Affordable Gifts for the Baseball and Softball Players on Your List

Baseball giftsAs anyone who has purchased sporting goods and training tools for their kids can attest to, it can become an expensive ordeal. When the holidays come around, it allows you the chance to get your kids those tools that will help them get better and succeed and put something under the Christmas tree for them.

There are numerous affordable deals out there for parents looking to get some last minute shopping done, but what are the best?

Cannonball Warm Up Softball

One of the best things any baseball or softball player can do in the off season is continue to work on their arm strength. One of the affordable tools that will allow you to do this is the Cannonball Warm Up Softball. This ball can be used off a wall, eliminating the need to have another person present to play catch. Using this before playing catch with a baseball or softball will also make those balls feel lighter and allow you to get more zip on each throw.

Mizano Organizer BackpackMizuno Organizer 3 Backpack

When you look in the trunk of the athlete in your family, you will often be afraid of what you will find. From dirty socks and underwear to all their essential gear, everything will usually just be scattered around and hard to find. The Mizuno Organizer 3 Backpack is the solution to that problem. It has enough room to store all the essentials to compete and has room for other non-essential personal items.

Rawlings 5-Tool Foam Quick Hands Trainer

RAWLINGS 5-TOOL FOAM QUICK HANDS TRAINERWhen you watch players like Robinson Cano and Andrelton Simmons make amazing players with such ease on a nightly basis, the reason why they are able to do so is because they have soft hands. When you hear that expression, it doesn’t mean their hands are smooth, it means that their hands are quick and soft enough to absorb the ball whether it is an easy hop, or a nasty one.

There are too many baseball and softball tools and gear to even list here, but if you are looking to grab an item for the athlete in your family, these are all solid places to start.

Who Makes the Best Baseballs? Diamond or Rawlings or Wilson?

Sports can lead to many interesting creations. When one company develops a new tool, other companies try to keep up the competition and develop their own version of these tools. One of the most important tools in the sport of baseball is the actual baseballs. Many companies are now producing their own version of baseballs, but not all are made the same.

If you want to order baseballs for your next pickup baseball game, which brand should you look into? Who makes the best baseballs?

Diamond

Diamond SportsDiamond has been around for years and has been putting out quality baseballs for players of all ages. When Diamond-Sports construct their baseballs, they use the best materials available to them. Their “Professional League” ball is one of the most popular used in college baseball. It has a cushioned cork center with a premium leather cover. While other companies get more recognition, Diamond has dozens of models available to choose from.

Rawlings

RawlingsThe most recognizable name in baseball equipment is Rawlings. They are responsible for constructing baseballs for numerous leagues, events and organizations around the world, including Major League Baseball. Among the custom balls Rawlings has produced over the years include the “RLLB,” which is tournament grade for little league baseball; USSSA Tournament sanctioned balls and the “RSLL1” Senior Little League ball.  Another quality ball that Rawlings manufactures is the R1NCAA. This is the official ball of the NCAA championship. This ball was made with patented super stitch technology and full grain leather, which increases its lifetime and durability.

Wilson

Wilson Sporting GoodsWilson is another company that constructs different balls for different leagues. The Wilson A1075BPL1 is a ball that has incredible durability with raised seams that are 20 percent higher than flat seam baseballs. This allows for pitchers and fielders to get a better grip on the ball with each throw. The inside of the ball is grey wool and has a cushioned cork that gives the ball more energy during the contact of the bat and the ball.

With so many companies producing baseballs, Diamond, Rawlings and Wilson, are three of the best. They are the three most popular baseball manufacturers and produce the best quality balls every time.

 

Wilson A2000 Gloves – Why They Rule

Wilson A2000 Glove

Wilson A2000 Gloves

One of the biggest mistakes made by baseball players is thinking they don’t need to have one of the best fielding gloves to be successful. At an early age, players need to be reminded that to be a complete player, they need to be able to hit and field well.

With the large line of Wilson A2000 gloves for fielding, players will be able to have the necessary tool to be able to field at any position. The Wilson A2000 glove is also used by many of the most popular players in Major League Baseball. If the professional players we all watch and admire on television can use these gloves, then that should be enough to make you want to wear them.

