Best Catchers Throat Guards – Our Top Picks [2022 Season]

Throat guards help to protect a vulnerable part of a catcher's body that can often be overlooked.

This article explores the market for catchers throat guards and gives our top three picks, highlighted by our top pick which is a solid and affordable product for most catchers.

Keep scrolling to learn more…

best catchers throat guards on the market

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Quick Background on Catchers Throat Guards

During a September 1976 game in San Diego, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager was waiting on the on deck circle when teammate Bill Russell hit the ball and broke his bat. 

In a freak accident, Yeager was hit in the throat by the shard of Russell's broken bat.

It caused massive bleeding and resulted in Yeager needing emergency surgery. 

In fact, the injury was life threatening.

After the surgery, doctors told Yeager that if he wanted to keep playing baseball, he had to keep his neck protected. 

Of course he wanted to keep playing.

So Yeager collaborated with the Dodgers athletic trainer and together they created the first throat guard, which Yeager began using behind the plate. 

steve yeager throat guard

Steve Yeager of the Dodgers behind the plate with his throat guard on (image source: Getty Images)

steve yeager 1983 donruss

Another view of Yeager's throat guard, this time in his 1983 Donruss card

Since the late 70's, throat guards for catchers have become a common accessory behind the plate at various levels of the game.

Common Materials and Installation

Throat guards are designed to protect the front of a catcher's neck area from any debris that could get them under the chin. 

The most common scenario is a ball skipping up and hitting that area just below the catcher's helmet or mask.

Most guards are built using a hard type of plastic, and they tend to come with a strap of some sort used to connect the guard to the bottom of a catcher's helmet or mask. 

However, installing throat guards vary depending on the specific product, so read each product's installation instructions carefully.

Typical Sizes

Throat guards are generally made in two sizes - one for youth catchers and one for adult catchers.

Generally speaking, youth versions of the neck guards average 4 to 4.5 inches and adult versions average 6 to 6.5 inches. 

Available sizes differ based on product, so be sure to check those details before purchasing one. 

Best Catchers Throat Guards

A variety of manufacturers make throat guards for catchers (and umpires), and we researched the market to help determine which are the best ones out there.

In our opinion, the top catchers throat protector is made by Champro, due to its combination of low cost and good quality.

In short, our top three picks are as follows:

  1. Champro Throat Guard
  2. Rawlings TP4
  3. Easton Pro

 

Keep scrolling to see our reviews and images of each of these products. 

 

Top Overall Pick: Champro Throat Guard

champro throat guard

Our top pick for a catchers throat protector is the Champro guard

It is made using a durable plastic material that will do its job of protecting your throat when catching. 

This guard comes in two sizes: youth at 4.5 inches and adult at 6.5 inches. 

It is sold in a variety of colors, including black, navy, red and royal blue.

The Champro guard can be used on any brand of catchers helmet or mask, not just the Champro brand. 

This catchers neck guard connects to a helmet or mask with two snap-based straps, which is one of the simplest methods of connecting in our opinion. 

Last but not least, it's super cheap. If you're in need of a throat guard, look no further than this one.

Pros

Made with a durable hard plastic

Available in both youth and adult sizes

Straps connect using snaps (especially easy to use by youth catchers!)

Offered in up to four different colors

Incredibly affordable

Cons

The plastic is not quite as thick as others we've seen

 

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Runner-Up: Rawlings TP4

rawlings throat guard

Our runner up choice for people needing a throat guard is the TP4 made by Rawlings.

Keep in mind that this is a 4 inch guard, so it is best for catchers at the youth level.

The TP4 is made of strong but lightweight polystyrene (plastic) material. It comes in black and the Rawlings logo features prominently in silver at the top center of the guard.

This throat protector connects to a catcher's helmet using leather straps that need to be tied to the bottom bar on the helmet's cage.

The leather straps look good, but they can become untied if you're not careful. 

So be sure to get a good, tight knot on the straps when connecting the guard to the bottom bar.

Pros

Strong, lightweight throat guard for youth catchers

Looks sharp in black with the silver Rawlings logo

Competitively priced

Can be used across a variety of catcher's helmet brands

Cons

No adult size available

The leather straps can come loose if not carefully tied

 

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Honorable Mention: Easton Pro

 

easton throat guard

Our honorable mention pick is the Easton Pro throat guard. It's a good product, especially for youth catchers. 

We like that the protective plastic is relatively thick compared to other products on the market. 

It has a wide and contoured shape, which will do its job of protecting your throat while also not bunching up against the top of the chest protector while blocking. 

Easton's throat protector is sold in a few different colors, with the Easton logo in white featured prominently in the middle. 

It is 4.5 inches, making it a good option for younger catchers playing at a youth level.

This particular guard is connected to the bottom of a catcher's helmet using nylon straps. 

In our opinion, nylon straps are easier to use than leather straps, though the snap-based straps are the simplest of all connectors. 

Pros

Made using good quality, thick plastic

Has nylon straps to connect the guard to a helmet or mask

Its contoured shape makes it more functional for catchers

Available in a variety of colors 

Affordably priced

Cons

Not sold in an adult size

Unless tied with a tight knot, the connecting straps can come loose after lots of use

 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Catchers Throat Guards

    • Question: Is my catcher required to use a throat guard?
      • Answer: Rules about whether a throat guard is required for catchers vary depending on the league. We'd suggest discussing it with your coach, or even searching online to read your league's rulebook.

 

    • Question: What are the main qualities I should look for when buying a throat guard? 
      • Answer: The qualities that are most important to a person really depends on the individual and their circumstances. With that said, generally speaking, the combination of quality, ease of connection and price are the most important qualities to look for in a catchers throat guard.

 

    • Question: How do I know which size throat guard to get?
      • Answer: The vast majority of the time, catchers that are youth-aged (i.e., 12 and below) should use a youth version measuring between 4 and 4.5 inches. Catchers 13 and older should probably use an adult size guard, which measures at least 6 inches. 

 

    • Question: What should I do if the straps keep coming undone?
      • Answer: You should try to re-tie it, using a sturdier knot, if possible. If you are simply not having any luck keeping it tied consistently, then you can consider using a set of zip ties to attach the throat guard to the cage.

 

    • Question: Will a throat guard also work on a traditional catcher's mask?
      • Answer: Yes, a throat guard will work on both a catcher's hockey style helmet and on a catcher's mask, as long as it's not the version of a mask with a throat protector built into the cage (see below for an example). You should connect the guard using the straps to the bottom bar on the facemask's cage.

 

jason castro catchers mask

 

That's A Wrap!

We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments, send us a message through our contact page or send an email to scott (at) catchershome (dot) com.

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