There are many videos and examples where a baseball player catches a baseball that comes in unbelievable speed barehanded. This makes you think about whether you could play baseball without a glove.
In this article, you will learn just that, in addition to the history of baseball and gloves, whether the gloves are necessary for optimal performance, and a couple of fascinating this about batting gloves. Before moving on, can you play baseball without a glove?
You can play baseball without a glove because rule 3.06 states that one may use a leather glove; thus, it’s not a requirement. However, a baseball can easily break bones, so you shouldn’t play serious baseball without a glove.
Given that many baseball batters hit at the exit speed of +100mph, catching a ball at that speed without a glove would most definitely hurt with the possibility of doing a lot of damage. Imagine that the ball was to come for your finger, or your hand would be slightly at the wrong angle. It could and probably would result in broken bones.
Let’s take a closer look a the subject of whether you can catch a baseball barehanded and how it could be done.
Also read: 6 Baseball Glove Oil Alternatives
Can You Catch a Baseball Barehanded?
What if you were in a real baseball game, and the ball would come in a catching distance to your non-glove h nd. Can you catch the ball with your bare hand?
You can catch a baseball barehanded because of the rule 5.09, stating ”a catch is the act of a fielder getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding I ”. When you consider this with rule 3.06 states that using a glove is optional, you can catch a ball barehanded.
Such a catch is more difficult than with a glove, that’s for sure. Also, the safety isn’t nearly as good as with a glove, so given that catching a baseball is more difficult and less safe, it’s probably best to use a glove.
Still, there may be situations where it would be easier to catch a baseball with your bare hand. You should think about its speed before catching it, but that may be difficult because there is no time to think before acting upon it.
For reference, look at the video below where Evan Longoria catches a powerful ball right in front of the reporter’s face.
See how Evan shakes his hand after catching the ball. You should remember that he is a professional baseball player, and the ball came perfectly on his palm. Imagine if that powerful ball would come on his finger. It would certainly mean an injury, broken finger, or worse.
Another reference you should look at are these pictures from a hand of a baseball fan shared on Reddit. See the palm and how it’s covered by a bruise covering half of the palm. The fan tried to catch a ball swung by a Texas Rangers player Adrian Beltre, but the swing was so powerful that the ball bounced back to the field from the hand.
That resulted in a broken hand, an ambulance trip, and a recovery lasting a long time. On the plus side, the fan received an autographed player card and a ball from Adrian Beltre after the incident.
In conclusion, you can catch a baseball with your bare hand. However, you should always catch it with a glove if you have an option, and if not, think about the force the ball is coming at. It’s not worth risking your arm and months of recovery for one catch.
Did They Ever Play Baseball Without Gloves?
It’s widely accepted that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839, but the real history is more complicated than that. That’s a story to another day, but today’s story is whether baseball was played with gloves from day one, or were they used later?
Vintage baseball was played without gloves. Baseball gloves were first believed appearance was in 1870 by Doug Allison, a catcher for Cincinnati Red Stockings because of an injured hand. However, the first confirmed use of a glove was by Charlie Waitt in 1875, who wore a pair of flesh-colored gloves.
As in many sports, the final for don’t take shape until surprisingly late, and that’s the case with baseball as well. Baseball was indeed played without a glove back in the day. However, you need to consider that the swings and pitches weren’t nearly as strong as they are today for many reasons.
For example, baseball as a sport wasn’t as fast-paced back then overall as it isn’t now. In addition, baseball is one of America’s most popular sports, and over 300 million people live there. Thus, the competition is fierce, meaning that only the people that can throw and swing the strongest (among other things) are selected into teams.
That’s why catching a baseball without a glove in 2020 is way more dangerous than catching one before the 1900s.
Are Batting Gloves Necessary In Baseball?
Batting gloves haven’t been present the same as baseball gloves for catching. Although all baseball players wear gloves and most people wear batting gloves, are they necessary?
Generally, batting gloves aren’t necessary for baseball. Although, batting gloves have many benefits, such as improved grip, shock absorption, and hand protection when batting and running bases. Ultimately, wearing batting gloves is a personal choice, yet highly recommended.
You can imagine that batting gloves aren’t necessary if a catching glove or mitt isn’t either. However, I highly doubt that one would get into an MLB team without wearing one.
This isn’t the same with batting gloves, as their absence doesn’t pose a serious safety risk for your hands if you want to have all the advantages when at-bat, then batting gloves are recommended.
Did you know that you can use batting gloves in other sports but not in all? To learn more about this, I highly encourage you to read my article about it.
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.