

Marucci’s sunglasses are in stock on their website and we price check there before anywhere else. Of course, we always check Amazon. Under Armour products price out really well there and so does the Ewin E01 polorized baseball set.

Price Check

MV108 Review

Here’s what you’ll like about the MV108:

  • They are light.
  • Look Fantastic
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Feel Comfortable
  • Made by Marucci

 

Other Sources for Best Baseball Sunglasses

In terms of real reviews and insight, we often check out pro baseball insider’s write up on things. This is, like us, a real baseball player that has real experience with the gear. Not, like oh so many these days, Amazon link farms with nothing but best selling lists. There is more insight to the right type of baseball sunglasses on Pro Baseball Insider then you could ever want to know.

Our other major source was our own experience. We don’t play pro ball like the folks at PBI, but we do play a lot of Highschool, Little League and comp/Travel ball. That experience, and direct feedback from several players, gives us our insight into the best sunglasses.

 

Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

We’ve tested more Wiffle ball bats than we care to admit. But, after a good summer of testing, we think the best Wiffle Ball bat is the Blitzball Bat.

Why?

We like its length, balance, durability, and the fact you can find it in many places.

Check these best blitzball hits.

Of course, traditionalists will call us out on the Wiffle Ball bat. Indeed, “Wiffle” ball bats are actually WIFFLE® ball bats. WIFFLE® (all capitals) is the brand name of mainly plastic baseball bats and plastic balls.

Best Wiffle Ball Bats

In the purest form, the best Wiffle ball bat is the ONLY WIFFLE® ball bat. There can be no other one. But…we still like the Blitzball better.

Best Wiffle Ball Bats

1 WIFFLE® Ball Bat $$
2 Slugger C271 $$
3 Blitzball Bat $$
4 Easton PRO Stix $$
5 Moonshot KSCX $$$$$$
6 LOCOBat $$
7 Palisades WBL 36″ $$$
8 Junk Ball Bat $$
9 Cal Ripken Quickball Bat $$

If we had more money than sense (or cents then sense, as they say), the moonshot KSCX is a fantastic choice. It is a full composite, the single-piece bat made specifically for playing Wiffle Ball. It only, cough, runs $200.

1. Louisville C271 (The Ken Griffey, Jr. Bat)

Best Wiffle Ball Bats

This replica of the infamous bat used by the iconic Ken Griffey, Jr. is comprised of injection-molded plastic. Due to its construction, it is a very durable piece of equipment that is void of compromising mass. It measures in at a length of 33 inches, providing an adequate reach across any strike zone. Unfortunately, the bat does possess a slight bend, but it does not appear to affect its performance in any way. Also, do note that there is a slight wobble if it is swung hard.

2. Blitzball Bat

Best Wiffle Ball Bat

The Blitzball bat is the same as the Louisville C271. The only difference is the color; this bat is blue. This is a bat that provides excellent feel and balance as well as impressive pop. Just as will the Griffey bat, there is a slight curvature, but performance is not hindered.

3. Easton Pro Stix 1000

This single piece of medium-hard plastic and the injection-molded plastic bat is attractive while delivering a good pop and distance. This is a bat that does not compromise mass while being impressively rigid.

4. Moonshot KSCX Revolution

This is a bat that is widely contended to be one of the greatest on the planet. With a straight face, it really costs $200. It is lost on us who would spend $200 on a WIFFLE® ball bat. Then again, the person reading this has now spent considerable time finding this page and reading this article. So, maybe it’s you?

The Moonshot is comprised of an inner core made of thin, rigid carbon fiber and an outer shell that is flexible carbon, kevlar, and spectra. The bat’s neck is wrapped in carbon to create a whip that is both flexible and firm. The large barrel makes hitting the ball a breeze. Current owners state that the entire barrel is nothing more than a sweet spot.

It does need to be noted that the Moonshot Revolution KSCX Revolution is slightly heavier than most other bats. This can create a reduced swing speed.

