History of Softball Batting Gloves & Baseball Batting Gloves
Softball Batting Gloves today are worn by fielders because they say that they feel better in their glove. Another prime use for Baseball Batting gloves, especially in younger leagues that permit aluminum bats, is shock protection. On a cold day, a bad or loose swing can fracture fingers.
Softball Batting Gloves are a component in bat-and-ball games sportswear. Typically consisting of a leather palm and back made of nylon or another synthetic fabric, Baseball Batting gloves covers one or both hands of a batter, providing comfort, prevention of blisters, warmth, improved grip, and shock absorption when hitting the ball. Batting Gloves are considered an essential part of cricket equipment, though they are not mandatory at any level of the game.
Some claim the first player to wear Baseball Batting gloves was Bobby Thomson of the Giants, who wore golf gloves during spring training in 1949. Ken "Hawk" Harrelson has been credited with being the first player to wear Baseball batting gloves in an actual game (as opposed to usage during practice).
In 2013, an hour-long documentary, called “Hawk: The Colorful life of Ken Harrelson,” began airing on the MLB Network. At roughly the 22-minute mark of the presentation, Ken describes his involvement in the origin of Baseball batting gloves (although he calls it the "hitting" glove in the documentary). Ken does not state the year, but describes that in his first two years in the big leagues, he made more money playing golf, shooting pool, and arm wrestling than he did playing major league baseball, and goes right into a story.
Today in 2021 Softball Batting Gloves are a must for tournament players. Baseball Batting Gloves are worn by almost all youth and adult players.