Unlimited Potential Project: Ryan Marquez

The Unlimited Potential Project is going to shine a spotlight on some of our Sports Unlimited athletes around the world to acknowledge their sporting achievements because family involvement, community involvement, and playing sports we love are such important parts of life.

Relatively new to SportsUnlimited.com, I (Isaac) have been striving to provide content on the blog and e-commerce site that is engaging and positive for the sports community in general.  While it does help for SportsUnlimited.com to sell products, the idea is to not just provide the newest, coolest, and best products to the customer, but to provide the right product that will make that customer the happiest.  This has led me to develop a side project that allows me to have a bit of fun and not sell, sell, sell with something I’m calling “The Unlimited Potential Project”.

The Unlimited Potential Project is going to shine a spotlight on some of our Sports Unlimited athletes around the world to acknowledge their sporting achievements because family involvement, community involvement, and playing sports we love are such important parts of life.

I am very happy to announce that for the first ever Unlimited Potential Project post, I will be highlighting a remarkable 10-year-old boy from Carrollton, Texas…

Ryan Marquez

Ryan Marquez - CatcherTeam: Brooklyn

League: North Texas Little League

Favorite Team: Texas Rangers

Favorite Player: Nolan Ryan

Favorite Active Player: Mike Napoli

Hits: Switch (L/R)

Throws: Right

Ryan plays ball for Brooklyn in the North Texas Little League and has had quite the year.  Primarily a catcher, Ryan has also put in some time as a pitcher and third baseman, but his favorite part of baseball is, in no great surprise, hitting!  Using his skills as a switch hitter, which he has honed since he was just five years old, Ryan leads the team in RBIs.  Through natural athleticism, great focus and instruction from his hitting coach, JT Blair, Ryan has had many keys hits this year to help his team to a 12-1 record, which has Brooklyn tied for 1st place in the league.

Ryan Marquez

One example of his prowess as a hitter occurred early in the season with a lot on the line. In a game against arch rival Yankees (12-1), Ryan was up to bat with 2 outs and the game tied.  Providing Brooklyn with some clutch hitting that the team has become accustomed to seeing from Ryan, he drove the ball to the opposite field and went on to win the game by a score of 6-5.  Being able to achieve consistent success for the team in critical situations signifies the drive and the ability of an extraordinary player even at such a young age.

Hitting can often times affect the result, but defensively, the skill of the catcher affects the game every single inning.  The catcher must work with the pitcher, block pitches, block the plate, throw out runners attempting to steal, and keep the defense in control of the inning.  Ryan’s poise behind the plate has come to him not only because he has the innate ability of a catcher, but because he practices hard and trusts his protective gear.  His father, Joe Marquez, and some of the other coaches have worked with him over the past year on getting quickly to his knees and taking short hops and bad pitches off his chest protector.  When we see major leaguers, not so much Mike Napoli anymore, but perhaps someone like Yadier Molina, blocking a bad pitch in the dirt, we take for granted how difficult it is to willfully put our bodies in the way of a pitch to prevent runs.  Ryan, through his desire to help the team in any way he can, does just that, in what he calls, his “Samurai Warrior Gear“.

Ryan_making the tag

With remarkable intuition and secretive hand signals with his first baseman, Isaiah Escalona, Ryan uses ‘snap throws’ to pick off unsuspecting runners who have strayed off base.  If you fall asleep on first, Ryan and Isaiah will get you out before you even realize it happened.

With clutch hitting, smart defense, and all-around athleticism, Ryan is a Little League All-Star in his league and an Athlete of Unlimited Potential for SportsUnlimited.com.  We are proud to highlight Ryan’s year and wish him and Brooklyn the best of luck in the playoffs.

I’d like to extend special thanks to Ryan’s very gracious father, Joe Marquez, for his willingness to participate in the project.

Do you think you or your son/daughter is an Athlete of Unlimited Potential?

Shoot me an email at iclark@sportsunlimited.com with your story and for all of your youth catchers gear and other baseball needs, shop Sports Unlimited!

