The Baseball Zone: RIck Johnston Talks Mizuno

by Rick Johnston on October 26, 2011

Rick Johnston is the Co-Founder and Director of Baseball Operations at the highly successful Baseball Zone (www.thebaseballzone.ca) in Mississauga Ontario.  Rick is one of Mizuno's biggest supporters and is truly someone who believes in the Mizuno Brand.  Rick has worked with some of the best talent Canada has produced in the game of baseball.  Whether it is big leaguers coming home in the off-season or a youngster just picking up the game, Rick demonstrates a unique ability to teach any skill level and get the best out of each player.  Rick is also an avid golfer and loves his custom Mizuno irons!  Rick will be blogging for Mizuno Canada , this is his first entry.  Rick also blogs for the Baseball Zone and his entries can be found here: http://www.thebaseballzone.ca/baseball-instructors-rick-johnston-toronto.html. - Adam Vella Mizuno Canada

 

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"I was first introduced to the Mizuno Brand Baseball product line in 1987 as I prepared to play for Canada and compete in the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, USA. It was then, that I absolutely fell in love with the Mizuno Brand of gloves, shoes, pullovers and batting gloves. My first Mizuno glove was a GOC 6 World Win that I used for the remaining summer and subsequently at the University of British Columbia as I played with the National Baseball Institute. The next year while playing for Canada in the 1988 Olympics, I had the opportunity to use the Mizuno World Win GOC7. I truly cannot speak enough about the quality of each glove. The only significant difference with the gloves was the actual size. The shape, finger slots and lacing were virtually seamless from each other. When I retired as a player and subsequently inducted into the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame, I donated the GOC7 glove as part of my contribution to the Hall.

 

Why then do I believe in the Mizuno brand of baseball product? First and foremost, the quality of the workmanship put into each piece of equipment is top drawer. The Mizuno manufacturing group spends countless hours in their research and development of every piece of equipment that leaves the assembly line. Their gloves are manufactured with the best leather making for the best feel and durability of any glove on the market. Similarly, the Mizuno baseball or coaching shoes are made with each foot in mind, with soft breaking in material that allows for maximum performance and comfort. Professional baseball players are not unlike the amateur player, in that, when a piece of equipment feels right on their hand, on their feet or on their body, it is expected that performance will be as good as the equipment feels or looks.

 

Recently Mizuno came out with a new revelation to the glove industry that has become paramount to how gloves are broken in. Many consumers purchasing gloves fail to understand the importance of a really how stiff a good glove is when it leaves the Mizuno factory. Thus, the Mizuno Steamer, that is, a machine that the consumer can place the glove into and have it essentially moulded to the shape of their hand, but more importantly allow the glove to break in the way it is designed to break in. It is highly recommend that when purchasing a Mizuno glove, if the opportunity arises that you have this opportunity to steam your glove, go ahead and do it. It will do wonders to the break in period and overall feel of the glove.

 

The Mizuno bat line, all I can say is WOW. From Ash to Maple to Bamboo, a great selection of wood that meets the needs of different players in both ability and strengths. The Mizuno line of bats performs with the MLB players in mind but they have the look and style that meets the needs of any aspiring player. The cool RUNBIRD logo stands out amongst its competitors in aesthetics, performance and durability. After all, aren’t these three items most important?

Mizuno, without question is the industry leader in the product line of baseball worldwide. Check with your nearest dealer to get fit to the Mizuno product that best fits your needs."

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Author Rick Johnston

Rick is the Co-founder and Director of Baseball Operations at The Baseball Zone and co-owner of SST Mississauga and is a proud Mizuno Brand Ambassador.

Rick's Accomplishments:

  • Inducted into the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Named Canadian Coach of the Year, 2005
  • Field Manager, Team Canada Juniors, 1998
  • Hitting Coach, Team Canada Juniors, 1996, 1997, World Championships, 3rd Place
  • Field Manager, Team Ontario, 2005 Canada Summer games, Gold Medal
  • Coached and Managed the Croatian National Team, Karlovac Keltics, Croatia and Montpellier Barracudas, France
  • Managed Croatian National Team, 2007 Olympic Qualification Tournament, Barcelona, Spain
  • Coach, 2006 Canadian Senior Team, World Qualifications
  • Played Internationally as a member of the Canadian National Team including 1998 Seoul Olympics, 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games, 1985 and 1991 Intercontinental Cup
  • Served as a scout for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays