I’ve played baseball for 30+ years and I’ve worn batting gloves for as long as I can remember. It would be difficult for me to go up to the plate bare-handed, but you still see a lot of baseball and softball players bat without batting gloves. So a lot of people are left wondering – what do batting gloves do?
Batting gloves improve a player’s grip on their bat, which improves their overall swing. Batting gloves also have the benefits of reducing the impact of sweat from hands, increasing a player’s confidence at the plate, and keeping hands warm in cold weather.
In fact, I was able to come up with 11 reasons why batting gloves are beneficial and I wanted to share this info with anyone else who was wondering what batting gloves do. Keep reading to learn why baseball and softball players love using batting gloves!
If you’re in the market for batting gloves, I recommend looking at the high-quality batting gloves made by Bruce Bolt. Learn more about the current price of Bruce Bolt batting gloves on Amazon or learn more about why Bruce Bolt batting gloves are worth the cost.
1) A Player’s Grip and Swing Improves
The most obvious benefit to wearing batting gloves is the improved grip players get when swinging their bat. As a result of gripping the bat better, players also tend to swing better.
If you’re using a metal bat, it may already come with a grip wrapped around the handle, as do the majority of these types of baseball bats. As a result, you may believe wearing batting gloves is unnecessary.
However, I know a lot of players who use batting gloves with a bat grip, including myself. I still feel like I have a better grip with batting gloves than without.
The control and strength you can release onto the bat are greatly influenced by the quality of your grip. The more secure your grip, the more power you can generate with your bat.
Keeping these considerations in mind, having equipment that improves your grip even when it’s covered in dirt and sweat can have a significant impact on your baseball performance.
While it’s not necessary to use batting gloves to have a good grip, it does help.
2) Batting Gloves Solve the Sweaty Hands Problem
The number 1 reason why I always wear batting gloves is that my hands sweat…a lot.
I have something called hyperhidrosis, which basically means I sweat a lot more than the average person. And unfortunately, my hands receive a lot of that sweat (they’re even sweating as I type this sentence).
So if I don’t use batting gloves when hitting, the bat will slip out of my hands during every at-bat.
Using batting gloves can help improve your grip and swing with your bat. If your hands sweat a lot, then batting gloves are an absolute must.
Even if your hands sweat just a little bit, the extra grip you get from batting gloves can come in handy.
Some players are easily tense on the field, and their bare hands may sweat profusely as they wait for the pitcher to deliver the pitch.
Any slipping in your grip can result in you missing the ball, or even letting go of the bat entirely.
There are different types of batting gloves and, in my experience, genuine leather batting gloves do the best job of helping with sweaty hands. I recommend reading my article about what materials are used in batting gloves to get a better idea of what type of batting gloves might work best for you.
3) Increased Player Confidence
One huge benefit of wearing batting gloves is improved grip. And because of that improved grip, players have more confidence when at the plate.
The biggest confidence booster I’m thinking of is using batting gloves to make sure the bat doesn’t slip out of your hands when swinging. As a hitter, this is my biggest concern when I’m not wearing batting gloves.
If I’m not wearing batting gloves, I’m not swinging as hard as I normally could. My hands sweat a lot and I know that the harder I swing, the better chance there is for me to accidentally let go of the bat during my swing.
Wearing batting gloves boosts my confidence at the plate because I can swing without having to worry about letting go of the bat.
Additionally, a lot of players love the way batting gloves feel. The better you feel at the plate, the more confidence you have.
4) Reducing Bat Sting
It turns out batting gloves are more useful than just dealing with sweat and dirt. Weather conditions can also be an important consideration for wearing them.
If you’re a hitter, then you’re probably familiar with the stinging sensation caused by the bat’s vibration. This will worsen during cooler temperatures.
The reason for this lies in how baseball bats react to temperature.
The warmer the weather, the more the bat becomes elastic and expands. This elasticity will help reduce the vibration that your hands receive as your bat hits the speeding ball.
On the other hand, cold weather will prevent your bat from expanding. If you’re swinging barehanded, you’ll feel the sting and vibration more, which can cause severe discomfort.
Hence, it’s recommended to wear batting gloves during the winter and in colder weather to help reduce the sting of the bat.
5) Keeping Hands Warm in Cold Weather
Aside from the extra vibration causing your hands to sting in cold weather, having icy hands can also be a nuisance while playing.
Wearing batting gloves during colder games can help keep your hands warm (or at least not as cold). In fact, some brands, like Franklin, make batting gloves specifically for cold-weather baseball games.
During one of our colder games, my teammate was very impressed with how well his Franklin Powerstrap batting gloves kept his hands warm.