By Isaac ClarkIsaac is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

Left Handed Rawlings Players Series 9″ Youth Baseball Glove – Product Spotlight

Left handed baseball glove

Finding a left-handed baseball glove for kids is not always easy, but we’ve asked around, we’ve done our research, and we found one that seems to be unanimously loved by kids and parents alike.  This left handed youth baseball glove from Rawlings brings high quality at a low price.  With the Basket Web pattern, the glove is already broken in and easy for the player to squeeze, all you have to do is put the kiddo’s hand in the glove, adjust the kid-friendly Velcro back, and send him or her to the field to play!

Baseball Glove - Lefty

Perfect for T-ball players aged 3-5, the glove is 9 inches and can be used at any position.  It is such a joy to watch your child, nephew, or grandson playing the sport we’ve grown up loving. and lefties can get discouraged by not finding a good youth glove, but the solution is here and it comes with a soft-core training ball for free.

Of the sixteen reviews that parents and grandparents have posted about this glove, all 16 gave it 5 stars.  Seems like a no-brainer to feature this product in the Product Spotlight!


Kids Playing Baseball

Joanne says, “I looked in every retail store I could think of to find a left-handed glove for my 5-year old. Finally decided to look online and came across this one.  It’s PERFECT for my little boy!! Fits his little hand nicely! Well-made and fast shipment too!! THANK YOU!!”

Denise: “Perfect size for my 3 year old!”

Susan calls it an “A+ Mitt” and says, “This mitt is everything I wanted! It’s difficult to find a leftie mitt in the 9″ size…thanks for helping my 4 year-old to play ball.”

It feels pretty good to provide a great and affordable left handed baseball glove to kids who want to play the game. Thanks Rawlings for doing it right!

Find it at SportsUnlimited.com

By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

What’s the Difference Between Replica and Authentic MLB Jerseys?

Learn the difference between replica and authentic MLB jerseys. Find the right MLB jersey for you, to start the season with. Whether it’s a full-featured authentic jersey, loaded with performance materials and top-quality stitching, or a more cost-effective replica jersey, detailed with tackle-twill team logos and colors, it’s hard to go wrong once you know what kind of jersey is right for you!

The boys of summer are back, and like most fans, I’ll be gearing up for another long-overdue baseball season with a new MLB jersey. I’m a die-hard Phillies fan, and even though I’m not feeling 100% confident this year, I still love the team and want to show my support. So whether I’m at that Park, on my couch, at the bar, or visiting family in NY and furiously rooting against the Mets, I plan on wearing my new Phillies jersey. But even I (a product specialist at Sports Unlimited) got a little confused when looking for new authentic MLB jerseys!

What exactly is an authentic jersey? How is an authentic jersey different from a replica jersey? Should I get my name on the jersey, or go with one of my favorite players? (For the record, Ruiz is my boy!)

These were all questions I found myself asking, and honestly, I had a hard time finding the answers. Thus, I decided to do some research and put all of my findings right here, in hopes that I could help others get the right MLB jersey for them, as the 2013 baseball season gets underway:

Authentic and Replica Jerseys Inforgraph

The final, and probably most important difference between replica and authentic jerseys, is the price. For that authentic MLB look, you’re going to be paying anywhere from $150 to nearly $300, while you can usually snag a replica MLB jersey for around $75. Obviously, you’re getting what you pay for, with the incredibly high quality Majestic always brings to the table. It’s just up to you and your budget, which jersey you’d rather go for!

Ok, so now you know the difference between authentic and replica jerseys. But did you know there are still almost endless options available to you?

You can get an authentic home jersey, authentic away jersey, authentic alternate jersey, replica home jersey, replica away jersey, replica alternate jersey, batting practice jersey, personalized authentic / replica jersey complete with your own name and number, or an Any Player authentic / replica jersey, with the name and number of any current roster player!

Whew, that’s a lot of decisions to make!

Oh and I almost forgot, they’re all available in men’s, women’s, and kids sizes too.

So to help you in your tough decision, here’s one final piece of info;

Our Top Ten Best Selling Baseball Player Jerseys:

Derek Jeter

Albert Pujols

Matt Kemp

Mike Trout

Josh Hamilton

Bryce Harper

Justin Verlander

Prince Fielder

Buster Posey

Mariano Rivera

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Best Selling Baseball Equipment Bags Review

Reviewing the top baseball equipment bags in the game today! Get a full review on the Mizuno Classic Wheeled Baseball Equipment Bag, Easton Stealth Core Baseball Catchers Bag, and Nike Baseball Backpack.

