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Can Pine Tar Ruin Batting Gloves?

Using pine tar on your bat is a tradition almost as old as baseball itself, but using batting gloves is more of a recent tradition than using pine tar. Some players will use pine tar and batting gloves, some will only use pine tar, and some prefer neither. But I wanted to share my experience in using pine tar with batting gloves for those who wonder – should you wear pine tar with batting gloves?

It’s common for players to use pine tar with batting gloves. Pine tar makes batting gloves stickier, which gives players more confidence while swinging and helps batting gloves last longer.

The palms of used Bruce Bolt batting gloves

Although too much pine tar can be a bad thing for batting gloves. I’ve almost ruined a great pair of Bruce Bolt batting gloves by accidentally applying too much pine tar to my bat. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of using pine tar with batting gloves and how to avoid ruining your batting gloves with too much pine tar.

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.

The Advantage of Using Pine Tar With Batting Gloves

A thin layer of pine tar applied to the bat grip increases the stickiness of both the bat and the gloves.

A hitter in a gold uniform is about to make contact with a pitch

A thin layer of pine tar paired with batting gloves helps increase friction and prevents the bat from flying out of your hands. The extra stickiness from the pine tar can also boost a player’s confidence when swinging.

For example, my hands sweat a lot and sometimes the sweat soaks its way through my batting gloves and makes my gloves slippery. This is even more true on hot and humid days.

This always makes me worried the bat will slip out of my hands, even though I’m using batting gloves (which has happened to me before).

So before each at-bat I like to apply pine tar to my bat handle and then instantly grip the handle while wearing batting gloves. I can both hear the stickiness from my gloves and feel that extra stickiness when gripping my bat. This gives me extra confidence to make a full swing at the plate.

You’ll also notice when you get a new pair of batting gloves, the way the leather is treated in the factory makes it pretty sticky. That’s why you can play with a new pair of batting gloves without the help of any sticky substance on the bat.

However, after a few games, there’s a high chance that stickiness will fade away. Your grip will still be better with batting gloves than without batting gloves, but you don’t get that initial benefit from the extra stickiness of the batting gloves right out of the box.

That’s where a thin layer of pine tar comes in handy. But be careful to not apply too much pine tar to your bat.

Can Pine Tar Ruin Batting Gloves?

If you’re thinking of skipping batting gloves because you’re scared they’ll be ruined by the pine tar on your bat, don’t. Pine tar isn’t supposed to completely mess up your equipment, including the batting gloves, if you use it right.

Pine tar can actually extend the length of how long you use your batting gloves. Players may be tempted to throw away batting gloves when they lose their stickiness, but using a thin layer of pine tar can allow players to use their batting gloves longer.

Although, the biggest mistake most players make is using way too much pine tar with their batting gloves. While a lot of pine tar can make your gloves extremely sticky, too much can actually cause permanent damage to the leather.

I came very close to learning this lesson the hard way.

The palms of slightly used Bruce Bolt batting gloves compared to the palms of heavily used Bruce Bolt batting gloves
Photo on the left are my batting gloves after a few games. Photo on the right is how my gloves look after a lot more games and after accidentally using too much pine tar.

In one game, I didn’t have any pine tar so I borrowed some from a teammate. He had this Bruce Bolt Premium Pine tar stick, which I had very little experience in using.

I ended up applying way too much to my bat handle (by accident) and then I gripped the bat while wearing my Bruce Bolt batting gloves.

My batting gloves were so sticky that it was hard to let go of the bat.

I remember thinking my batting gloves were completely ruined because of how much pine tar was staying on my batting gloves. I tried to wipe some of the pine tar in dirt and grass to get rid of some of it, but that only helped slightly.

Eventually, the stickiness from the pine tar wore off, but my batting gloves have never felt the same. My Bruce Bolt batting gloves are still the best pair of batting gloves I’ve ever worn, but they no longer have that great feel to them before my own pine tar incident.

On a related note, if you’re in the market for a new pair of batting gloves then I recommend checking the current price of Bruce Bolt batting gloves on Amazon. You can also read my Bruce Bolt batting glove review for more information on these gloves.

But to help you avoid the mistake I made by using way too much pine tar, let’s briefly go over how to use pine tar on a baseball bat while using batting gloves.

How to Use Pine Tar on a Baseball Bat with Batting Gloves

Pine tar comes in two form factors: as a spray or as a stick. You can use both and get pretty similar results, but the spray form is easier to use in my opinion. The only downside is you’ll need to apply the spray form more often than you would with a pine tar stick.

Applying pine tar while wearing batting gloves is a little bit of an art form. These are the steps I follow when I’m planning on using batting gloves and I’m applying pine tar to a baseball bat:

  1. Apply a light coat of pine tar to the entire handle of your bat
    1. If you’re using the spray, you’ll only need to spray for about 1-2 seconds
  2. While wearing your batting gloves, grip the handle of your bat with both hands and massage the handle of your bat
  3. If you like the amount of stickiness, you’re done
  4. If the grip is not sticky enough, repeat steps 1-3

And that’s it! The more times you follow these steps the more comfortable you’ll be at applying pine tar to a baseball bat.

I like to use a pine tar spray like this bat grip spray from Rawlings, but I’ve also had success when using pine tar sticks, like this Tiger Stick you can get on Amazon.

Photo of author

Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball in an adult baseball team in the surrounding area. Read more about Steve Nelson.