Material

Wilson A2000 fielding gloves are all constructed using the same Pro Stock Select Leather from American steer hides that have incredible durability and have the greatest feel of any other models on the market. Over the years, Wilson has taken the input and advice from some of the best players in the sport including Greg Maddux and Evan Longoria and has improved the product greatly.

Various Models Available

WTA2403_PudgebackThe entire line of Wilson A2000 fielding gloves consists of more than 40 models ranging from third baseman and outfielders gloves to those made for pitchers and catchers. Among the various models you can get include the A2000 A2403 Pudge catcher’s mitt made for former MLB star, Ivan Rodriguez. Those that idolize Longoria can also get his signature 11.75″ glove.

The Wilson A2000 line of fielding gloves isn’t only for baseball players. The company has also produced gloves in the line for fastpitch softball players including regular fielding gloves and those for fastpitch catchers.

Overall, the Wilson A2000 line of fielding gloves is one of the best available for baseball and fastpitch softball players. The gloves have a great feel to them that allow the ball to be “sucked in” each time.

When you wear one of these gloves, it becomes extremely easy to have the soft touch needed to be an excellent fielder.

Batting Gloves as Stocking Stuffers – You Bet!

Baseball Gloves for Stocking StuffersBatting gloves? The holiday season is the perfect time for baseball and softball players to stock up on new gear and accessories for the next season. With end-of-season clearance sales being held, there are numerous new items you can get at discounted prices for yourself or ask for on your holiday wish list.

For those looking to get baseball and softball related stocking stuffers, one of the best gift ideas would be batting gloves. What are some of the best batting gloves you can get for the athlete in your family?

Rawlings Workhorse

Rawlings WorkhorseRawlings is one of the most trusted names in softball and baseball gear and this pair of batting gloves is one of the best on the market. The leather is soft and provides ideal comfort when worn as it is more flexible than other brands. The Workhorse brand is the most popular in the line of Rawlings batting gloves for more than 12 years and would make for a great stocking stuffer.

Worth ToxicWorth Toxic batting gloves

Worth Toxic batting gloves provide a comfortable feeling as it was made with premium sheep leather. This leather gives you the best grip on the bat and helps you gain better control and maintain possession of the bat throughout your swing. It has a mesh backing, allowing your hand the chance to breathe.

Easton Stealth Core Batting GloveEaston STEALTH CORE

For those looking for the closest feel on their bat without going bare-handed, the STEALTH CORE is one of the best pair of batting gloves you can have to achieve that. This style of glove comes in 10 different color combinations and was made with Cabretta leather on the palm. This adult pair of gloves comes in sizes from small to XL.

DeMarini Versus

DeMarini Versus batting glovesSince DeMarini is one of the best bat manufacturers in the world for slowpitch softball players, you would expect them to put out quality products across the board. That is the case with fielding gloves and batting gloves. Among their best pair of batting gloves are the Versus, which are made in five sizes from small to XXL, come in three colors and feature a leather palm and a neoprene wrist strap.

We can recommend others and give you ideas where to get the best deals on batting gloves for stocking stuffers. Drop us a comment with your question!

Off Season Baseball Training Aid Reviews

Off Season Training AidsThe off season is one of the most difficult times of the year for most athletes, amateur or professional. But it is the work you do in the off season that will either help you advance your talent level to a place it had never been before, regress, or stay the same.

One of the best ways to ensure that your skill level never decreases is to constantly work at your sport, whether it is in season or not. For softball and baseball players, there are numerous training aids you can use to help you stay in playing shape throughout the winter.

Bownet Big Mouth Screen

This big mouth screen is something that is ideally used outside in the summer, but in rooms that have enough height/length, can be used by pitchers to work on their strike zone and batters to get the mechanics of their swing down perfectly. The screen is something that is easy to assemble and requires only about two minutes to construct and can easily be taken down in less that time. In the box, this screen is just 14 pounds and requires no tools to setup, making it easy to transport. Here is a view of the Brownet Big Mouth Screen.