Spring training’s right on the horizon, and that means it’s time to start gearing up for another season of serious baseball action! Hopefully your baseball equipment made it through last year’s long and grueling season relatively unscathed, but most likely, with all of your trips to the diamond, travel to tournaments, and horsing around in the dugout, your baseball bag has seen better days. Frayed edges, busted zippers, broken handles, ripped pockets. They’re all battle scar reminders of a great year…but who wants to start the new one dragging their favorite glove and bats around in a ratty old equipment bag?

Start the season off right, and head out to spring training with a brand spanking new, upgraded baseball bag. One that not only looks good, but will actually hold all of your gear, and maybe even last a few seasons!

But which one to get? Where to begin?

How about our 3 favorite and best-selling baseball gear bags from game-tested brands like Easton, Nike, and Mizuno?

Please Note: All of the following baseball gear bags can double as a softball bag.

1. Mizuno Classic Wheeled Baseball Equipment Bag


Mizuno Wheeled Equipment Bag

This wheeled baseball bag has it all; pockets, compartments, organization, and room to spare. Plus, it also sports durable off-road wheels, perfect for dragging it easily over any surface from parking lots to dirt roads. The bag fits up to four baseball bats (max bat size 32″), loads gear easily from the big top zip compartment, and also features an easy-access, ventilated cleat storage pouch to keep your smelly shoes away from your clothes after the game. Although it features a lot of the same options you’d generally see in most large equipment bags, (fence hooks, internal storage pockets, etc.) it’s the Mizuno quality and dedication to detail that truly set it apart from anything you’ve used in the past.

Who needs it?

The Mizuno Classic Wheeled Equipment Bag is #1 among wheeled baseball bags, and is perfect for travel. I’d recommend it for any middle or high school player who needs a seriously durable and large bag for all of their gear, especially if they expect to travel a lot to tournaments and games. It’s probably too big, a little expensive, and maybe unnecessary for younger players who don’t have as much baseball gear as their older brothers and sisters.

Mizuno Wheeled Baseball Bag Colors

Dimensions: 36″ L x 13″ H x 13″ W

Options: Comes in a variety of colors; black, cardinal, forest, navy, orange, red and royal.

2. Easton Stealth Core Baseball Catchers Equipment Bag

Easton Stealth Core Baseball Duffle BagAn incredibly durable, duffle-style catcher’s gear bag that stores and protects your equipment, without the bulk and size of other large catcher’s bags. A U-shaped top zipper, the entire size of the bag, opens up to a large main compartment, complete with organization and compartments for holding your catcher’s equipment. Your helmet and catchers mitt fit perfectly into pockets at either end, while your chest protector folds neatly into a specialized padded compartment on the side. Inside the main compartment, your shin guards fit easily into sleeves, and a specialized cleat tunnel keeps things organized. The Stealth Core also holds two bats, and features strong bottom rails with in-line skate wheels on the bottom, so if it’s too heavy to haul, you can just grip it and drag it anywhere. And with a strong 420D polyester ripstop body with 600D polyester insets, this bag will definitely last multiple seasons no matter how hard you treat it.

Who needs it?

The Easton Stealth Core is a great option for middle school, high school, or college age catchers, looking for a no-nonsense catcher’s gear bag to keep all of their equipment organized when they’re on the road. Easy to carry and low-bulk, this specialized duffle bag holds every piece of catchers gear, plus 2 bats, and accessories. It’s also affordable, making it perfect for players of any age.

Dimensions: 35″ L x 14″ H x 14″ W

Options: Comes in a variety of colors; black, navy, red and royal.

