Form over function? Atlantic League debuts graphic catchers gear

By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star

Sugar Land Skeeters player/coach Travis Scott models the new graphic catchers gear. It didn’t take him or the other catchers on the team long to figure out the gear is more form over function.

Sugar Land Skeeters player/coach Travis Scott models the new graphic catchers gear. It didn’t take him or the other catchers on the team long to figure out the gear is more form over function.

The Atlantic League and Rawlings Sporting Goods have announced an equipment partnership with Rawlings providing each Atlantic League team with catcher’s protective gear that features team specific graphics on the mask, chest protector and shin guards.

According to an Atlantic League press release, “We set out to create a completely new way to view catchers and their equipment,” said Rick White, Atlantic League president. “With the support of Rawlings and the assistance of Skye Design Studios, we believe we have re-defined catchers’ gear and that our innovative decoration will influence on-field designs for years to come.”

Travis Scott, catcher for the Skeeters, wore the much-ballyhooed equipment for several games before discarding it.

“The face mask was not to my liking,” Scott said. “I like a two-piece mask and this mask was cutting into my neck. The chest protector was very light but it began to unravel a bit after several games. The shin guards were fine.”

Atlantic League New Catchers Gear.  (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic League)

Atlantic League New Catchers Gear. (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic League)

Neither Wilfredo Rodriguez nor Albert Cordero, the other Skeeters’ catchers, are wearing the new gear either. In fact, the gear has been relegated to the far reaches of the equipment room.

“I haven’t seen any other teams wearing the gear either,” said Scott.

The following are Skye Design Studios’ descriptions of the decoration featured on each team’s catchers’ protective equipment:

BRIDGEPORT: Illustration of ‘bluefish blitz’ – an aggressive hunting technique used by bluefish to stun their prey – representing the club’s competitive instincts.

LANCASTER: Highlights the community’s rural heritage as well as the bright future of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

LONG ISLAND: Features flying V formation of ducks soaring over Long Island and iconic Montauk Lighthouse, referencing the Island’s seafaring history.

NEW BRITAIN: Hive and honey elements inspired by the New Britain city seal and historic moniker as the ‘Hardware City’, a fitting nickname for the gritty, blue-collar manufacturing community.

SOMERSET: Alludes to patriotism, the United States’ revolutionary past and the thirteen colonies while heralding the red, white and blue of the American flag stylized to match team branding.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND: Underscores the club’s proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, featuring a blue crab lurking in bay waters; helmet portraits of Satchel Paige, Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson celebrate the diversity of Waldorf, Maryland, by honoring African-American players’ influence on professional baseball.

SUGAR LAND: Features a dynamic version of the pesky critter that inspired the club’s mascot, Swatson; sugar cane indicia reference the community’s once dominant industry as a sugar cane growing and processing center.

YORK: Highlights the team’s 10th anniversary season and celebrates the club reviving a community legacy of professional baseball, while showcasing downtown scenes and club marks that combine elements of industry and manufacturing.

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