Diamond Fielding Trainer

For those that have access to an indoor facility with turf in the cold winter months, this fielding trainer from Diamond would make a great tool. This tool has infielder’s padding in a flat shape, forcing you to work on using both hands when making a play. This tool goes with the old training technique of using a pot holder during infield practice, but just in an expanded form. When you use this Diamond Fielding Trainer, it gives you a more natural feel because there are slots for your fingers instead of large open area in a pot holder.

Rawlings Pro Resistance Ball 5-Tool Trainer

When it comes to using the best technique to make a throw, this trainer is what you need to have in the off season. The baseball attached to the end of the 58″ resistance band has a real-ball feel and provides you advanced resistance levels that aren’t easy to attain otherwise. The Rawlings Pro Resistance Ball 5-Tool Trainer comes with instructions and numerous drills that will help you improve your skills.

It’s in the Bag – Why You Want a Custom Baseball Bat Bag

When you step into the bench area of your baseball or softball field, there are few things that will set you apart from the rest of the competitors. Among those variables you can create to separate yourself from everyone else is a custom bat bag. Plenty of teams spare no expense in get matching gear from hats and pants to sleeves and baseball bat bags, but if you aren’t a part of that type of team, here are a few companies that will allow you the change to change things up a bit with your own bag.

DeMarini Baseball Bat BagDeMarini Bat Bag

DeMarini is one of the premiere softball and baseball bat manufacturers in the world and with that popularity and success, have also become a premiere source for equipment bags. There are many factors that help DeMarini equipment bags stand out. Among them is the fact that they offer rolling bags, as well as backpacks. Their line of Vendetta rolling bags feature room for a few of your most favorite bats, as well as a large center section that can hold your cleats, gloves, pine tar and whatever other gear and accessories you need. The Vexxum line of backpacks feature slots for two bats, as well as plenty of storage space for your on-field essentials and pockets for your off-field personal items.

Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Bag

Louisville Slugger bat bagLouisville Slugger is one of the most respected baseball gear manufacturers in the history of the sport and continues to evolve their product to fit the changing market. Among those markets in which they have changed their product is with their large line of baseball bat bags. The company saw the need to make their bags bigger to accommodate those with large numbers of bats. They have bags that can fit anywhere from one to four bats. These bat bags can be customized and much like with DeMarini, come in rolling bag models, as well as backpack versions.

A baseball bat bag isn’t just something you put your baseball and softball gear in. During the busy season when players are competing hundreds of times, these bags are where you will keep a lot of the supplies and essentials needed to keep your sanity.

Little League: Do’s and Dont’s for Parents

Little league has no “real” umps at games, but they do have volunteers that take the time to learn the rules for little league play.

But there seems to be unwritten rules for players to follow once they step onto the field. The following are suggestions from the parents’ sides of little league, as they often get a bad rap just because they were looking out for their slugger as he stepped up to bat.

THE DON’TS

  1. Don’t play amateur umpire. Often times, the biggest arguments aren’t on the field, but in the stands because your kid was called out or the play wasn’t fair. Remember the ump’s view is a different angle and much closer. Unless you have a solid reason to suspect unfair play, give him the benefit of the doubt or take it up after the game.
  2. Don’t assume everyone wants to hear a stream of criticism about the ump or other players. Remember: that’s their kid out there too and players are learning at this age, not experts.
  3. If you are coaching, remember; you are the teacher and your players learn far more than baseball from you.  For example, if you try to make every one a “star” or de-emphasize those players that you know won’t make the “cut”, it sends an unrealistic or even unkind message.
  4. If you are a parent, be a parent. Kids and coaches will tell you, please do not coach from the stands. This can make your player more nervous that they already are and it is very distracting. Last thing you want if for the game to turn into a chore rather than a fun and learning experience.
  5. Don’t yell at your child in from of his or her team. You might think this should go without saying, but at just about every game, there is an upset parent. Again, this takes the fun out of the game and creates embarrassment in front of other people.
  6. Don’t expect an “all star” performance every time. Remember that the younger the player, the more the game is just that: a game. New skills and coordination take ti

