Standing behind the plate, staring down your teammate as they wind up to throw a baseball as hard and fast as they can is a bit of a daunting feeling. One slight error could cause the ball to drift off course and, as the catcher, you’re expected to make the right adjustments in order to prevent a major error.
Being a catcher is not an enviable job. You put your body on the line to make the right play every single time the ball is thrown. Having the right equipment is important to ensure you can do your job correctly and avoid injury while doing it.
There are a number of different styles of baseball gloves. Most gloves can be used at various positions if needed. However, the catcher is one of the few players on the field that absolutely need a proper mitt to play the position. Choosing the right catcher’s mitt, therefore, is incredibly important.
The Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt is a popular, affordable choice for youth and adult players who need a quality mitt that fits their hand. Trusting your equipment is important as a catcher. So, can you trust the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt to get the job done? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Do You Need a Catcher’s Mitt?
Before we jump into the review about this specific catcher’s mitt, let’s discuss why a catcher’s mitt is even required in the first place. After all, why spend money if you don’t need to, right?
There are a variety of baseball glove styles. Outfielder’s gloves are designed to be longer to help players increase their catching range when chasing down fly balls. A catcher’s mitt is also designed to suit specific needs of the position.
Generally, catcher’s mitts are designed with additional padding to protect the hand while catching pitches. Of course, anyone who watches baseball knows that not all pitches are completely accurate. To account for this, catcher’s mitts are larger and provide additional finger and thumb support to prevent injury.
Using a glove other than a catcher’s mitt while playing catcher doesn’t just reduce your ability to perform at the position but it could also lead to serious injury. In fact, many leagues will not allow players to play catcher without the proper protective equipment including a catcher’s mitt.
Making an investment in a good catcher’s mitt could save you a lot of pain down the road. Of course, in addition to protection, you should also be looking for top performance. Does the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt check off all of the boxes?
What Makes the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt Unique?
There are a few notes that Rawlings provides regarding this catcher’s mitt. Of course, marketing information isn’t always accurate but let’s look at the promises made by Rawlings about this glove before we examine the claims to see if the Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt is worth your money.
One of the big features of this catcher’s mitt is that it comes ready to play. Baseball gloves usually require some amount of breaking in to feel comfortable. Some gloves feel stiff and unusable right after purchasing. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean you will have to put in some effort to break the glove in prior to game action.
In contrast, the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt is 90% broken in at the factory meaning the last small bit of breaking in is left up the player. Some practice time and an application of glove oil should be enough but fit and feel is somewhat of a personal preference issue.
Another great feature of this glove is the real leather used to build it. Some lower quality gloves will use synthetic materials that are not as durable as real leather. While you may save money up front by buying a glove made with synthetic materials, you could pay more in the long run when replacing gloves more often. Also, a lot of people feel that real leather is more comfortable than synthetic materials.
For protection, the Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt has high density cushioning and finger protection to prevent broken fingers. Of course, using your fingers to catch a pitch is not ideal but sometimes a wayward pitch will miss the glove pocket. Having the additional finger protection is helpful in avoiding injury and, for many people, adds some additional confidence when playing behind the plate.
As we said, advertising certain features of a glove is one thing. It’s an entirely different thing to have the glove actually live up to the promises of those advertised features. So, is the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt the right glove for you or is it all hype?
Public Perception about the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt
One of the best ways to find out if a baseball mitt is worth the money is to see what actual players feel about the glove. Using real customer reviews, we can get a sense of what people love about this glove and what can be improved. Based on that information, you can base your buying decision.
Overall, the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt has very positive reviews. Perhaps most interestingly is the fact that people have very consistent thoughts about the glove. Even a casual look at reviews and comments online shows a clear theme.
One of the most common points that people mention in their reviews is the durability of this glove. The real leather used to make the glove clearly pays off and helps extend the life of the glove. In fact, several people mentioned that they were able to use the same glove for several seasons without having to replace it.