3. Nike Baseball Bat Backpack


Nike Bat BackpackStrong and fully-featured, this baseball bat bag from Nike features a large main compartment, big enough to hold some school books, plus your essential baseball supplies. A specialized sleeve inside holds your glove in place, while a ventilated and lined cleat compartment up front separates your dirty cleats from the rest of your baseball equipment. A helmet clip on the outside front of the bag fits easily through the earhole of your batting helmet, keeping it snug and locked onto the bag. On top, an accessory pocket fits sunglasses, a wallet, or a Smartphone. Finally, two side bat sleeves let you bring your main and backup bats down to the dugout. Easy to haul, sized, and priced right for the youth or casual player, the Nike Baseball Bat Backpack gets the job done, and is quality built from one of the most trusted names in sporting goods.


Back bat backpack

Who needs it?

Because of its size and affordability, I’d recommend the Nike Bat Backpack to any youth player, particularly because they usually don’t have a lot of gear, and generally play ball after school. Also, the bat sleeves don’t really sit high enough to fit adult baseball bats. That being said, they’re great options for any youth player looking for versatile, durable, and good looking baseball bat bags.

Dimensions: 19” L x 10” H x 14” W

Options: Comes in black, red, royal.

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

New 2013 BBCOR Bats Available at SU

A review and overview of the latest BBCOR bats from DeMarini, the 2013 CF5 Composite Bat and Voodoo Aluminum Alloy Bat. Both utilize the advanced TR3 FLO carbon composite technology to deliver incredibly lightweight, fast, and powerful bats that continue to adhere to all BBCOR standards and regulations.

We know that the past few years have been tough for high school and college baseball players. Since the implementation of BBCOR bat standards, learning, understanding, and conforming to them has forced parents and players to re-think how they shop for new baseball bats. It’s not just about performance anymore! Now you have to be sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can even use your new bat in a regulation game!

Thankfully though, bat companies like DeMarini have had ample time to assess the new BBCOR standards, and develop incredible technologies and insanely powerful, lightweight bats that knock the guts out of the ball…while still adhering to all standards of performance. Enter the future of your game; the 2013 season DeMarini BBCOR Baseball Bats. Available for pre-order now from Sports Unlimited, these bats are ready to ship May 1st (5/1/12).

DeMarini 2013 CF5 BBCOR Composite Bat

DeMarini 2013 CF5 Composite Baseball BatIn the world of baseball bats, nothing performs like composite. It’s lightweight, strong, and gives you some serious power at the plate. And in the new world of BBCOR bats, there’s nothing that swings, strikes, and slams like the brand new 2013 DeMarini CF5 Composite! You may have swung last year’s version, but nothing can prepare you for the advanced design, feel, and performance of this season’s series.

2013 BBCOR CF5 BatIt starts with the latest in composite technology; the TR3 FLO, or Fused layer Optimized Composite. Using a complex, technical process that is way beyond my high-school grasp of science and engineering, DeMarini randomly fuses carbon fibers to create an incredibly compact carbon composite material. This lightweight, strong material makes up the barrel and handle of the bat, evenly distributing weight for perfect balance, and making for some seriously fast and powerful swings. DeMarini fuses these two pieces together with its Half + Half technology, giving you the largest sweet spot possible, to destroy any fast ball that comes down the line.

Consistently powerful, yet BBCOR certified and ready to play, the 2013 CF5 is the lightest and strongest composite bat in DeMarini’s arsenal.

Available -3 BBCOR certified for adults, or -11 for youth players.

DeMarini 2013 Voodoo BBCOR Aluminum Bat

DeMarini 2013 Voodoo Aluminum Composite Baseball Bat

With sick new barrel graphics and the added performance of the new TR3 FLO composite technology in the handle, the 2013 Voodoo packs the powerful punch of advanced aluminum alloy, with the lightweight speed of composite carbon, for a serious bat that is not to be messed with.

2013 Voodoo Baseball BatMade of X10, a propriety aluminum alloy, the new Voodoo’s barrel is not only incredibly light, but has also been finely tuned to create the ultimate sweet spot. Thin and strong, for that solid trampoline effect off the bat, it still strictly adheres to all BBCOR standards for 2013 and beyond.

Inside the aluminum barrel, you’ll feel a new taper ring. Strategically moved closer to the composite handle, the taper ring lowers swing weight and enhances the sweet spot, so the bat feels lighter and swings faster, without actually reducing weight beyond standards.

Combining the most advanced aluminum alloys and composite technologies in the game, the 2013 Voodoo baseball bat puts ultimate power in your hands, and strikes some fear in the heart of any pitcher you step up to.

