As our kids get ready to start their first (or next) season of baseball, there are several pieces of equipment we’ll need to buy (for safety or comfort) and other items that our children will want us to buy. Baseball batting gloves are in the want category.
There are many questions and opinions concerning the purchase of batting gloves… Are baseball batting gloves necessary? What is the purpose of batting gloves? Do I really need to buy my child batting gloves?
All great Questions. Let’s take a look…
What is a Batting Glove and What Does it do?
A batting glove is a snug fitting glove with a leather palm and cloth or synthetic back. Baseball gloves are worn to provide comfort, prevent blisters, keep the hands warm, improve grip and prevent stinging when hitting the ball. The use of gloves is not obligatory in any level of the game.
Are Batting Gloves Necessary?
Batting gloves are not necessary. Some players like to wear them for the reasons stated above. Younger players however, seem to have two motivations for wearing batting gloves: to prevent stinging and because they look cool!
Indeed, hitting a baseball can sting the hands. If this is a concern for your young player, batting gloves maybe a good choice. There also can be a case made that if a young player is outfitted to look good, they will likely feel good and perform accordingly. This all boils down to personal preference and budget. However, batting gloves are not a safety issue and are certainly not necessary for optimal play.
Do I Need to Buy Batting Gloves for my Child?
My 12 year old grandson does wear batting gloves. Mostly he wears them out of personal preference but he also wears one on his catching hand when he is behind the plate. He feels it gives him some extra padding that takes the sting out of the really fast pitches. Many players also like to have batting gloves on when they are on the bases to protect their hands when sliding.
Many Little League organizations start early in the spring and many, like the one my grandson plays on, play fall ball which includes play right up until Halloween. Batting gloves do help when to keep the hands a little warmer and take the sting out of cold weather hits. Batting gloves are intentionally fitted tightly so, the hands do still get cold.
The bottom line is whether you purchase batting gloves for your young player is strictly optional!
The Final Word
Interestingly, the latest MLB data shows almost an equal number of players who do not use batting gloves as the number of players who do. Again, personal preference. Many players also switch back and forth from using them to not. There is no scientific data to validate whether batting gloves improve performance or not.
For the purpose of making the shopping process a simple as possible, I do include batting gloves in the equipment options for players beginning at age 9. My focus is on options for the safest, age specific equipment with the best value possible. While batting gloves are not a piece of equipment that provides additional safety, they are, never-the-less, preferred by half of today’s players.
Whether your child opts to wear batting gloves or not, watching them grow in ability and maturity is a wonderful benefit of organized baseball.
Enjoy the game!