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15u currently uses Allstar finger pad for his index finger outside of his glove. (He wraps tape around it.)

After every game caught, his index finger is swollen and needs to be iced down to remove the swelling.

Just the price to pay at that position?  Or, is it avoidable somehow? 

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Agree with CATSPOP.  My son is a year older than yours and has never had any issues with finger swelling even after catching bullpens for college pitchers.  He use mitts that have padding or extra leather behind index finger well but wears no batting glove while catching.  You may want to make an appointment with doctor to have finger x-rayed to make sure it is not broken if this a recent thing.

How old is the mitt? My kid has the pro44 for 2 seasons and he tells me it hurts his fingers as the glove is worn down. He ended up buying an all star that was heavily subsidized by his benefactor (me). Now I could be a big lollipop, but I do think catchers mitt do wear. I recall speaking to an instructor who went through the minors and he told me he used up to 2 mitts a year.

2022NYC posted:

How old is the mitt? My kid has the pro44 for 2 seasons and he tells me it hurts his fingers as the glove is worn down. He ended up buying an all star that was heavily subsidized by his benefactor (me). Now I could be a big lollipop, but I do think catchers mitt do wear. I recall speaking to an instructor who went through the minors and he told me he used up to 2 mitts a year.

His mitt is really broken in. And he does complain at times that he feels like the padding is shot. But, it's not that old. He just catches a lot. We did take one of his other allstar mitts that was around 18 months older and had the pads replaced. Even with that one, he says it doesn't feel new. But, at $400 a pop, I am not getting him a new mitt every year.

The catcher's thumb is great but more of a splint for immobilizing the joint to protect against foul tips and pitches caught on the thumb side that push the thumb back awkwardly.  There are other aftermarket products that are specific to the index finger issue.  Google Palmguard, Glovemate or baseball Palm & Finger pad and you will find several options.  That index finger issue usually extends (or originates) down at the base of the finger and into that first joint of the palm so a pad that covers that and goes up into the index finger is best.

I have found that the Palmguard glove is the most hassle-free but he has to be willing to wear what amounts to a batting glove with a built-in pad.  The other pads are effective but getting them to stay in place properly has varying degrees of difficulty.  If you really want to get cheap, I have also cut neoprene pads and glued them to old batting gloves.  He can cut the other fingers off if he wants more natural feel.

My son never did this because he hasn't had this issue but we know a guy who caught for the Miami Hurricanes a while back who used to put his index finger over in the slot where the middle finger typically goes. I think his actual setup was little+ring fingers in the little finger slot, middle finger in the ring finger slot, and index finger in the middle finger slot. I've tried it myself just playing catch with my son and it definitely would take some getting used to but I could also see it completely alleviating this issue if your son is desperate.

Last spring our number one pitcher was throwing 94+ (yes, drafted and nice slot value). 2021s index finger would swell just as you described. Tried all the protections but he hasn’t settled on one. New mitt helped, but seems a bit like a hand strength issue bending the finger back. We had one other pitcher who threw high 80s that caused more problems for swelling because more pitches we off target and caught awkwardly. You could see where the binding left imprints on the underside of the finger. On Rawlings 33 with XRD and index flap most comfortable place for index finger was outside of the flap. Occupational hazard or any other ideas? 2021 never complained—something we noticed at the dinner table after games!

Son has used Rawlings HOH Buster Posey model and Wilson A2K M2 model with index finger tunnels (flaps) and has always put index finger on outside with no issue.  Only issue I can think of is blocking a ball in dirt and scraping finger.  

A couple of thoughts.  If he's playing 80+ games per year (spring, summer, fall) plus daily bullpens, he may need a new glove every year (in particular if he's catching higher velo pitching).  Second, he should be catching it in the pocket between his thumb and index finger.  He can work on this with bare hand drills using a tennis ball.

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