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Throat protector....Yes or No?...Size?....Brand?, etc....


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Just curious how many guys wear the throat protector on their masks.  I just picked up a Wilson titanium and am considering one since the angle of the built-in guard is steeper than my old aluminum (which I did not have one attached).  Do you prefer the 4" or 6" guard?  Any recommendations on brand/model?  Thanks to all.  

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6" or nothing for me.... 3 of my 4 have them.   All it takes is one odd bounce to the throat and you're in the hospital and maybe can't talk anymore.

Forgot to add, I prefer the Spyder, Zett or Shovel.  I have others too because hard to get the other two, plus they cost more.

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Throat guard...all the time, every time! I was a catcher in my youth. My Dad bought me one when they first came out in the 80s and I have always worn one since for umpiring, too. And I have taken some shots to the throat from balls and a bat, too. Throat guard might have saved my life.

To properly size your throat guard, put on your chest protector and get in your stance. Then have a partner measure the distance while in your stance from the bottom of your mask to the top edge of your chest protector around your neck. This measurement will help you determine the correct length. If you switch masks or chest protectors, make sure you measure again. I keep an assortment of throat guards in my gear bag for this reason.

~Dawg

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Took my first hit to my throat protector over the weekend.  Didn't feel a thing but it must have looked bad because the stands, the coaches, and my partner all reacted.  So safe to say it saved me from some serious injury.

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I wear the Wilson and it’s lasted for about 10 years. No cracks or anything, just some scuffs.

The buttons on the straps have gotten harder to snap/un-snap over the last couple of years and probably need replaced. But other than that, I’d recommend wearing one. 4” or 6” would be up to personal preference.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Not everyone needs one. A lot depends on your build, gear and stance. Have someone take a picture of you from the side, with your gear on, and dropped into your stance. Then see if one will fill a gap, if there is any. 

I use Mizuno's on all of my mine. I've been drilled there maybe 6-7 times over 20 years. Several of those were scary to think of if it wasn't in place. Just for reference, I think I've been nailed on my left plate shoe about as many times over the years, but wouldn't dare go behind the plate without either. 

My Mizuno is a hair over 6".

 

https://www.amazon.com/Mizuno-Catchers-Helmet-Throat-Guard/dp/B00NX4ZU9Q

 

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When I've got nailed there, it takes a bit to unwind it in my brain as to what just happened. There's compression at the mask, and c/p, and a HELL of a sound. Then, when you realize what just happened, you get religion really quick. 

 

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Forgot to mention...as others have pointed out, the straps, buttons and velcro on throat guards do wear out. Keep spares in your bag. Don't be the mope out there with a shoelace holding his throat guard to his mask...

Finally, if you wear an AllStar mask, considering acquiring the AllStar bird cage throat guard. They have been out of production since 2019 so, they can be expensive. Mine was $50, plus I paid to have it powder-coated.

~Dawg

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Yes, all the time.  Not to be disagreeable but I am not a fan of the measure and see if you need one concept.  It is easy to have a "perfect/ideal" position once but, we all get tired and do multiple games.  Our positions will change even slightly as we tire.   The other day, I neglected to tuck my hand behind my knee for a few pitches and guess what.  Ouch.

I always wear a 6" attached to the frame.  Gotten "clacked" a couple of times.  Definitely, worth the $9.95 to not find out what would have happened had I not been wearing one.  It takes one tenth the force to crush your throat than it does your testicle (5 vs 50lbs).  One is painful, the other could be fatal.  The choice is yours.

Here's a video

https://www.mlb.com/video/umpire-gets-hit-on-the-neck-c937266983           

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43 minutes ago, kylejt said:

Not everyone needs one. A lot depends on your build, gear and stance. Have someone take a picture of you from the side, with your gear on, and dropped into your stance. Then see if one will fill a gap, if there is any. 

 

THIS^^^^^^^^  My God ... there is SO much information on throat guards within the equipment forum, but ...while Kyle is correct above, I think for me personally, I'd like to have one there regardless, ...just in case ;) .   Also, it MUST BE MOUNTED correctly!  Finally, for me, and my stance/body type, a 6" is the only one that makes sense.  In my eyes, the 4" is far too short for most, and if so, could cause more harm than not.

 

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Never done a game without one. Don't see the need to take a chance and end up dead. I use the 6" champro and 6" wilson. I like the shape and snaps of the wilson more but hate the logo so it's blacked out. Might try painting it.

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1 hour ago, mac266 said:

I wear one, yes.

I'm changing to a hockey-style helmet soon.  I've never seen one added to an HSM; does it need one?

 

imo, unquestionably yes. This is a no brainer. I wear one on my HSM.

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After several years of stitch marks on my neck in HS (70s), I am very happy to wear every time behind the plate. I used to wear the 4” until I got hit and it got lodged in my cp. I went to the 6” and have not had the same issue.

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8 hours ago, mac266 said:

I wear one, yes.

I'm changing to a hockey-style helmet soon.  I've never seen one added to an HSM; does it need one?