If you’re interested in a pair of batting gloves that will keep your hands warm, I recommend trying out these Franklin MLB Powerstrap batting gloves from Amazon.
6) Batting Gloves Prevent Blisters and Calluses
Some well-known professional players, like Evan Gattis, Stephen Vogt, and Prince Fielder, choose not to wear batting gloves for personal preferences.
However, their choice does come at a price.
Hitters spend most of their time swinging the bat repeatedly during practice. The strain and stress of holding the bat with bare hands will cause painful blisters and calluses.
Skin cuts and tears aren’t uncommon either.
The good news is your hands will adapt over time to swinging without batting gloves and these blisters will become less frequent, but they are a heck of a nuisance whenever they do occur.
Another setback for not wearing batting gloves is that your hands and arms can become extremely sore and raw as you play.
This is a result of the constant and direct tension, including the stinging sensation that your hand will frequently receive as your bat hits the ball.
Prince Fielder, one of the most prominent baseball hitters in the American League, shared his painful experience of not wearing batting gloves while playing.
He said that sometimes he’d “wake up in the middle of the night” and find that his hands were “throbbing and sore.”
7) Batting Gloves Can Help Prevent Hand Injuries
In games like baseball, your hands are your most important tool. Thus, taking care of them and wearing a layer of protection can go a long way.
Any damage or injuries to your hands or arms can heavily affect your performance.
Some batting gloves have additional padding for the top of the hands or around the fingers to reduce impact from getting hit by a pitch. Sure, it will still hurt a lot to get hit by a pitch in your hands, but the additional padding could come in handy.
I’ve never used these types of batting gloves, but I imagine there are a handful of scenarios where this additional padding can be the difference between a bruise and a broken bone.
8) Sliding With Batting Gloves Prevents Scrapes and Burns
Batting gloves aren’t only used for hitting. Some baseball players wear batting gloves on the basepaths.
When sliding into a base, some players end up dragging one of their hands in the dirt. Having one hand on the ground can help players with their balance as well as help them quickly jump up in case there is an overthrow.
I’m one of those players who drags their hand in the dirt when they slide feet-first into a base and I always wear batting gloves when running. At one point I didn’t wear batting gloves on the basepaths and my hands would always have minor cuts, scrapes, and burns from me dragging my hand in the dirt.
Wearing batting gloves while sliding is an easy solution to keeping your hand free of minor injuries like scrapes and burns.
For more information on running the bases while wearing batting gloves, I recommend reading my other article that covers the 2 ways players wear batting gloves when sliding.
9) Some Players Hold Batting Gloves When Running Bases
Another common way players run the basepaths is by holding their batting gloves in each of their hands.
Running the bases this way helps players keep their hands in a fist, which reduces the chances of their fingers getting jammed.
Holding batting gloves while running is just one of the 2 ways players wear batting gloves when sliding.
10) Players Can Wear Batting Gloves Under Their Fielding Glove
Another way players benefit from batting gloves is by wearing one batting glove underneath their fielding glove.
My hands sweat quite a bit and I’ve been using this tactic since my Little League days. Wearing a batting glove under my fielding glove is a great way to combat sweaty hands.
Some other players use this strategy to keep their hand warm in colder weather or as a way to help their fielding glove have a better fit on their hand.
For more information, I recommended reading my article on why baseball players wear batting gloves under their fielding gloves.
11) Batting Gloves Can Represent Team Colors
Similar to why baseball players wear long socks, some baseball players like to support their team by wearing batting gloves that match their team’s color.
There are a lot of different batting glove styles and colors out there so it might take some time to find a batting glove you like, but I’ve played with some baseball players who get a lot of joy out of finding accessories that match their team’s colors.
There are even companies, like Franklin, that allow players to customize their own batting gloves. They have the option of choosing different colors for different parts of your batting glove. Franklin will let you make a batting glove with 5 different colors if you’d like.
Are Batting Gloves Necessary?
Batting gloves are not necessary for baseball or softball. A lot of players wear batting gloves because they like the extra grip and they believe batting gloves help their swing, but there is nothing in the rule book stating players need to wear batting gloves.
Each player needs to decide for themselves if batting gloves are necessary.
Some players say that they like the feel of the bat in their hands or that they feel more involved in the game when they play barehanded.
Other players, like me, swear by batting gloves because they help with our grip and help prevent sweaty hands from becoming a problem.
But either way, both baseball and softball have seen a lot of successful players who wear batting gloves and who don’t wear batting gloves. To dive deeper into this question, I recommended reading my article that discusses if batting gloves are necessary.