5. LocoBat

Best Wiffle Ball Bats

This bat is two pieces, meaning a Screwball plastic barrel and a cingula piece wood handle. Several players enjoy the screwball barrel, which the LocoBat can make great use of. The way it is made guarantees a highly solid feel as well as an impeccable feel. Transversely, the sticker of the bat is less than favorable.

6. Palisades Wiffle Ball League GTSOH 36”

This is a three-piece bat constructed of an injection-molded plastic, a wooden handle, and knob and medium-hard plastic. This is an impeccably constructed WIFFLE® ball bat that is quite sturdy. It measures in at a length of 36 inches. The length is ideal for capturing curveballs, trying hard to allude you. The only noted issue with the bat is the fact that the barrel is soft. This could cause it to flatten [slightly] after a handful of hits.

7. Junk Ball Bat

The Junk Ball is made up of a plastic sleeve (referred to as the sweet spot sleeve) and injection-molded plastic. The solid singular construction incorporates thicker plastic walls for durability and stability. The bat’s unique shape delivers users with a great feel during a swing. Within the middle of the barrel, a band provides an enhanced boost while hitting a ball. A con for this bat is the fact that the handle tends to be a bit skinny. This causes a slight wobble while swinging. Additionally, the bat’s measures in at a short 32 inches, and the barrel measures in at 2 inches.

8. Cal Ripken Quickball Bat

Best Wiffle Ball Bat

The Quickball Bat comes with six quick balls that are harder and smaller than the “all holes balls.” Additionally, the bat gives users great distance and pop. The only true flaw of this bat is its length, which is 30 inches total.

Legal WIFFLE® Ball Bats

If a particular bat is legal in your WIFFLE® ball league, you will need to check with them. And before you guffaw, we are not kidding about the fact that there really are big-time WIFFLE® ball leagues. Each has its own set of standards regarding the diameter, length, and material that can make up a WIFFLE® ball bat. Some are very lax, others not so much.

Modified WIFFLE® Ball Bats

Modified WIFFLE® ball bats are quite the thing. In fact, a quick search on YouTube shows several fun summer projects for the kids. Here was one of our favorites:

Items Needed to Modify a WIFFLE® Ball Bat

  • WIFFLE® Ball Bat
  • Garden Rake Handle (or wooden dowel)
  • Electrical Tape
  • 1/4 Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Optional: Lizard Skin Grip
  • Optional: Packing Peanuts

Custom WIFFLE® Ball Bats

Of course, the idea of modifying your WIFFLE® ball bat is as much to do with your creation as it is anything else. As a summertime project for a kid looking to impress the girls, we say go big or go home. Take, for example, this modified WIFFLE® ball-bat built after the Easton MAKO.

Where to Plastic Baseball Bats?

WIFFLE® ball bats are ubiquitous. Check Wal-Mart, Check your local grocery store and it is likey they carry that product, or something close to it, in their toy isle. In terms of pure price savings, then Wal-Mart is likely the best place. You can also go the Amazon route if you do not want to leave your house.You likely intended to gather from an article titled this one as the best plastic bat for hitting dinger with a plastic baseball. And, that said, baseball also has some holes in it. (Note, too, that a WIFFLE® ball only has holes on one side. That ball is also a patented design which can only be a WIFFLE®). The below is our list of best WIFFLE® ball bats in order of how much we, and others, liked them.

Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

We took 4 popular athletic cups and tested them for protection, value and comfort. We filled the cups with grapes (from Costco) and shot balls from our pitching machine at 55mph from 5 feet away. We then measured which cup kept the most grapes undamaged. We found the inexpensive McDavid cup to do the best in terms of keeping the most grapes unbroken. However, that determination has little to do with cup comfort, which might be a bigger factor.

Based on Amazon reviews and our experience, the Diamond MMA feels the best while wearing it. The Nutty Buddy gets high marks too when it comes to comfort. But, in terms of overall protection we give the award to the McDavid cup.

