Playing baseball is a lot of fun, and part of that fun is getting some equipment that will help you perform at your best. For those who are just starting out in baseball it’s a good idea to make sure you’re prepared by having an exhaustive list of items that is needed for the first day of baseball practice.
What are the types of equipment used in baseball? The equipment needed for all baseball players include:
- Sliding shorts
- Batting glove
- Protective cup
The above list is what all baseball players will need for their first game, but there are some additional accessory items that we’ll go over towards the end of this article. If you’re ever interested in looking up some specific products, check out my recommended gear page, but let’s jump into what equipment all baseball players will need.
Baseball Equipment Checklist
Baseball cleats are an essential piece of being an effective player. Baseball spikes allow players to get better traction when running and helps players have better reaction times on the field.
There have been a few times in my baseball career where I’ve forgotten my pair of baseball cleats and I’ve had to resort to a pair of tennis shoes instead. In those games I was slipping and sliding all over the diamond – those were definitely not good games.
So invest in a pair of solid baseball spikes. Some people feel the need to get a new pair of spikes every year, but I’ve been using the same pair of spikes for about 4 years now. So if the cleats are taken care of, they can last over multiple seasons.
Socks for Baseball
Although not as essential as baseball cleats, baseball socks are typically considered part of the uniform in baseball so they are a small, but important piece to a player’s look.
When selecting baseball socks, make sure they match the player’s uniform and try to get a couple of pair of the exact same baseball socks. Having more than one pair of the same baseball socks will come in handy when players have games on back-to-back days, but laundry day is still a few days away.
Baseball pants are important in baseball because players will be sliding during the time they are on the field. Whether they need to slide into second base during a close play or make a diving catch, baseball pants will help protect a player’s legs when making a sliding play.
Baseball pants are also considered a piece of a player’s uniform so make sure the pants are in-line with the expectations of the team.
For example, I’ve been on a team where the coach was not a fan of grey pants so I ended up getting some white baseball pants in order to match the rest of the team.
Baseball pants are great for helping to protect a player’s legs, but sliding shorts add another layer of support to help protect the upper legs and glutes of players who slide.
Sliding shorts are another form of compression shorts and can give players that extra bit of confidence when needing to slide into a base.
Baseball belts are an essential piece to a player’s uniform. They help keep the player’s pants from falling down and help keep a player’s jersey tucked in properly throughout the game.
Baseball belts are also part of a player’s uniform so make sure the color and style of the belt match the rest of the team.
Baseball jerseys are arguably one of the most enjoyable items a player uses. If you’ve ever been involved in the decision process of what the uniform will look like then you know a baseball jersey impacts how players feel on the diamond.
Jerseys in baseball are one of the most important things a player can bring with them to the game – it is what distinguishes a player as being part of a team.
So unless you’re playing in a pick-up baseball game where the jerseys don’t matter, make sure your jersey matches the rest of your team.
All players need a baseball glove in order to field a baseball. The baseball glove is what allows players to effectively field a ball and make a play. Without a baseball glove, players would be trying to field a baseball that can come off of a bat at around 70 mph or more!
So putting some money towards a good quality baseball glove is extremely important for all ballplayers, but the type of glove needed depends on the position of the player.
There are generally 4 types of baseball gloves:
- Infielder’s baseball glove (shorter in glove length)
- Outfielder’s baseball glove (longer in glove length)
- First baseman’s mitt
- Catcher’s mitt
In baseball, the difference between a “mitt” and a “glove” is that a mitt does not have holes for the fingers while gloves do have holes for the fingers.
If it’s someone’s first time playing baseball and they are not sure what position they want to play, then choosing an infielder’s glove or an outfielder’s glove will be the best option. I’ve played infield with a traditional outfielder’s glove many times and it’s worked out just fine.
So once a player has decided which position they’re going to play it’s a good idea to invest in a glove that can last a long time.
How Long Do Baseball Gloves Last?
When purchasing a new baseball glove, it’s common for people to wonder how long a baseball glove lasts.
On average, baseball gloves will last between 4 to 7 years. Some factors that affect the duration of a baseball glove quality include how often the glove gets cleaned, how often the glove gets oiled, and how often the strings of the glove are replaced.