THE DO’S

  1. Do let your player play his or her own game.
  2. Have fun and your child will too. The younger your player is, the more likely they are playing for fun and not trying to build skills or win a game which comes later.
  3. If you are a coach, instruct, not destruct your players. In essence, avoid over coaching. Kids have shorter attention spans and each is in a different part of the learning cycle.
  4. If you are a parent, encourage the player. If you feel the need to criticize or become upset leave the field. Give yourself a “time out”.
  5. Develop and appreciation and understanding of the game. You will enjoy it more and your child will benefit from your example.
  6. Remembers that sports are a form of entertainment and excitement. The younger the player, the more likely they want to have fun without keeping score or taking the game too seriously.
  7. Do encourage you child to keep going. Games teach children about rules, fair play, teamwork and that fun is ok. There are many lessons to learn that have nothing to do with baseball.

Little league is a great place for family fun and togetherness. Don’t miss out!

 

All Star Manufacturer’s Spotlight

All StarAll Star is there when you need to be protected on the field. In fact, they are one of the best sporting goods companies you can get your equipment from for baseball. The company produces products for baseball, fast pitch and slow pitch softball and even for umpires. In recent years, their line of products for football players has grown more popular and All Star is now one of the top overall sports equipment company in the world.

All Star has a large selection of products already designed and ready to be purchased, and their website also offers a “Custom Design Lab” where adults and youth can customize their own catcher’s equipment. The design lab is also available to fast pitch softball catchers that are looking to match their gear to their uniform.

All Star offers everything baseball players need to be successful and protected on the field including the complete series of catcher’s gear, fielding gloves, baseballs and field accessories like bases and plates. The company also offers a wide selection of baseballs and softballs. And for those taking the field at the local softball field, you will also be able to get all the equipment necessary to be safe.

All Star’s wide selection of products also includes masks, chest protectors, shin guards and other accessories needed for umpires to be successful and safe. For those looking for football gear, the company has an extensive catalog featuring helmets, pads and gloves.

Any Questions about All Star products? Drop a comment on our blog!

Under Armour – Manufacturer Spotlight

Under Armour Baseball GearUnder Armour was founded in 1996, and the sports apparel business changed forever. The company was founded by a former captain for the University of Maryland special teams unit, Kevin Plank. Plank started Under Armour in his grandmother’s basement and now the company has grown to the point where they had revenue of more than $1.8 billion in 2012. The initial inspiration for the creation of Under Armour for Plank came when he was tired of his undershirts always being drenched in sweat after practice, while his compression shorts stayed dry.

It wasn’t until after Plank graduated did he create a prototype of his undershirt. He then provided it to former teammates that had since moved onto the National Football League and the popularity of the undershirt grew from there. The company quickly grew from making $17,000 in 1996 to $100,000 in 1997 before inking major deals with schools starting with Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Arizona State University.

Under Armour continued to grow slowly, garnering attention from being in the films Any Given Sunday with Jamie Foxx and The Replacements with Keanu Reeves. Due to all the attention Under Armour got in the Foxx movie, Plank purchased ad space in ESPN The Magazine and business took off from there.  The company also got a lot more attention from being the official uniform provider for the Xtreme Football League, the brain child of professional wrestling promoter, Vince McMahon.

As the popularity of the Under Armour brand has continued to rise, they have begun sponsoring athletes from different sports including UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, undefeated boxing superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Super Bowl champions Tom Brady and Ray Lewis and American Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Lindsey Vonn. The company also provides the soccer jerseys of several popular clubs around the world including Tottenham Hotspur.

As time has gone on, other companies have attempted to invade the Under Armour market, but Plank has been successful in holding his market share. With the addition of a line of protective gear, catchers masks, chest and leg protectors, the line continues to grow.

Drop us a comment if you want more information about Under Armour protective gear.


Wilson Baseball Gloves

Wilson Baseball GlovesWilson baseball gloves are just one of the great products made by one of the most recognizable names in sporting goods. Wilson Sporting Goods was founded in 1913 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The company features more than 1,600 employees that help to design, produce and market baseball gloves, footwear, other sporting goods and accessories. In 2010, the company reported a net income of greater than $600 million. Among the sports the company produces items for baseball, basketball, badminton, soccer, tennis, golf, softball and volleyball.