Related
Ball Gear Reviews
Best Wiffle Ball Bats

Best Athletic Cups

Brand Review Price Grape Protection
McDavid Great Value $ 48%
Diamond MMA Multi Sport $$$ 34%
Nutty Buddy Best Fit $$$ N/A
Shock Doctor Name Brand $$ 28%
Comfy Cup Learner Cup $$ 12%

Cup Check Video

Best Overall Athletic Cup: McDavid

Best Athletic Cup

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This is a no frills protective cup. After all, what is you want in a plastic shell that covers the crown jewels? Bells? Whistles?

McDavid is a company that focuses on low cost protective items. You’ll find things like knee pads and knee wraps for construction workers. The protective cup fits right in their wheelhouse.

It runs larger than the other cups we tested in the class—it held 30 grapes while the others held only 25.

But, in terms of protection it worked great—the best of the bunch. And, get this, the cup is less than 10 bucks. Hard to go wrong here.

Best Fit Cup: Nutty Buddy Cup

Nutty Buddy Cup

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The Nutty Buddy Cup is built with the idea of comfort. No other cup we researched gets near to the number of great ratings and recommendations this cup does. It is built specifically for no pinch points. Anyone who has dealt with a cup that doesn’t fit right can sympathize.

Many MLB guys, according to the Nutty Buddy website, use a Nutty Buddy cup. And, if you are having trouble finding an athletic cup that fits right then the Nutty Buddy is an easy choice—despite it having a higher price point than most on here.

Best Multi-Sport Athletic Cup: Diamond MMA

Best Athletic Cups

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If you are fighting MMA this may very well be the cup for you. Even a better deal than the McDavid cup above. But, if you are just playing baseball we aren’t sure the highly rated support jock is right for everyone. It will, however, make you feel confident in the locker room, lets say.

The cup fits well–is likely the best fitting cup on this list aside from the Nutty Buddy. It also looks professional. Clearly, it was designed with an MMA fighter in mind. And it will work just great for baseball.

We didn’t find it to have any better protection in terms of a dead on hit. It protected 34% of the grapes in our test. Which was a solid second place but well behind the much less expensive McDavid.

We’d recommend the cup for multi sport athletes that would like a good looking protective cup.

Another Option: Shock Doctor Cup

Best Athletic Cups

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The Shock Doctor flex cup doesn’t feel much different than the McDavid cup. It does have a bit of a different profile–and in the large version didn’t hold as many grapes.

The results for the Shock Doctor (in our grape smash test) were the worst of the bunch. It only protected 28% of the grapes.

We were not entirely impressed with the cup but, like we say in the beginning, it is a plastic cup, after all. Shock Doctor has very good distribution and can be found in most athletic stores. At $10 its worth a shot.

Also, where Shock Doctor does succeed is in the breadth of their product offering. Colorways and designs are all over the place.

Best Starter Cup: Comfy Cup

Best Athletic Cup

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The comfy cup, we warn you, is a soft cup. It is, in effect, a slightly padded cup that does not stand up well to direct and fast hits. However, it would do better than simple briefs. If your player is new to the sport and you’d like to see them use protection we’d suggest the comfy cup.

Note, too, it only holds like 8 grapes. This is a boys cup and nothing more.

Want to donate to our next bat review by buying our data sheet?

Playing catcher in baseball is demanding both physically and mentally.  Thankfully there is equipment out there that can help protect our catchers and keep them on the field longer and with less physical ailments.  One such piece of equipment many catchers eventually look into and use is a catcher’s thumb guard.  We will go over some of the options for thumb guards and help you decide what may work best for your catcher.

Although each of the below options work, our favorite, and most accessible in terms of price and store locations, is the EvoShield Thumb Guard. If you want something that feels a little more conventional then the All-Star inner protective glove is a nice fit too. Both are available in youth sizes and have a somewhat reasonable price.

See all our ball gear reviews.

Why use a Thumb Guard?