4-7 years is an average based on what I’ve seen, but it’s very possible for gloves to last a lot longer. For example, I’ve had my baseball glove for about 15 years and I’ve had to get my glove re-stringed just once (cost about $50 to re-string a glove). Below is a photo of my actual 15-year-old glove that I still use today.
Batting gloves may not be for everyone, but they are becoming more and more common in baseball. Batting gloves help players grip the bat better and can help reduce bat sting for those colder games.
In my experience, batting gloves can get worn out pretty quickly so expect to use around two to three pairs of batting gloves for one season of baseball (more for players who play often).
Baseball hats are another piece of a player’s uniform and are an essential part of baseball. Not only does the hat indicate which team you are on, it’s also extremely helpful at blocking out sun that could prevent players from seeing the ball.
So make sure the baseball hat is a comfortable size – not too small for the head and not too big.
Baseball Batting Helmet
Batting helmets in baseball are a must-have for anyone wanting to hit the ball. Helmets will help protect a player’s head from wild pitches as well as help protect the player’s head when they’re running the bases and a bad throw heads in their direction.
Some teams will have general batting helmets that the team shares during games and some teams will require players to purchase their own helmet. Make sure to check with the coach to see if a player needs to provide their own helmet.
In any case, make sure the helmet is a comfortable fit. It wouldn’t be good for the player if the size of their helmet was the only thing on their mind while they are standing in the batter’s box.
If a player wants to hit the ball then they’ll have to have a bat.
Depending on the league a player is in, some teams will have general team bats that the team can share and some teams will require players to bring their own bat. So make sure to check with the coach to see if the player is required to bring their own bat.
On that same note, there are traditionally two types of bat leagues: aluminum and wood. This varies by age and by skillset so check the rules of the league to make sure the bat you want is the correct bat for the league.
Most leagues also have a requirement on the bat size so make sure to check out the rules first. A common requirement is that the league is a “drop 3” league, which means that a bat’s weight has to be no more than 3 ounces below the length of the bat. So, in this instance, a bat that is 33 inches in length could not be less than 30 ounces in weight (drop 3).
Baseballs are essential in order to both play and practice the sport. There are also different types of baseballs out there so check the rules of your league to determine what type of baseball is needed.
Protective cups are a must when playing baseball. Protective cups protect the groin region and help prevent serious injury.
Although buying a protective cup can still be a difficult process, but Dick’s Sport Goods put together this comprehensive guide to purchasing a protective cup and I would recommend checking out this article to learn more about this process.
Additional Equipment for Baseball
The role of the catcher is hard work in baseball. Not only are catchers involved in every play, but they also get to wear additional protective gear that can get pretty hot during those summer months.
The equipment for catcher’s gear includes:
- Catcher’s helmet
- Chest protector
- Leg guards
- Catcher’s mitt
- Knee Savers (can be optional, but highly recommended)
- Throat guard
- Bag for all of the catcher’s gear
Catcher’s gear is typically sold as a package deal, where you get all of the gear at once, but if you’re looking for great deals then you can probably piece together a full set of catcher’s gear from friends and family.
Eye black is a form of functional makeup where a player puts a black strip underneath each eye in order to reduce the glare of the sun. There is some debate over whether or not eye black is effective, but a lot of players agree that they find eye black valuable when playing the game.
Sunglasses for Baseball
Baseball is a game that is typically played during the day so sunglasses will come in handy. Sunglasses reduce the glare players get from the sun and allows them to make those plays when the path of the baseball comes close to intersecting with the sun.
Some players like to invest hundreds of dollars into a pair of sunglasses for baseball, but my preference has always been to purchase the $15 pair of sunglasses. The cheaper sunglasses have always worked just fine for me and they’re easy to replace whenever they get scratched or break.
Batting Grip for Baseball Bats
Most baseball bats come with grips already installed, but some players love the feel of a certain type of grip more than others. So if you know what type of bat grip helps you swing the bat better, then investing in a bat grip to replace your current grip will go a long way.
As you can tell from the list above, there is a lot of equipment that goes into playing baseball. Because of all this gear, companies have developed some great types of bags for carrying all of this gear. Check around the internet to see what types of baseball bags might work best for you.