Skip to main content

Exhibition Baseball Americana

Charles Arnold’s catcher’s mask, 1905. Canvas, leather, and metal. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (082.00.00)

Early Catcher’s Mask

With a well-earned fear of foul tips ricocheting off his head, Harvard’s Alexander Tyng wore a converted fencer’s mask for a game in 1877, becoming the first-known player to don a catcher’s mask. Only a year later, the patented headgear appeared in Spalding’s sporting goods catalog and professional catchers began wearing masks. Modest modifications followed, such as additional padding and buckled straps. Charles Arnold, a student at Phillips Academy and Yale, used this mask from 1905 to 1914.

 Back to top