Catcher's Thumb Guards

Catchers take a lot of abuse behind the plate and one body part that is particularly prone to injury is their hands.  A catcher’s thumb guard is typically a piece of protective material slid over their catching thumb.  A catcher’s thumb can be continually pounded by especially hard throwing pitchers but is also in danger of hyper-extension from foul tipped balls driving the thumb backward farther than intended.

Though a catcher won’t normally need a thumb guard until around age 12 and up when pitchers mature more and begin to throw harder it is possible younger catchers may need one to help handle hard throwers.  Younger than 12 or 13 won’t see very many foul tipped balls straight back for that to be much of a problem.

EvoShield Thumb Guard

Catcher's Thumb Guards

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Probably the most common thumb guard you’ll see is the EvoShield thumb protector.  One reason being is that they are fairly easy to find both online and big box stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Another reason is that they are relatively inexpensive coming in around $20 for one.  They are also straight forward and fairly easy to use.

If you are unfamiliar with EvoShield’s long list of respected protective products let me explain briefly how they work.  EvoShield protective devices come in a sealed foil package in gel form that once you open you form the device to the players body part they are protecting and it hardens into a protective shell that hardens in about 20 minutes and fits your player well.

While it is not difficult to form the thumb guard to your catcher I do recommend watching EvoShiled’s how to YouTube video for a visual example taking out any of the guess work.

Catcher’s Thumb

Catcher's Thumb Guards

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The Catcher’s Thumb is another thumb guard available to catchers though they may only be able to find it online.  It uses a plastic like material that is dipped in water to become malleable and then fitted to the thumb.  The process is a little more intricate than the EvoShield as it requires making a template of part of your hand, cutting the material, fitting and then trimming the material up for best fit.  Once harden it protects well but if you trim too much you may be left without a usable product and out the $35 that it costs.

Endoskel Thumb Guard

Catcher's Thumb Guards

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The Endoskel is a thumb guard that takes a different approach than the wearable thumb guards.  The Endoskel is a aluminum/alloy composite that is covered in foam and rubber for comfort.  The Endoskel is a single piece that instead of wrapping around the thumb is slid into the glove’s thumb hole and tied in place.  The Endoskel remains in the glove so it removes the risk of the player losing his thumb guard, which we all know is a high probability with younger ball players.  The Endoskel is competitively priced at $30.

Other Thumb Guard Options

Catcher's Thumb Guards

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If you’re looking more to take the sting out of your catcher’s hand from a big heater and not as worried about foul tips there are a few other options to consider. There are a few companies making protective gloves with extra padding specifically for fielding.  These gloves are similar to batting gloves but with extra foam in the high impact areas of the hand.

All Star is making a couple options.  First they have their D30 protective inner glove styled like a batting glove with extra padding to be worn inside the catcher’s glove.  The D30 retails for around $22.  They also have their D30 protective glove sponge which is a foam finger that slips over the index finger for protection, though it does nothing for the thumb.  It retails for around $10.

There are other companies producing similar protective gloves for wearing inside the catcher’s mitt including Palmguard glove for $30 and an Adidas version that costs $25.

Catcher’s Mitts

Catcher's Thumb Guard

See our Wilson Catcher’s Glove Reviews

Some companies have seen the need for extra padding in their catcher’s mitts and are producing gloves with extra foam built in the help handle the sting of a good fastball.  Rawlings offers a few varieties of mitts with extra padding inside.  It can be a little tight to fit an actual thumb guard into the glove also though if more protection is needed.

One very interesting option though is a new 2018 model by Wilson.  The Wilson A2000 SuperSkin M2 is a model built with Ivan Rodriguez’s input regarding thumb injury prevention.  The M2 is a catcher’s glove with the thumb guard built right into the glove in the form of extra leather padding for both the wrist and thumb.  The drawback is the $260 price tag.  Though if you are already in the market for a new higher end catcher’s mitt it should be one to consider.

