Rawlings Defines Performance in Bats and Gear
In baseball, as in all sports, there are some names that carry a lot of weight. Many of them are newcomers to the scene, like Victus bats, but they enjoy a cohort of professional proponents that expand the reach of their brand. Others can nearly rest on the laurels on a long history of delivering quality gear, like Louisville Slugger, Easton and Rawlings.
These are names that have been around for longer than anyone can remember and have defined themselves by the bats and equipment they engineer, which are some of the most highly regarded in the game.
Rawlings, in particular, has been around for well over a century at this point, but despite its fame, it continues to improve on the insights afforded by last season. Players that swear by their bats and gear enjoy not only the history of the brand but also some of the highest-quality gear in baseball, which is driven by a commitment to continuous processes of innovation and self-improvement.
A Brief Background of Rawlings
Rawlings has been around since 1887, and since the very first season, they’ve pushed themselves to create better equipment for the athletes they serve. Today, their perspective is to produce “high quality, innovative products that enhance the performance of athletes around the world.” That sounds about right, especially since today the company produces gear not only for baseball but also for many other sports.
This is interesting since, at the start, the company was actually a provider of general sporting goods, including those for outdoor pursuits. It wasn’t until 1919 that Rawlings Manufacturing Company started producing modern baseball gloves.
Their first prototype glove was actually inspired by a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals by the name of Bill Doak. The player himself designed a modern glove that separated the thumb and forefinger, enabling the glove to feature a deep pocket that made fielding difficult balls more practical.
Rawlings Manufacturing Company ran with the idea and the glove was not only an instant hit - it was a top-seller for decades after the fact. They continued to draw on the ideas of actual players, which was and has remained one of the largest influences in the success of the company. They have boots on the ground, so to speak.
By 1954, Rawlings was one of the largest sporting goods companies in the United States and produced gear and equipment for a wide range of athletic pursuits. Only a few years later, the company introduced the Golden Glove Award, which has since been offered to select players in recognition of their fielding excellence.
Over the years that followed, Rawlings continued to draw on the experience of professional players, taking into account their insights and feedback, in order to deliver sporting goods that address their pain points. In keeping with their company vision, they produce equipment that enhances the performance of athletes all around the world.
Rawling continues to produce some of the most highly regarded baseball equipment, particularly fielding gloves, and remains one of the largest specialty manufacturerers in the United States. They have kept to the principle of continuous improvement, which is, to the present day, evident in the gear they produce.
Rawlings Fielding Gloves
The Rawlings name is synonymous with quality and performance in fielding gloves, perhaps more than any of their other sporting goods. Many of the designs they produce in fielding gloves are highly sought after by players and acclaimed or influenced by present-day professional players.
A case in point would be the Pro Preferred Anthony Rizzo GM First Base Mitt, which has been inspired by the actual gameday pattern of the player himself. A three-time recipient of the Golden Glove Award, and a one-time recipient of the even more prestigious Platinum Glove Award, Anthony Rizzo is one of the best first basemen in the game.
The mitt’s design features a deep pocket with an open horizontal webbing and X-laces. These features lighten the glove and make it more maneuverable, while the open webbing sheds infield mud and dirt that might be scooped up during a play. The deep pocket makes it easier to corral fast-moving hits and control quick tosses to first in order to shut out what might otherwise be a base hit.
Features like these, gleaned from the performance of the player himself, have influenced the design of this Rawlings first base mitt. When it comes to quality, they do not stop short in their vision.
This mitt has also been produced using full-grain kip leather that is both durable and comfortable, and with proper care will stand up through seasons and seasons of hard use. The mitt also represents exceptional comfort and is lined with Pittards sheepskin which is both soft and supple and will wick away moisture while accommodating to the contours of your hand over time.
Another player-inspired glove is the Pro Preferred Mike Trout GM Baseball Glove, which has been reproduced according to the same pattern used by 8-time All-Star, 3 time MVP Center Fielder Mike Trout. It’s more than an eye-catching glove. It’s built for performance.
This glove, like the former entry, is made with full-grain kip leather for durability and longevity and also features a Pittards sheepskin palm which helps to soften impact and improve comfort. It features wool padding for comfort - players who remain comfortable for longer perform their best for longer.
Lightweight yet tough, this glove has been meticulously crafted in accordance with the needs of outfielders that give every game their all. Comfortable, durable, and with a tough, deep pocket and almost 13 inches of reach, this is a glove that takes inspiration from the pros and passes it on to players around the world.
While these two baseball gloves have been specifically designed by reflecting on the performance and preferences of professional players, there are other features that engender quality into the making of Rawlings gloves - including those that lack a flashy professional name.
