Baseball Batting Gloves

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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With their leather stitchings and padding inserts, it would seem that baseball batting gloves fill a much-needed purpose: protecting the hands of hitters. The reality, though, has been something different. Most often, baseball batting gloves are the accoutrements of stylish players more concerned about looking good than hitting well. That's not to say that some gloves aren't helpful.

Baseball batting gloves can give hitters a better grip on the handles of their bats, which benefits everyone, umpires, coaches, opposing players, and spectators included. They also help keep some players from developing blisters on their palms or fingers, though these maladies can just as soon result from swinging improperly sized bats. A smaller hitter with a heavier bat will have to muster that extra strength to accelerate it through the strike zone, and this typically comes from swinging harder, which can create more strain and friction all around.

So Why Buy Baseball Batting Gloves?

Baseball batting gloves won't turn your little Mendozas into Mattinglys overnight, but they can help take their minds off the prospect of accidentally flinging their bats. That alone makes gloves worth the 10 or 15 bucks they cost. Still, there's another reason why players of all ages splurge for these accessories: they protect hands and wrists as players slide into bases. This is especially true of head-first slides, as it's then that fingers are extended out in front of the diving players' heads, where they stand the greatest likelihood of injury.

When it comes down to it, however, batting gloves are still fashionable first and practical second. Many use premium-grade cowhide or goatskin and feature neoprene guards along the wrists and fingers. Best of all, they come in just about any color imaginable, so they're sure to match whatever color uniforms have been picked out for the season. Even if your team gets clobbered, you'll stand to look better than your competition in the process.

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