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After hours and seasons of use we report on the three best baseball coaching apps available. We really think these are must have apps for any coach of baseball and softball players. Those running competitive teams from 7u to 18u should give them a try if they have not already.

How do you calculate ERA again?  Who is leading my team in BA/RISP (Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position)?  What was Johnny’s dad’s phone number again?  When and where do we play the Hillsdale Cardinals this year? What exercises should my pitchers be completing during the off-season? What is the pitch count this week? Who should I be most concerned about for rotator cuff issues?

Best Baseball Coaching Apps

Rank Name Purpose Download
1 Game Changer Score Here
2 Team Snap Communicaiton Here
3 USA Mobile Coach Practice Efficacy Here

Best Coaching Apps

The S750C is an exclusive USA bat we review here.

Wow, that’s a lot of questions.  Some of the answers might be easy if you are a seasoned coach. Others will take time, a spreadsheet or a piece of paper along with 10-30 minutes to calculate the findings.  Why spend time manually doing things for you and your baseball team when it can all be automated with apps?Technology is here to stay and so are some really great apps that will help you manage your team easier. You can focus on what’s important: actually coaching the game.

Below is a review of the apps that I have used over the past 3 years. These have made a difference in the way the coaching staff communicates, manages the game, and trains our players.

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Game Changer | Best Scorebook App

There is nothing smoother than being able to pull our your phone or tablet and keep score of a baseball game.  Today, we look into the apps that make the old paper scoring book a thing of the past.  Spreadsheets and paper stacks are gone. No more mathematical errors. No more questions from the parents as to what Little Johnny’s average is this week. The best part is that you, as coach, can take total control of your team. The best decisioins are now made with data even at the lowest levels of the sport.

Download Game Changer on Itunes

Game Changer

Best BAseball Coaching Apps

Game Changer is part of the DICK’s Team Sports HQ suite of digital youth sports apps.  Game Changer does baseball and softball. Below only focuses on the benefits of the app in terms of using it to replace the normal paper scorebook. (See the Game Changer website for other things they do).

One key to Game Changer is that it is free to download and use (both iOS and Android)!  The base functionality can be summed up into three categories:

  • keeping score of games
  • managing your player’s stats throughout the season and
  • delivering the ability to broadcast your games live to the “team community”.

Keeping Score of Game Electronically

Best BAseball Coaching Apps

This is year #3 that I am using Game Changer to keep the scorebook for games. Each year, you can carry over the players and data from a previous year’s team. Once you enter the team into the app, you will only have to set the lineup and positions when it comes game time.  A new feature this year includes the ability to pull in the opposing team’s lineup if they use GC to keep score too.  This is a huge time saver.

Controlling the scoring of the game is very easy once you complete the practice portion of the app.  It is very intuitive. It directs you to make the right and complete choice to tell the whole story of the play.  For example: Ball In Play – Hard Ground Ball – Single – To the Left Fielder.  There is a learning curve. During the first game or two you will always be a little behind. But, once you are a week or so in, it becomes second nature.  There have been many times I have been coaching the bases and was easily able to keep score and track the game without any issue.

Managing Player Stats

Best BAseball Coaching Apps

Two of the greatest features I feel with Game Changer are:

  • Stats section

The stats section keeps just about every stat collected from the games played.  You can see how well your players hits with a certain count, how clutch your batters are with BA/RISP (Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position), plate appearances where the hitter had over 6 pitches, the list is endless!  In the end, it allows you to make the best decision when it comes game time.

  • Spray chart

Another really cool part of the app is that it tracks both the spray charts (where the ball lands when it is hit) of both your players and the opponents.  The tracking of the opponents spray chart is awesome for the teams that you play 2-3 times a year.  #24 Bob Turner has 5 hits against us and he always hits it to opposite field – you might want to employ a shift to cover against his tendency. You can also see where your #5 hitter puts the ball on a consistent basis.  Should you call the hit and run with someone slower on second?  Probably not, because your #5 hitter hits 75% of his hits between SS and 3B.  It makes decisions based on data, one item that seems to rule sports in today’s world.  Below are a few real world samples from our previous season.