Part of durability is ensuring that the high-density cushioning doesn’t also wear out due to repeated use. Without adequate protection for the palm, the glove won’t be able to prevent injury while catching.
Speaking of comfort, it would appear that the promise of being ready for play right off the shelf is also true. People were very happy that their new catcher’s mitt was quick and easy to break in to their liking. While some people enjoy breaking in new gloves, a lot of people would rather have a comfortable glove that’s ready for game action right after purchase. This is obviously partly a personal preference but if you are looking for a glove that’s already almost completely broken in then you should definitely consider the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt.
This glove also got high marks from reviewers for value. Value is interesting because it can come down to personal budget and expectations. This Rawlings catcher’s mitt is priced only slightly higher than entry level gloves but offers some mid-range features. There are definitely some great features packed into an affordable package which makes it perfect for beginners and youth players who are not looking to buy the highest end product on the market.
It was very difficult to find negative thoughts about the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt from buyers. However, there were some considerations that you may want to keep in mind if you are thinking about purchasing this mitt.
Some people noted that the glove was great for certain levels of competition but failed to maintain the same quality when facing harder and faster pitching. For players that are moving into high level of high school or collegiate ball, this glove may not meet their needs. In that case, you may want to consider a higher end catcher’s mitt with additional padding suited to better pitching.
How the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt compares With the Competition
Shopping for the right catcher’s mitt is not easy. There are a number of options on the market and each one has their own unique marketing terms to try and get a share of your equipment budget. Is the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt worth the money when compared with the competition?
At around $60, the Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt is priced just slightly above some of the entry level catcher’s mitt options. Entry level mitts will require some major concessions when compared with this offering from Rawlings.
With entry level models you can largely expect to have to purchase a glove made from synthetic materials. Synthetic leather gloves are often regarded as being less comfortable and less durable than real leather alternatives like the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt.
In addition, entry-level catcher’s mitts will use less cushioning and protection in some cases. The amount of protection needed will ultimately depend on the level you are playing at.
There are also a number of catcher’s mitts that are priced higher than the Rawlings Renegade Series. High-end mitts usually incorporate cutting-edge features to justify the higher price tag. You may see options like multi-zone cushioning using different types of high-density foam. In some gloves, there is patented finger protection available as well.
Ultimately, comparing this $60 Rawlings catcher’s mitt with high-end gloves that can cost upwards of $200 is like comparing apples and oranges. Many players simply do not need the features offered by a top of the line mitt while other players who are competing at a high level may be willing to make a larger investment in their equipment.
Budget should not be the only factor you look at but if you are hoping to find a catcher’s mitt with a lot of value to offer then the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt checks off a lot of important boxes while still being friendly on your wallet.
Our Final Thoughts on the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt
Shopping for the right catcher’s mitt is not an easy task. There are a number of options at all different budget levels making big promises about your performance on the field. Wading through the promises and numbers can become overwhelming.
Rawlings Renegade Series is definitely worth your consideration. Choosing a trusted brand like Rawlings ensures that you get a quality product from a company that has a strong reputation in baseball from the youth leagues to the professional level.
Rawlings has managed to pack a lot of value into the Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt. Players who want great cushioning and protection without spending a lot of money will be hard pressed to find another glove with the Rawlings reputation and this suite of features at a similar price point.
The real leather and 90% factory break-in ensures that this glove feels comfortable from day one and lasts throughout the long ball season. Less expensive gloves will simply not be able to offer a similar level of comfort and durability which makes the small increase in budget for the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt almost a no-brainer.
The only people who may find that the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt does not meet their needs are players who are in a league with a higher level of competition. For these players, a high-end glove may be required in order to provide the necessary protection for handling harder and faster pitches.
In our opinion, the combination of value and features offered by the Rawlings Renegade Series Catcher’s Mitt makes it a fantastic purchase for anyone looking for a new catcher’s mitt that will withstand a long season of hard play.