It’s Friday Fun Facts: On April 12, 1877, the catcher’s mask was first used in a baseball game.

According to Harvard Magazine, On April 12, 1877, in a baseball game between Harvard students and the Live Oaks (a semipro team from Lynn, Massachusetts), James Alexander Tyng, A.B. 1876, stepped onto the field wearing a catcher’s mask. According to established history, he was the first man to do so.

Harvard catcher Howard K. Thatcher had a Cambridge tinsmith make a wire-mesh mask with large holes for Tyng’s vision would not be impeded, and with chin and forehead rests for cushioning when the ball hit the mask.


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April 12 Facts

Thayer’s Catcher’s Mask