Broadcasting Games Live

One very cool feature that families love with Game Changer is the broadcast feature.  Parents and family can join the teams “community” via finding the team online within the application itself or via email invite.  Once they are part of the community, the games are able to be followed real time as the stats are taken.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a YouTube video livestream in 4K where you can see the sweat dripping off the pitcher’s forehead.  It is a very simple interface where you can see player name and play (it kind of reminds me of a 1980’s computer game).  This simple, yet super effective way of allowing parents and family members follow the game has been a real “game changer” for us in the past years.  It has also kept the dugout a sacred place as we don’t have people coming up asking us what just happened with the last play or what the score is. Game Changer is there, always up to date, and as accurate as your scorekeeper’s fingers allow it to be.

TeamSnap | Team Scheduling, Roster Management and Communication App

When you select a player to be on your team, you also select their parents.  One of the biggest complaints I hear from other parents (outside of our team of course) is the poor or lack of communication between the coaching staff and the parents themselves.  Changes to schedules, tournament updates, practice cancellations due to weather, unsure of an away game field address –  all can lead to frustration from a parent.  Proper communication channels are key to make the parent/coach relationship crisp and a non-issue throughout the season.

Download Team Snap on Itunes

Team Snap

Best Coaching Apps

TeamSnap is free app that you can use to solve all the problems above.  The app can be also be broken into three key sections: player/parent information, master scheduling tool, and communication. TeamSnap has different levels of plans and pricing based on functionality, but for this post I am only going to focus on the free version (which I assume the majority of users will utilize).  The TeamSnap application is available for iOS, Android, as well as a full blown webpage where you can do alot of the initial information entering and configuration.  After the initial load is complete, you can control and update very easily from the app itself.

See the Team Snap website.

Player/Parent Information

I remember years ago when I was playing little league, the coach had a clipboard with contact numbers on it.  Back in that time, people had one phone number, no email, no mobile phone, and certainly no email.  Communication was easy.

Enter the year 2018.

Parents have 5 ways to contact them, kids come from split families, and phone numbers/contact information can change on a monthly basis. This is one of the main reasons why I love TeamSnap.  When you enroll the player along with an email for their parent, all the responsibility is shifted to get the information entered.  Parents usually jump onboard rather quickly when you make the edict early in the season that this is the only way you will be communicating changes once the season starts.  Once all the information is loaded into the system (by the parents), you simply send out a blast email via TeamSnap and it sends to the parents preferred mode of communication.  More on that in the next section.  Having all the information at your finger tips makes it very easy to get a hold of a parent if a player is injured or feels ill during a practice.

Master Schedule Tool

To me, there are two major events during the year around setting your baseball schedule (especially in a travel baseball environment) –

  1. Making your initial schedule in early to mid March, then
  2. Making constant changes to it from Opening Day until your season ends in July.

I know when we have our scheduling meeting for our league, it feels like a speed dating event.  You are looking for 15 teams out of 26 that you are supposed to schedule with. Once you get those locked in, the emails start coming in… can we change our date… can we move the game earlier, the list goes on and on!  It got to be quite painful three years ago when we actually handed out the schedule on paper to the parents.  Then the next week we had to hand out the schedule again because it had changed.

Enter TeamSnap to save the day.

We do not hand out paper schedules anymore, we just direct the parents to the app.  When changes are made to the schedule, they are notified of the change.

The scheduling tool within TeamSnap contains information such as date and time for the game, along with location/address of the field (connected to a map application if you use one), and most important, which uniform to wear.  Our team has quite the variety of uniform combinations that can be worn, so it is very easy to update the week’s games with the proper uniform choices, also allowing for the parents to know their laundry schedule.  Once again, when changes are made, there is a notification sent out to the parents.