For example, many Rawlings gloves are made from what they call Heart of the Hide, or HOH leather, which is taken from the top 5% of steer hides. These cuts of leather form from the center of the hide, which is thicker, tougher and overall more durable than the leather taken from the edges of the hide. The resulting gloves are a touch heavier - but far more durable, and nothing breaks in like full-grain, Heart of the Hide leather.
Many of their baseball gloves also feature advanced factory break-in, in some cases boasting up to 70% or even 80% break-in. Features like these make a new glove much more comfortable right out of the gate, cutting back on the time needed to break them in. There are tips and tricks you can follow to break in a mitt faster, but Rawlings’ team has covered that base for you.
In addition to fielding gloves, this brand is also synonymous with performance-enhancing features and new technology in bats, which are also evident in many of the products we sell on our website.
Performance Enhancing Features in Bats
The industry that drives baseball bats is competitive, and each year the top producers vie to deliver the hottest release of the year. Everything from barrel composition to end cap geometry receives its share of research and development, with the intent of creating the ultimate baseball bat.
Rawlings is no stranger to this, expending as many resources in the development of their baseball bats as they put into their fielding gloves and mitts. Rawlings bats stand alongside the biggest competitors in the sport to deliver unquestionable performance.
A very highly regarded Rawlings bat is the 2019 5150, a one-piece alloy bat that is geared to deliver. Don’t let the fact that it’s a few years old fool you. The model of the year in question represents an improvement over the 2018 release, and the bat is still popular.
This alloy bat has a huge sweet spot. When you connect with a pitch in just the right place, the loud pop and resounding ping are proof of it. The whole idea here was not to overdo it. This bat features one-piece construction of space-grade alloy with a straight wall barrel. The bat provides excellent balance, downright impressive exit speeds, and eliminates a significant amount of vibration. It is both comfortable and durable.
The 2020 Quatro Pro USA Baseball Bat is another popular highlight from our lineup. It’s a well-balanced bat with a massive sweet spot, but this one, unlike the former, is made from high-grade composite materials. It also represents a shift from simplicity and is thoroughly imbued with technological enhancements that improve its performance.
First, it features a lightweight reactive barrel with re-engineered composite layering for greater trampoline effect. It also features what the company calls Focus Flex technology, with a reconstructed collar and a stiffer flex. This results in lower barrel drag and vibration, minimizing the discomfort associated with mishits.
These features converge in this bat to deliver a well-balanced bat that is still an amazingly hard hitter. The bat also boasts additional features, like a lightweight end cap that may be able to improve swing speed and a LizardSkin grip to improve a player’s grip and overall comfort.
The lineup of Rawlings bats on our website is much more comprehensive than this, but these bats are indicative of the type of quality that one can expect from the company. Every year, their purpose is to outperform the previous year, which is something that they have consistently done for longer than living memory will allow.
It would be quite enough if this company toed the line at bats and gloves, but the company is also exemplary for developing and producing catcher’s gear as well. There are few aspects of the sport that have not been positively affected by their insight and expertise.
The Velo 2.0 Catcher’s Gear Box Set is both functional and comfortable, keeping catcher’s well protected in style. The set includes a helmet and chest protector in addition to leg guards.
The people behind the scenes at Rawlings understand that despite the importance of safety, performance suffers when players are not comfortable. That has inspired them to revamp the features of their catcher’s gear. For example, the helmet that comes with this set is designed to improve ventilation and a moisture-wicking liner, which helps to keep players cool. It also has an adjustable chin strap and back plate, giving players a nearly custom fit.
The chest protector that comes with the set is specifically designed to meet commotio cordis standards as established by NOCSAEⓇ, featuring technology that helps to disperse forceful impacts, lessening the likelihood of lasting damage or injury.
Even the leg protectors that come with the kit are not simply engineered to provide protection. They’re created with a special Heat ExchangeTM foam technology that helps to improve ventilation and keep the wearer cool and comfortable, even in the heat of a game. Like the rest of the set, it has been extensively tested and developed for an excellent, like-custom fit and uncompromising comfort.
Your Preferred Source for Rawlings Gear
With such an extensive line of products that cover nearly every aspect of play and practice, it’s more than possible to entirely outfit yourself with Rawlings gear. However, conscientious players don’t invest in gear without doing their research, and more than one question is bound to pop up along the way.
The nature of online shopping means that you can’t always interact with the gear you intend to buy before you invest. That’s an area in which a partner like HB Sports can be a big help. We’ve always aimed to provide an unrivaled level of customer service to our clients, who visit our website from all around the country.
If you have any questions at all about our equipment or would simply like some recommendations before you start gearing up, give us a call. You can reach us at 1-888-540-BATS, and we’d be glad to help.
- Blog Admin