If you’re preparing for the baseball season, it only fits that you stock up on the necessary equipment and gear needed for the sport. Whether you’re merely enjoying the game with your friends in the backyard or a veteran player grinding it out with a team, be sure to get these pieces that can help you play easier and better. So, check out this guide to the essential items you need and to have a successful day in the diamond.
Like most sports, a ball is needed to play baseball, serving as the game’s focal point. An official baseball weight is about 5 to 5.25 ounces. It comes with a cork or rubber core, wrapped very densely in strings, and covered with full-grain or synthetic leather, usually white. Plastic is alternatively used as cover to make it suitable for rainy or wet weather. Meanwhile, the stitching comes in a herringbone pattern and is slightly raised, which any pitcher can use to make the ball swerve or curve upon throwing.
You might be surprised, but baseball’s first baseball players actually used their bare hands to catch fast blazing balls from pitchers. However, many sustained injuries on their fingers, leading to the usage of baseball gloves in the 1870s. It has evolved through time, leading to the various types of baseball gloves available today, produced by different companies.
Baseball gloves now come in different colors, materials, and designs. Usage also varies as different field positions require a specific kind of baseball. For instance, the catchers use the mitt. It is typically larger and extra-padded to protect the hands and fingers when receiving balls at high speeds.
Size also differs, generally distinguished as youth-sized or adult-sized gloves. The former are relatively smaller and cheaper but are usually made of less quality materials. On the other hand, the latter are more expensive and are generally made of high-quality leather. The average price of adult-sized gloves can range from $50-$300, but more renowned brands may cost around $500.
You need to consider various factors when choosing a baseball glove. Be sure to choose one that fits snugly. Getting a baseball glove that is too tight or too big can significantly affect your performance. Next, look for one that is firm enough to provide strength but is also flexible enough to give you the needed control. Of course, make sure that it suits the position you’re playing. Lastly, you can still pick one which color or style matches your preference.
Baseball involves the act of hitting. While it may be fun to play catch and throw, the sport won’t be as exciting without a baseball bat to crack the ball. It comes in different weights and sizes to suit different players. Youth bats are relatively lighter and have smaller barrels, while adult bats have larger barrels and are significantly heavier. Always opt for one that you can handle and carry comfortably.
Materials used for construction can be wood, such as ash, hickory, bamboo, or maple, or metal alloys like aluminum. There are also composite bats that use reinforced carbon fiber polymers for construction. Wooden bats are classic and provide better mechanics, but aluminum bats offer more durability and power and a quicker swing.
With lots of running around involved in dirt and grass around, you need cleats to get you going on the baseball field. These are shoes that feature a shorter, wider design but have distinct patterns on the sole compared to standard shoes, allowing better grip on the ground. If you’re playing casual games, cleats may not be necessary.
Bigger leagues use metal cleats, while minor ones use molded-plastic or rubber cleats. Youth leagues use rubber cleats as well. While they may not provide the same traction, they are relatively safer than metal cleats. Some cleats may have removable and replaceable spikes. Other players may also opt for specialized cleats, depending on the position they’re playing and the amount of grip they need. Like other shoes, the cost varies greatly depending on the material and quality.
Baseball players need to wear protective gear to avoid different types of injuries. These include the batting helmet, the catcher’s gears, and the athletic cup.
As errant balls are thrown their way at high speeds, batters need to wear a helmet as protection for head injuries. Helmets come in different models and colors but generally use strong plastic material for construction. Padding is also included for the batter’s comfort and additional safety. Expect that the higher the cost, the better quality of the materials.
If you step up to the task of being a batter, look for a helmet that fits snugly or won’t wobble or slide from side to side. Such helmets can affect your vision and hearing. Thus, affecting your performance and putting you at a greater risk of injuries.
Catchers have a different set of gear to protect them when receiving speedy balls from the pitcher. The set typically includes a helmet with a faceguard, leg guards, knee guards, shin guards, the mitt, and a chest protector. All are vital as catchers often get hit by many balls, be it from the batter’s foul balls or ones that hit the ground and bounce off. Without them, catchers will undoubtedly get hurt or sustain injuries during the game.
Getting hit in the groin area, from high-speed balls, accidental collision with other players, or any other impact on the field, is one of the last things you’d wish to happen to if you’re a male player. With that, baseball pants and shorts are specifically designed to have a pocket where athletic cups can sit. It can help protect players from injury, especially infield players who retrieve lots of ground balls. Nevertheless, it’s a must for any male player in the diamond to avoid any “unfortunate” and “hurtful” scenario.
Baseball hats are hip, yet they aren’t only intended to make you stylish on the field. It’s a must for the game as it provides shade for your eyes, blocking any harmful glare from the sun, which can damage your eyesight or affect your vision on balls headed your way. Of course, it’s also a fun way to show support for your own or favorite team, as it usually sports the team’s logo.
While batting gloves aren’t mandatory, some batters choose to use batting gloves to protect their hands from blisters or rashes due to the friction caused when swinging the bat and hitting the ball. It also helps players get a better grip on the bat. Plus, they are pretty inexpensive, which means they won’t hurt adding them into your baseball arsenal.
That’s the rundown of the essentials you need to play baseball. Be sure to invest in high-quality and well-fit items that also suit your style and liking. Once you have these necessary gear and equipment, there’s no stopping you from fully enjoying the game.