Communication Tools for Baseball Teams

I have mentioned communication in both sections above, after all, it is the most important part of a successful relationship… we are still talking baseball by the way. The one portion of TeamSnap I have not touched upon is the Messages feature.  This will allow anyone who is part of the team to send a direct message to be viewed by everyone.

Many times we have used this feature to say there is construction on the way to the away game, bring extra clothes as it is very windy and cool at the field, along with in-game messages.  We had an instance last year where a player from the opposing team was injured and we ended up in a scrimmage where one of our players played RF for them.  A notification was sent to parents as the events occurred and there was no confusion and things went off without a barrage of people asking what is going on at the dugout fence.

Practice Planning App | Practice Like the Pros

For the seasoned coach, coming up with drills is a piece of cake.  You:

  • have worked with youth for years and you know what areas need to be worked on, what drills work and those that do not.
  • have an idea of drill progression and what the building blocks are to lead up to a proper way to field a baseball.
  • understand how to work an arm to strengthen it properly.  Now imagine you are a first time coach of a 9u travel team… what do you do?  I see this posted so many times in forums or groups – “What are the best drills during practice for (insert baseball lingo here).”  Well folks, I have an app for that!

Download the USA Mobile Baseball Coach App

USA Baseball Mobile App

Best Coaches Baseball Apps

The USA Baseball Mobile App is something that I have used for a year or so.  The app is laid out into specific sections: Practice plans, drills, and strength/ conditioning.  Each section includes all the information you would need to successfully plan and execute on a baseball practice for most age groups.

Practice Plans

The section of the app called Practice Plans is a deep library of plans that can be used in their entirety or partially to give the maximized practice environment for your players.  For example, there is one practice plan called “1 Hour Pitching Workout”.  Within this workout, there are segments broken down into individual activities to ensure a proper and correctly progressed pitching practice.  You have access to many videos and a 1-2 page document that explains the drill in its entirety.

Drills

If you don’t need an entire practice plan, but you want to look into a different drill other than those in your coaching bag, you can look in the Drills section of the app.  Broken down into very easy to access sections and filters, your search will be very simple.  You can search by skill level (easy to hard) or skill set (infield, outfield, pitching, catching, hitting, pitching or even bunting).

This is a great section as you can find what you are looking for quickly and get all the information as if it was listed in the larger practice plan.  This section also includes a time, so when the drill says five minutes, you can just click start and it will let you know when you have hit the time limit.  This is a great section for the new coach who doesn’t want to do too complex of drills and really make his players discourage due to ability level of the player vs. ability needed to complete the drill successfully.

Best Coaches Baseball Apps

Strength/Conditioning

One of the key aspects of preparing a player during the off-season, pre-season, and during the season is strength training and conditioning.  Proper drills will focus on developing strength during the off-season, while not causing undue strain on the player’s body.

Proper conditioning techniques will prepare the player for the long haul of the season.  Some coaches think running till they drop is the answer.  Lifting weights might not fit the bill for all.  With the USA Baseball Mobile app, you will have the option of multiples of strength and conditioning exercises that will focus on particular body systems that are important to a player, their current season, and seasons to come.

Just in closing, this is not an exhaustive list of apps that you can use as a coach. There are MANY other phone/tablet apps that can be used. Many are great or possibly better than those listed above.  I wrote this posting based on personal experience that the apps above really made a difference in the way the team was managed year-round.  Make the game easier to manage, get an app for that!

Miss a baseball or softball app you love? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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In a search for useful softball backpacks we searched many, many stores. Stores had two or three in stock while the internet had whatever you want. Yet getting a good feel in terms of material and durability is difficult online. So, I took a look at 9 different backpacks from three different companies and compared them all. I do know that there are many other companies that produce backpack but I wanted to keep these softball backpacks in short review and, hopefully, useful to you.

Bat Backpacks

We like the DeMarini Merica Voodoo Backpack not only cause it has the coolest name and coolest look, but because it’s a really good value buy. Tons of space and a reasonable price.

