Baseball has a really long tradition and it is one of the most beautiful sports there is. Maybe you are new to this and you just want to know what kind of equipment there is that is used in baseball. I am sure everybody knows about the actual balls and the bats, but I bet there is some information in this post, that you did not have before.
Keep on reading and find out what the different pieces are, that baseball players use regularly.
This article has affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through this link. There are no additional costs for you. It helps me continuing this blog. Thanks for your support! Visit my disclosure page for more information.
First things first and one of the most important if not the most important piece of equipment in the game: the actual baseball.
Without the baseball the whole game could not take place at all.
There are three different kinds of baseballs, with the one I am talking about being the baseball or also hard baseball. Then there is also a rubber baseball and a soft baseball.
In the beginning baseballs varied in size, weight, shape and basically every other metric you can think of. The was no standard at all and pitchers most often even made their own baseballs. These were of course handcrafted and not of great quality which lead to them breaking apart during games.
These balls had a rubber inside made from old shoe soles. This was then wrapped in leather and the baseball was done.
Nowadays a baseball is made out of different layers. You will most often encounter baseballs with a rubber or cork core which is inside of a winding fabric. This is most often a wool yarn that is woven around the core. This package is then covered by cowhide and the hides are sewn together to finish the baseball.
Baseballs have to be 9 to 9 ¼ inches in circumference and need to have a weight of 5 to 5 ¼ oz. to meet the current standards.
As you might know there are plenty of rules in baseball and some of them of course concern the baseball. For example, did you know that a baseball is not allowed to be dirty? If there is dirt on a baseball, it has to be swapped out against a new one. Good thing the game is played on grass and dirt…
Another really important piece of equipment without which the game could not be played.
There is a lot of stuff to say about baseball bats, which is why you should absolutely read the ultimate baseball bat guide I wrote for you. It tells you everything about materials, weight, balance and certifications you need to know.
Bats can be made from metal or wood, with the MLB only allowing wood bats. They are allowed to be up to 42 inches in length and their thickest part can be up to 2.75 inches in diameter.
The baseball bat has had a lot of evolutionary steps and has been refined a lot throughout history. It all started in the mid-19th century with players manufacturing their own bats by hand. This lead to a lot of different sizes and shapes. One of the most famous ideas was the banana bat by Emile Kinst. This bat had a strong curve which was supposed to spin the ball more than a flat and regular bat and as a result make it much harder for the defense to catch the ball.
Nowadays bats are standardized and almost everybody (except for MLB professionals) plays with a metal bat. The reason is simple: They do not break and are much more durable. Moreover the BBCOR certification makes sure that the performance of metal bats is similar to wood bats, so there is really no reason why you should get a wood bat.
Baseball gloves are probably my favorite piece of equipment in baseball. They are just an epitome of craftsmanship and there are millions of different variations. Moreover every position has different needs and requirements, which makes finding the correct glove a science for itself.
But don’t worry, I have written an ultimate baseball glove guide, because of that reason. I want to help you find the best glove for your needs, so check it out. Moreover it will tell you how baseball gloves came to be and how they developed over time.
Baseball gloves come in various sizes, depending on what position you play and what your preferences are.
High quality gloves are made from kip leather, which gives the perfect combination between durability and feel. These kinds of gloves need quite some time until they are properly broken in, but then they will mold to your hand perfectly and feel like a second layer of skin.
Cheap gloves on the other hand are most often made from leather waste that is glued together. They are broken in by the factory and ready form play immediately. Durability and feel are a big issues with these gloves, so I highly recommend spending more money on a great glove.
Now this is a pretty specific piece of equipment, as it is only used by one position which is the catcher. Moreover this piece of equipment actually includes lots of different pieces. So let’s take a look at what pieces catcher’s gear includes.
First of all there is the helmet. Batters also wear helmets, but the catcher’s helmet is totally different. It covers the catcher’s face completely and has a grid as a safety measure for the catcher’s face. Just imagine involuntarily catching a 110 mph fastball with your nose. That shit hurts, which is why the helmet has this grid and is extra sturdy.
Another very distinct feature is the chest protector. As with the helmet, this piece of equipment is meant to shield the catcher’s body from the oncoming baseball. It happens quite often that batters do not hit the ball, so if the catcher does not pay attention he might be hit by the ball. In order to avoid that, the protective gear is needed.
The same logic applies to the leg guards of course, which is the last piece of equipment within the catcher’s gear category.
One could also count in the catcher’s mitt (the special glove a catcher wears, which is very big and wide) as special equipment, but I personally think that belongs into the baseball glove category.
The idea behind batting helmets is the same as with catcher’s helmets. It happens quite often that pitchers manage to misthrow a ball, which can lead to some serious body hits. Given that a batter needs to move and rotate his body, he cannot wear body armour. The helmet on the other side is meant to protect the head of the player. It is a crucial piece of equipment for safety reasons.
There are many variations of helmets. There are helmets that cover both ears, just one ear or none at all.
In 2013 a new rule was released that requires all MLB professionals to wear the Rawlings S100 Pro Comp helmet. If you want to wear this helmet as well, be ready to spend up to $500 on it.
This piece of equipment is not essential at all, but makes your life much easier. It is always great to have a specially designed bag to carry all your necessary equipment. These bags are not really expensive, so make your life easier and spend a few bucks on a nice baseball bag.
There you have it. All the necessary equipment for a great baseball game. Of course there are even more pieces like pine tar for example, but they are by no means mandatory to have.
Get home safe,