 

Check out CB Buckner starting about 2 months ago. He too one to the throat and has since gone to a 6" All Star hanging off the bottom of his System7 HSM.

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When I first started, I did not. Nor did I wear one when I caught. Mainly because as a catcher, you are taught to drop your chin to your protector on the ones that would come up under the mask on us. And when I used to wear the Diamond Aluminum and a West Vest Gold, there was almost no gap to speak of like Kyle mentioned. 

I didn't start wearing one all the time until I chopped the extention off the Diamond. Now I wear one all the time because I do not have the extention on my MAG. (Photo included cause I love showing this thing off! Lol)

The Samurai Gears Shovel (the recreation of the famed Mizuno Shovel) is just over 6" in length. 

Coincidentally, I have a ZETT that I am willing to part with. Especially if it is in trade for a set of grey MAG pads. (The Zett and Spyder strmyle guards both clock in and just about 8 inches by the way.)

Basically... it is down to personal choice. If you feel safer wearing one, the get it. 20210330_093905.thumb.jpg.60409f975e95294bbb6f51a406f7be14.jpg

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Good information in that video, but man does his stilted and uncertain delivery still make me cringe.

I have never worn one, not as a catcher and not as an umpire.  I feel I do a good job of squaring up and letting my gear do its job (rather than jumping and flinching which pulls the gear out of its protective position).  I know I NEVER look up or turn my head with something coming at me (took a long time to get that instinct though).

That said, a few weeks ago I had a foul ball hit the top of my CP (collarbone area) and ricochet upwards.  It would not have gotten my throat (I didn't turn or rise), but that hop put it right on my jaw bone (coming up).  It didn't hit me hard, but the rattle on my jawbone freaked me out enough that I called time and knelt over for a moment just to "take inventory."  It looked a lot worse than it was.

SO ... I am reconsidering my position because freak accidents happen.  Like @kylejt said ... I don't think I have ever taken a ball to the foot, but I just spent $100 (give or take) on a new pair of plate shoes.  Yeah, I need to spend $5-$10 on this little doodad.

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Heck, just last night I had a foul ball hit the lower extension of the mask and possibly caught some of the TP AND STILL hit the side of my neck.  This was 14U and it happened so fast there is no way I could have 'chin down' like F2s do.  F2 are at least tracking the ball from the pitchers hand and have the time to get their chin down.

My neck is still sore enough to make me wonder what would have happened if the foul ball was over an half an  inch on to the jugular.

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53 minutes ago, BLWizzRanger said:

Heck, just last night I had a foul ball hit the lower extension of the mask and possibly caught some of the TP AND STILL hit the side of my neck.  This was 14U and it happened so fast there is no way I could have 'chin down' like F2s do.  F2 are at least tracking the ball from the pitchers hand and have the time to get their chin down.

My neck is still sore enough to make me wonder what would have happened if the foul ball was over an half an  inch on to the jugular.

Had one earlier this year like that. Kid throwing low 90's in HS Varsity, high inside pitch, batter and catcher whiff and smacks me at the very top inside lip of my CP on the neck and skips past me.  It didn't necessarily hurt, but shook me inwardly for a minute. It really got me thinking, what if just an inch higher?  I wasn't wearing a TG that game, but have every game since. I am convinced an inch to the right and an inch higher and I'd have been going to the ER.

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15 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Good information in that video, but man does his stilted and uncertain delivery still make me cringe.

"Throat guard is designed to protect your throat"   :wow2:

That video did help me realize though that I had mine on the wrong rung for a bit.

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I remember in HS when I was learning to drive one of the pre-requisites back then to receive your driver's license from ages 16 - 18 were that you were required to attend a presentation given by a sitting judge and an active duty police officer. Now, I grew up in an automotive enthusiast family so, safety and using seat belts was just never a problem in my house. We wore our seat belts, or Mom or Dad didn't move the car.

Now, we sat there for that presentation for about an hour. I can't remember everything they covered but, the one big takeaway for me was the police officer saying that he had never arrived at the scene of an accident and had to unbuckle the seat belt of a dead person. (Remember, this was an era of women not wearing seat belts because they didn't want their dresses creased. And guys not wearing theirs because they thought they would "jump free" of the car if there was an impending accident...and all kinds of other crazy anti-seat belt sentiment.) Now, several decades later we all know even in the air bag era, sadly people still die in accidents wearing their seatbelts and having air bags properly deployed. But, it was a remark that has remained with me all these years later...

The question I have for all of you, brothers...Have you ever seen an umpire sustain a serious throat injury who was wearing a throat guard (assuming it's properly attached as detailed above)? I have not. What say you?

~Dawg

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I was just going to write up a little thing about how my throat protector probably saved my life this weekend. I wear a 4" because I'm smallish and wear my cp pretty high on my neck/chest. Low inside pitch, catcher set up on the outside, foul tip hits the catcher's helmet and ricochets directly into my throat protector. It would have made it under my mask had the throat protector not been there. It was pretty loud. 

So yes, wear a throat protector. I know many MLB umps don't, but they get paid a lot more and have better insurance. 

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