Buying a pair of batting gloves seems pretty simple – find a pair that fit well and are styled to your taste. After all, they’re batting gloves, and basically all the same, and as long as they’re snug and I can have a decent grip on the bat – then it’s okay, right? The answer to that, I learned, after wearing gloves that didn’t reduce the sting from hitting in cold weather or property absorb sweat in the summer, is an emphatic… NO.
I decided that if I’m going to invest in batting gloves, I shouldn’t have to put up with a poor grip, sweaty hands and blisters. Diving into research, I found a batting glove that seemed to live up to its advertising. I bought and started using the Rawlings Workhorse Adult Batting Gloves. I’ve been using them ever since. Rawlings, the company who provides equipment for the major leagues, from baseball gloves to bats, and now batting gloves, already has a reputation for quality without consumers having to spend a small fortune.
What Advantages Do You Get Wearing Batting Gloves?
Once most players only wore batting gloves in the batter’s box to practice swinging with, then remove them on their way to the plate. In 1949, Bobby Thompson used to wear golf gloves during batting practice. Then, almost by accident, in 1964, Ken Harrelson of the Kansas City Athletics wore batting gloves during a ballgame. A day earlier, Harrelson had played a round and a half of golf and his hands were severely blistered from swinging and putting. Concerned about the pain he’d have swinging a bat, he wore gloves to the plate. He wore them again the next day to absorb the impact of the bat’s vibration. Batting gloves started becoming standard equipment in ball games in the 1980s. Nowadays, many players prefer batting gloves over pine tar, because of the improvement in batting glove technology.
Batting gloves gave hitters lots of benefits over bare hands. In the first place, gloves make a better grip on the bat. Over time, manufacturers like Rawlings saw the rise in popularity of batting gloves and decided to perfect them by adding, for example, adhesives to the palm area of the glove to even further improve a player’s batting grip.
Major League Baseball has162 games over the course of half a year, even more when teams make it to the playoffs. Players experienced severe blistering, and the vibrations of the bat affected their hitting. In addition, baseball players like myself and those reading this play in all kinds of weather conditions. One day it’s really hot, our hands are sweating and the bat feels slippery, but the next day it turns cold and the problem becomes the stinging feeling when hitting the ball.
Our hands are the most important appendages in game play. We rely on our hands to swing, field balls on defense, and even to touch the bag with fingertips when we slide. I started to realize that I could play much better as long as my hands were protected. Once I started wearing batting gloves, I couldn’t imagine ever playing in a game without them again.
What Features Are Important in a Batting Glove?
The Rawlings Workhorse Adult Batting Gloves are made with Pittards leather, making the gloves fit extra snug while absorbing sweat at the same time. The grip is made better with the Oiltac treatment over the palm and the rest of the glove, giving it extra softness and comfort. The part of the gloves for the ends of the fingers, called gussets, are double knit for an extra snug fit. The wrist closure can be tightened or made looser according to your liking.
The part of the hand that grips the bat most are the palms, and in the Rawlings Workhorse Batting Glove, an extra pad (referred to as Dura-Plus protects the palm, makes the grip feel more comfortable and absorbs the vibrations of the bat.
Some bats come with special grips like lizard skin on the handle, and players using those bats don’t always wear gloves. Yet, most players keep a pair on hand because there isn’t always specialty equipment available, and gloves can compensate for subpar bats. In addition, if bats are shared among players, pine tar isn’t an option because each player likes to apply pine tar to meet their own needs, making gloves handy.
The best part about getting these Rawlings gloves was how much my game improved. I felt much more control over the bat, whether it’s wood, aluminum or a composite bat. Not only that, but the gloves cost was much lower than I expected, and they last a long time too. My game changed when I started wearing quality gloves, and Rawlings was a name I already trusted with my baseball glove. It stood to reason that practically everything they make, due to their great reputation in major league baseball, naturally has a higher standard.