Me and my Kit: Pat Borders, World Series baseball player

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The Independent Online
IT takes me only about 40 seconds to strap on my shinguards and chest protector. I wear the face mask over my plastic batting helmet; the flap hangs down to protect your throat. The mask can block your vision, and I try to throw it off as much as I can.

You need to wear a cup. Most infielders do - it's no fun if the ball bounces up in the dirt and catches you between the legs. I broke one cup already this season. Catchers get a lot of injuries - I am playing with a broken finger right now and I dislocated my knuckle a couple of weeks ago. The knuckle you can just pop back into place; the break you can't do anything about. I take a mild pain-killer, but not too much as I don't want to become immune.

I wear a a batting glove under my catcher's mitt to cut down the sting. On cold days I wear one about twice as thick. But if you start putting things on to protect your hands you can't throw properly. Sweat-bands on the wrist take out a bit of the sting when you're down behind home plate blocking the ball.

I lose about 20 to 25lb a season because of all the leg work, so my clothes don't always fit the same. I don't dress in any specific order; T-shirt, socks, stirrups, long-sleeve jersey, briefs which are the sliding pads, pants, protector and team jersey. My gold cross I never take off. Does it make me religious? I am to the best of my ability.

Pat Borders is the catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, playing in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

(Photograph omitted)