Available -3 BBCOR certified for adults, or -13 for youth players.

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

How to Buy a Baseball Glove

Buying a new baseball glove can be a confusing process. Most gloves look the same to the layman, so learn how buy a baseball glove, tell gloves apart, and find the one that works for your needs, and fits into your budget.

Adult Baseball GlovesHanding down your old baseball or softball glove to your kids for a game of catch in the yard can be a loving rite of passage…and something moms and dads look forward to for a long time. But when it comes to serious little league games and beyond, that worn out old glove just isn’t going to pass muster. At some point, your kids are going to need a new glove, and hey…you might need one too! But to most new baseball moms and dads, all gloves look exactly the same.

So how do you tell baseball gloves apart, let alone find one that meets your needs and fits into your budget?

Glove Features:

Even I’ll admit that almost all baseball gloves have a similar look. But there are three main features of a glove’s build that make it unique, and determine its use and performance in the field. Recognize them, and an entire world of differences will open up before you:

  • Webbing – This connects the thumb of the glove to the fingers and expands Glove Websthe catching area well beyond the hand. There are many, many different types of webs, each with their own cool name (like the Modified Traz-eze web!), but they all generally fall within two categories:
    • Closed Webs feature tight woven patterns of leather that create a solid, strong web.
    • Open Webs use loose cross patterns of leather or leather lacing to create spaces between each piece of leather webbing, for a web you can see through.
  • Pocket – The indentation in the palm of the glove where the ball rests when it’s caught. Pockets range from shallow to deep, and pocket depth can affect your hold on the ball, as well as determine how long it takes to retrieve it from the pocket.
  • Glove BackBack– The wrist closure of the glove.
    • Open backs have a space above the Velcro adjuster for more flexibility around the wrist.
    • Closed backs have no space for more strength and support.
Glove Patterns:

Every baseball glove on the market uses these three features in various combinations to create a unique glove “pattern.” This pattern, along with the size of the glove, tailors its performance to meet the needs of players at different positions around the diamond. For instance;

  • Outfielders need a longer reach, wider catching area, and added support to catch pop-flys. To meet their needs, outfielder glovestypically feature:
    • A closed back for strength and wrist support
    • An open web to see through when catching fly balls, filtering out glare from sunlight or stadium lights
    • A deeper pocket for better hold on the ball
  • Infielders need to stop hard hit shots and make fast throws. To get that kind of performance, infielder gloves generally feature:
    • Shallower pockets for faster catches and quicker throws
    • Open backs for added wrist flexibility and faster movements
    • Open webs for 3rd basemen, to help field hard hit balls down their baseline,
    • Closed webs for short stops, 1st, and 2nd basemen, for faster transfers from glove to throwing hand
  • Pitchers are less specific in their needs, and generally rely on personal preference in a glove pattern. But almost all pitching gloves use a closed web to help hide the ball and grip from the batter.
  • Baseball Catchers MittCatchers have a very specific role behind the bag, and all they’re typically worried about is catching the ball and not breaking their hand. That’s why catcher’s mitts are unique and finger-less, designed to protect the hand with heavy padding. A shallow pocket provides easy access to the ball for fast throws, and a closed web snaps shut when catching pitches.

When choosing a new baseball glove, it’s also important to consider the leather it’s built with. Leather quality has a dramatic affect on the glove’s durability, longevity, softness, performance, look, feel, and break-in time. It also happens to be a central factor in its price! High-end gloves with pro-stock, pro-choice leather, like the Wilson A2000, are definitely worth the price as they practically last forever, and can dramatically improve your game. However, if you’re looking for a youth baseball glove for your son or daughter, who is just starting out, playing in smaller leagues, or still growing rapidly, it’s not practical to buy such an expensive glove. Instead, check out Mizuno Prospect Series baseball gloves or Franklin baseball gloves, for a more affordable, but still high quality option.

This is a great year for baseball gloves, and there are tons of new 2012 baseball gear and gloves that you and your kids are sure to love! So look around, and use all of your new-found baseball glove knowledge to find something perfect. And if you still need some more help, be sure to check out our complete Baseball Glove Buying Guide.