By the time Cast Away starring Tom Hanks was released, Wilson Sporting Goods was already a popular brand in sporting goods. Despite that, Hanks best friend in the movie, a Wilson volleyball, became a pop icon and the company soon began marketing volleyballs with Wilson’s “face.”

Wilson Sporting Goods is the official provider of balls for the National Football League, AVP volleyball tour, NCAA basketball just to name a few. The company once made jerseys for more than a dozen NFL teams. Like many other sporting goods manufacturers, the company has sponsored many athletes from different sports to use their products and display the Wilson logo. Among the most notable are Major League Baseball stars Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Paul Konerko, Ivan Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright and Elvis Andrus.

Wilson is also one of the most popular providers of tennis rackets for professional stars and amateurs. Among the world class tennis players in the world that use Wilson rackets are Victoria Azarenka, Serena and Venus Williams. Legendary tennis players Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert also used Wilson rackets during their playing career. Wilson is the supplier of the official ball for many tennis tour events including the U.S. Open Championship.

Whether you are looking for a baseball glove, golf clubs for your next round of 18 holes or a tennis racket to help you step up your game, Wilson Sporting Goods has been a trusted source for 100 years and is one that you can rely on for the best quality products.

Thanks as always for reading Compositebats.com!

Rip-It Manufacturer Spotlight

Rip-It Sweet SpotRip-It is one of the most promising of the crop of new companies to enter the lucrative slow pitch softball market. The company was founded in 2003, but it wasn’t until recently that they have really picked up a loyal and growing market of baseball and softball bats devotee. The company is based out of Orlando, Florida and was originally known as the company that created the smaller and more comfortable face masks for infielders before branching out to bats.

Rip-It face masks became an instant hit because their brand was used by those in little leagues where masks were required for all batters, as well as slow pitch softball leagues that required masks for catchers.  Their masks are also used by pitchers who wanted to protect themselves. As the company began to get more popular, they moved out of a small garage into a large warehouse where they can stock up on more of their products. This meant faster and better customer service.

Rip-It produces softball and baseball bats for most leagues including senior and high school baseball, slow pitch and fast pitch softball and other leagues. One of the most popular Rip-It models is the Prototype. The Prototype series features various models for different league types. It is manufactured with a one-piece fully composite material and is slightly end loaded to enhance a hitters power swing. One of the things the Rip-It brand is known for is it has an enlarged sweet spot that nearly covers the entire barrel and is made to reduce vibrations in the swing with a raised ridge dampening grip.

The Rip-It name is one that will continue to grow in the baseball and softball equipment business and one that will only see its reputation grow with each line of new products.

Drop us a question or comment on our blog!


Mizuno Baseball Bats and Equipment – Brand Profile

Mizuno bats and equipmentMizuno is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia and has been a staple in baseball bat and accessories since being founded in 1906. Rihachi Mizuno founded the company in Osaka, Japan, where they still have their worldwide headquarters. Mizuno USA manufactures and sells products for golf, baseball, track & field, softball and volleyball. Since the company was founded, Mizuno has put relentless effort into improving their products to compete with others that have come after them.

Mizuno began to manufacture baseballs and gloves in 1913 and in 1933 the company starting planting Ash trees that would become their baseball bats. They have since grown and evolved into the company that is now considered one of the top in the industry. Not only do the sales of Mizuno products reach the top of the baseball equipment and apparel market, they are also one of the most trusted companies for the professional ball players because of their high quality craftsmanship and durability.

Mizuno’s top products are wood bats and the company has seen the need to advance the technology further. Among the wood bats they now produce is a maple composite bat. These bats are constructed with a composite handle and a wooden barrel. This advanced technology allows the bat to last longer than traditional maple bats. It still has the top performance one would expect from a maple bat from Mizuno, only more advanced.

Another ideal bat for those looking to add a Mizuno piece to their bat bag is their classic maple bat. The hard maple wood is used from the handle to the barrel and provides you a great feel with each swing. Mizuno uses only the best maple wood to ensure their bats will last for multiple seasons, giving its customers the best product for their money. Mizuno produces a full line of baseball equipment from bats, to bags, to gloves. It is your one stop brand!

For more information or questions on Mizuno’s great line of equipment and baseball bats, leave us a question or comment!