#Shortstops: Building a better catcher
To accomplish this task, using a glove has always been the easiest option. But can you imagine if instead of a glove, you were supposed to catch the ball with your…chest? That would be the case if early baseball inventor James Bennet had his way.
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Unfortunately for Bennet, his invention didn’t seem to “catch” on like he thought it would. It was never adopted in the big leagues and over time, the early catching mitts would evolve to make it easier for catchers to catch the ball and stay safe doing so.
The round, “pillow-style” mitt would become popularized throughout the early 1900’s – a precursor for the modern mitts used today.
But the patent Bennet was issued is now a part of the collection at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
And although Bennet’s invention wasn’t as successful as he wanted, innovators like him are what has driven baseball to advance over the 150+ year history of the game.
Eric St. Peter was a 2019 membership intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development