Bat Backpacks

Expensive, no doubt. But this thing is the Rolls Royce of bat backpacks. Does everything, has everything, feels fantastic. If you want the best then Easton’s 5 tool backpack is a great choice.

TL;DR: After lots of testing, we like the Five Tools by Easton and the Merica Voodoo by DeMarini.

This goes well with our Best Softball Bat Bag Reviews.

Don’t confuse this with the idea of a batpack. The batpack, as some refer to it, is a set of bats for sale together. 

Best Softball & Baseabll Backpacks

Bat Backpacks

Looking at all of the backpacks and what they offer in ways of material and features, I would recommend two different bags. My recommendations are made off durability and features:

Backpack vs Bat Bag

There are a ton of terms out there to describe what you are looking for and no real unified sense on what stuff is called. For this review, I use the word softball backpack to mean, just that, a backpack that is meant for softball gear.

Elsewhere we discuss softball bat bags and those include roller type bags that can carry a ton more gear but are more difficult to maneuver than a backpack.

Easton

Five Tool

Bat Backpacks

With this backpack you can do it all on the field, it is comfortable in league or on the road to a tourney. Hold everything you need and then some. But it isn’t cheap, that is for sure.

  • MSRP $129.99
  • Interior shelf for equipment storage
  • Four Side pockets for convenient storage
  • Internal mesh for those personal items
  • Felt lined pocket to protect those valuables
  • Padded shoulder and back panel for comfort.
  • Holds up to four bats

Hybrid Backpack Duffel

Bat Backpacks

This bag is good for all sports. It can be either a duffle or a backpack witch ever works for you.

  • MSRP $ 99.99
  • Durable Tarpaulin exterior
  • All-New rubberized pullers, and updated fence hooks
  • Large main compartment
  • Felt line pockets for those valuable
  • Vented main compartment to let the smell out
  • Separate helmet and cleat compartment.
  • Has two side bat compartments

Prowess

Bat Backpacks

This bag is designed specifically for the female athlete

  • MSRP $ 79.99
  • Padded straps specifically for female shoulders
  • Vented shoe compartment
  • Fence hooks
  • Two side bat sleeves

DeMarini

Merica Voodoo Backpack

Bat Backpacks

  • MSRP $ 59.99
  • Large main compartment to fit all the gear for the game
  • Neoprene bay sleeve
  • Fleece lined cell phone pocket
  • Removable panel for customization
  • Fence hook
  • Waterproof base
  • Padded shoulder strap

Voodoo Rebirth Backpack

Bat Backpacks

  • MSRP $ 59.99
  • Large main compartment to fit helmets and all other gear
  • Molded barrel lock bat sleeve
  • Fleece lined phone and valuables pocket
  • J Fence hook
  • Composite treated waterproof base.
  • Removable panel for customization

Momentum Backpack

Bat Backpacks

  • MSRP $ 49.99
  • Large main compartment for helmets and other gear
  • Mesh bat sleeve
  • Vented shoe compartment
  • Removable decoration panel
  • Integrated fence hook
  • Padded shoulder pads

Louisville Slugger

Bat Backpacks

Prime Stick Pack

  • MSRP $99
  • Large main compartment
  • Bat sleeves for up to four bats
  • Interior shelf with pockets
  • Fence hook
  • Padded shoulders
  • Customizable area for you name and number.

Select Stick Pack

Bat Backpacks

  • MSRP $59.99
  • Main compartment
  • Bat sleeves for two bats
  • Locker style main compartment
  • Fleece valuable pocket
  • Padded shoulders
  • Fence Hooks
  • Front Load handles.
  • Multiple colors

Series 5 Stick Pack

Bat Backpacks

  • MSRP $39.99
  • Main compartment for helmets, mask and glove.
  • Mesh bat sleeve for up to two bats
  • Front pocket for shoes and gear
  • Fence hook
  • Padded Shoulders

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