Baseball Players And Eyeblack: Full Guide & Explanation
When you look at a baseball game, especially one of MLB level, you can sometimes notice the players wearing black under their eyes. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to baseball, as it’s also seen in softball, football, and lacrosse. This makes you wonder, what’s the reason behind eyeblack?
Baseball players wear black under their eyes to reduce glare from sunlight and stadium lights. The eye black will absorb all of the light, whereas the skin will reflect some light, affecting vision. In addition, eye black looks extremely cool, which is a big reason why it’s used as well.
That being said, adding the black grease under the eyes when playing baseball and other sports does have a practical reason. Yet, it’s done because of the appearance too. Think about it; the eye black makes you look more intimidating and mimics war paint, which is cool for the players and fans.
I’m sure you’re curious how black paint such as Franklin Sports Eye Black Stick under the eyes works, so I’m going to walk you through it.
How Does Black Paint Under the Eyes Work?
Given that black paint under the eyes is used to reduce sunlight’s glare and interference from stadium lights, it raises the question of how. How does eye black under the eyes work?
In contrast to natural skin that reflects light, eye black will absorb all light and reflect none. For this reason, the sun and stadium lights won’t impact vision by dazzling the athlete, and as a result, a flying object such as a ball is faster and clearer to notice
That’s rather interesting if you ask me as sunlight that can’t be blocked by any means. The only option is a pair of sunglasses with a pair of sunglasses or a line of eye black grease. That’s amazing if you ask me!
However, there have been various studies about whether eye black actually works. This discussion has been going on amongst scientists, players, fans, hobbyists, and you name it.
Many studies such as this organized by Yale states that eye black grease does, in fact, reduce glare and improve visual contrast, whereas anti-glare stickers doesen’t.
Another test was made by the Myth Busters, where they tested the effectiveness of eye black. Their research concluded that eye black does help with the athlete’s ability to separate the contrast between light and dark, in addition to seeing a moving object on a sunny day.
So, eye black does work by absorbing light on itself, and it has been proven to work by scientists, myth busters, and everyday people deciding to wear it.
At this point, if you’re fascinated about the subject, I recommend that you read my eye black buying guide and recommendations for various uses.
Why Are There Different Styles of Eye Black?
If you have seen a match where many players use eye black, you might have noticed that the surface material, gloss, shape, and color may change. Why are there different styles of eye black?
Different types of eye black exist for various purposes, such as different materials, shapes, and colors. Varying eye blacks can be applied to show team colors, differentiate between ease of use and effectiveness, or style it in different shapes to make a statement or prefer one style.
The players are different and may want different things from their eye black, even when the main purpose is to cancel glare from light. Let’s take a closer look at different categories of eye black.
Oh, and if you want to learn the right steps to apply eye black properly, read my helpful resource about it!
Method & Material
Eye black comes in two main types; eye black grease and eye black stripes.
Eye black grease is commonly made from beeswax, charcoal powder, and paraffin. They come in a stick that can be applied and styled under the eyes. Eye black stripes are usually made of patented fabric with a matte finish, which isn’t as effective in reducing glare as eye black grease.
To see examples of both, you can check out Franklin Sports Eye Black Grease and Franklin Sports Eye Black Stripes from Amazon.
Even when eye black stripes are easier to apply and can be easily customized with a pen by writing something on them, they aren’t the recommended product. The material eye black stripes are inferior to eye black grease, which is the reason you are using it in the first place.
So, as a rule of thumb, get grease instead of stripes.
The good thing about eye black grease and sticks is that you can style them in different forms. This gives you a lot of room to work with, and you can get the exact look you want. This isn’t possible with the eye black stripes that will only give you a traditional look, in addition to worse performance.
There are dozens of popular ways to style your eye black, and only your imagination is the limit. Some popular styles include;
- Traditional Stripes
- Alice Cooper
- The High School Baseball Player
My personal favorite is Alice Cooper or the raccoon. Traditional stripes are also a confident choice. Anyways, you can browse a great list from Korkedbats or come up with your own!
Last but not least, there are different colors of eye black, or should I say eye red, eye blue, or so on.
Naturally, the most common color for eye black is black. Well, black isn’t technically a color but a shade, but you get the point. Other popular colors include red, blue, or USA-colored Tri-Stripe.
However, eye black does come in various other colors; they might just be harder to find. Isplack provides the best example I have found of great quality and selection. They have 16 colors of undereye sticks that absorb light, are cruelty-free, doesen’t contain toxic chemicals, and have a badass look!
Overall, don’t limit yourself to black if you desire other colors!
Does Eye Black Wash Off Easily?
All things considered, if athletes decide to wear eye black, does it come off easily, or do they get a lot of stares when walking on the streets a week later?
Eye black washes off easily; however, it depends on what it’s made and what you are washing it off with. The modern eye blacks made out of organic materials wash off easier than ones made with chemicals. In addition, washing eye black with rubbing alcohol will remove it easier than plain water.
Although, warm water and a gentle cloth will usually do the trick quite fast. To my knowledge, there is no eye black product that doesen’t come off on a single washing session. If there is, something has gone wrong in competition and product research by the company.
Anyways, where it comes down to is on the actual product. For example, the Isplack undereye sticks come off easily, even when they aren’t 100& organic. In fact, 100% organic eye blacks aren’t usually as long-lasting as Isplack, for example.
You shouldn’t worry about washing eye black off as it will come off. Just familiarize yourself with the particular stick and read the instructions.
My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite baseball bat, baseballs, and a glove that I think will take your game to the next level!
- Bat: My favorite baseball bat is the Easton Project 3 Fuze. This bat has a composite end cap, reduced post-impact vibrations, balanced swing weight for the fastest swing speed, and a carbon core that makes this bat perform very well! As I’m not a professional baseball player, I like to use alloy bats as you can swing faster and hit further.
- Baseballs: Rawlings Competition Grade Practice Balls are my choice for something to hit. I love these balls because they fit all levels of play, so regardless of who you are playing with, you can use them. They come in a 6 or 12 balls box, and you can choose between raised or flat seams! I prefer flat seams as the balls tend to fly further!
- Glove: When it comes to the glove, my choice is the Rawlings Sandlot Glove. This glove is available for both lefties and righties. The same glove is also available for infielders, outfielders, pitchers, catchers, and 1B mitt. This glove has a nice vintage look, and it’s made from oiled leather. It has palm pads that protect your hand from impact, and it is pre-broken-in, so you are good to go as soon as you have it! A glove I’m proud to recommend.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.