Magazine article USA TODAY

Spring Fling

Magazine article USA TODAY

Spring Fling

Article excerpt

While another wild winter--hey, we lucky Northeasterners already have enjoyed record snowfalls for early December--doesn't have us pining for springtime blossoms or summer pool parties, we must admit to missing baseball; not the major league variety, mind you, but the backyard and playground versions with the wife and kids. Well, minus the wife. The latter reality, however, has been rectified with the recent acquisition of a Praying Mantis catcher's mitt, Reptilian first baseman's glove, and Tacktion Grip baseball bat from Akadema, Garfield, N.J. (Now, if we can just keep the young ones away from the equipment until the spring thaw, we might make it until April with at least one lamp still intact.)

The Praying Mantis ($175) has Stress Wedge technology to reduce hand injury and sting. (The bigger our three get, the harder they throw). The design makes it a great receiving device for easier ball retention and a great retrieving glove for a quicker ball to hand transfer. …

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