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

New 2012 Baseball and Lacrosse Gear is Here!

2012 Lax GearWe know what it’s like. While most people are counting down the seconds to New Years, you’re counting down the days to the release of the latest and greatest lacrosse heads. While others are making new years resolutions, you’re already resolved to buying the lightest, strongest, and sickest looking new lacrosse shaft. And while all of your friends are bundling up against the winter cold, all you can think about is spring, when you get to break out that brand new 2012 baseball glove! Others may not get you, but we understand the itch for new gear. And unfortunately, there’s no ointment or cream to cure it. To trounce the competition this season, you’re going to need the edge, and that means getting the coolest, most advanced and technological gear for the New Year…before anyone else can get their hands on it.

2012 Baseball GearThat’s why we’ve already got all of the new 2012 lacrosse and baseball gear you’ve been jonesing for in stock and ready to go at Sportsunlimited.com! No pre-orders, no waiting around. In stock, ships to your door the next business day, in your hands and ready to rock, fast! You’ve waited all year for this stuff…why would we make you wait any longer?

New 2012 Lacrosse Gear

Ready to take your lacrosse game to a new dimension this year? Check out the brand new 2012 lines of lacrosse heads, shafts, gloves, and gear from Brine, Gait, STX, and Warrior.

  • Exogrip Carbon Fiber Lacrosse Shaft
    Gait EXO CET Lacrosse Shaft

    For insane checking and strength, look into the 2012 Gait EXO CET Mens Attack Lacrosse Shaft, enhanced with carbon fibers for extra checking power and protection from dents and dings.

  • We’ve also got the long anticipated 2012 Brine Swizzle Scandium Mens Attack Lacrosse Shaft, with the strength and lightweight speed of scandium, and a dominating new grip pattern, in every color imaginable.
  • To top that shaft, there’s the new M80X lacrosse head from Warrior, built with a durable scoop and perfect channel for incredible performance, plus double x sidewalls for crazy stiffness and strength, great for delivering serious poke checks!
Easton Lax
Easton Lacrosse

In 2012, a few new players have entered the lacrosse game, and we’ve got ’em all! Under Armour and Easton have thrown their hats into the ring, and brought their decades of sports experience, knowledge, dedication, and resources to the game of games! See all of the new styles and technologies Under Armour Lacrosse, and Easton Lacrosse have brought to the table, and find what your game’s been missing.

New 2012 Baseball Gear

Wilson A2000 Pro Stock Josh Hamilton Glove
Wilson A2000 Pro Stock Josh Hamilton Glove

If you’re like us, and can’t wait for spring training to get here, then you’re in luck, because we also have all of the coolest 2012 baseball gloves, bats, and gear to fill that void in your life until baseball season. As expected, Wilson has outdone themselves again with new lines of the Wilson A2000 and A2K baseball gloves, including the new Wilson Pro Stock gloves from players like Evan Longoria, Brian Wilson, and Josh Hamilton. Rawlings and Mizuno have also stepped their games up, with brand new glove styles and technologies, including the latest 2012 Rawlings Playmaker Series Softball Gloves!

To help you slug like never before, Demarini, Easton, and Louisville Slugger have all developed new bats for 2012. Loaded with space-age technologies, enhanced with futuristic alloys, and wrapped in slick styles and graphics, new bats like the Easton Power Brigade BBCOR bat will get you off to a great start in 2012.

Mizuno Samurai 2012 G4 Pro Youth Baseball Catchers Set

Behind the bag, 2012 Easton, Under Armour, and Mizuno catchers gear takes comfort, protection, and performance to the next level. The new Mizuno Samurai G4 Mens Baseball Catchers Set and Samurai G4 Pro Youth Catchers Set capitalize on the popularity and success of last year’s models, upping the ante with new strategic ventilation, more comfortable padding, and an innovative construction to keep you light on your feet and quick to the ball.

Whatever your game, we’ve got the sweetest new gear for the new year right here at Sports Unlimited. So since 2012 may be the last year we have left, why play with anything else but the greatest and most advanced equipment on the planet? And hey, if those pesky “end of the world” rumors turn out to be false, at least you’ve got new gear right?