Do Baseball Players Have To Wear Hats? (Rules & 5 Hats)
If you have ever watched baseball on TV, at the stadium, or been on the field yourself, you know that all players wear hats, and so do half of the fans.
It’s crazy how much popularity different baseball hats have gained over the years. Now, they are as big of a deal as baseball itself.
When you look at the baseball players and see that everyone is almost always wearing a hat, it makes you think whether they are required to wear them?
According to the Official Rules of Baseball, baseball players don’t have to wear hats as there is no rule stating for or against it. The only rule regarding headgear is batting and protective helmets. However, rule 3.03(a) states that players must have identical uniforms, so baseball players wear hats.
As a man myself, I like wearing caps of different styles and beanies in the winter. Because most baseball players wear hats, the others must wear them too because they need to have identical uniforms.
If all players decided that hats were off, they wouldn’t need to wear them. It’s a democracy, I guess, and the majority gets to decide.
Now, it’s not like they are only wearing caps for style reasons. There are three major reasons why baseball players wear hats, so let’s take a closer look at the ”why” next.
- Why Do Baseball Players Wear Hats?
- What Different Baseball Hat Styles are There?
- Do MLB Players Get New Hats Every Game?
- Can You Pitch Without a Hat?
- Can Baseball Players Wear Their Hats Backward?
- My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Why Do Baseball Players Wear Hats?
The three practical reasons for wearing a baseball hat are visibility improvement & blocking the sunlight, baseball caps cool on a hot day, and team unity & fashion.
1. To improve visibility
The most important thing a baseball cap does for you is provide shade for your eyes. This makes you see better, so you can bat and throw more accurately, which is extremely important.
Baseball is a sport played in the fall, summer, and spring. Thus, the sun is a common sight to see, especially in certain areas where the summer practically never ends.
That’s why the shade provided by the baseball hat’s brim is important because looking even slightly at the sun will make you squeak your eyes, limiting vision. But also, your vision will be blurred for a couple of seconds after.
The sun doesen’t even need to be right in front of you. It can be behind clouds and behind you, and still, it will produce a glare that can and often will find its way to your eyes. Given that batters in the MLB can make the ball fly at the speed of +100mph, your vision mustn’t be disturbed by anything.
In addition, the stadium lights can produce even worse glare than the sunlight. Especially in the modern days when technology is so advanced, most major stadiums have night lights that will light up the whole stadium.
It’s better for the players and fans to play and watch the game when evening chill has come, or at least the worst heat has passed because it increases comfort and performance. Yet, the stadium lights can be very bright, so that’s what the baseball hat’s brim is for.
2. Temperature control
As baseball is played mostly when the weather is nice and hot, it can even be dangerous in some areas because of direct sunlight. In addition, baseball games are longer than in other sports, so the players need to stand and run for quite some time.
Baseball hats will protect from ultraviolet rays and the sunlight’s direct heat. This increases comfort, reduces the chances of heatstroke or sunburns.
Not all hats are equal in the matter. If you want to maximize your hat’s cooling effect, you should choose one that is white or light in color, made from material that absorbs the least amount of sweat, and is constructed with mesh style.
To learn more about this and how well a baseball bat keeps you cool, check out my article about it. There are three factors that everyone should know, so you can buy the right kind of hat if the need arises.
3. Teamspirit & Style
The last reason why baseball players wear hats is the sense of unity, team spirit, and of course, fashion.
If you play baseball in a team, you will usually get a team hat with the logo. That’s truly a beautiful moment, and it makes you feel proud and like you belong. The team is your other family in many cases.
This is true for the fans as well that love to wear a cap with the team logo on it to also feel pride from being part of the team in a way. This is a great fundraising idea for the team, as fans are often more than willing to purchase multiple types of hats that bear their favorite team logo.
A cap is an important accessory for free time as well. In fact, many people wear a cap which represents a part of their identity. That’s why you should know whether to keep the sticker on a baseball hat or not.
What Different Baseball Hat Styles are There?
This brings us to the next question: how to choose a hat for yourself? First off, you will need to know the different options you have. Below you can find the five most well-known and, in my opinion, best baseball cap choices there are.
1. Fitted Cap
The most famous baseball caps are fitted caps, especially the New Era 59Fifty. They have flat brims and stylish overall construction.
A fitted cap doesen’t have a closure at the back. For this reason, you must choose the right size as you can’t change it on the go. You can see the size and other information from the sticker that is on the brim.
Oh, and if you don’t like how the sticker look and aren’t wearing an expensive hat that needs to be proven its authenticity, take off the sticker!
Many different groups of people widely own snapbacks. From athletes to artists to movie fans, street stylists, and you name it.
A snapback has an adjustable closure in the back made from plastic. You can adjust the size on the go by snapping the right size into the button. Super easy and fast.
In addition, there are so many different kinds and styles of snapbacks that it’s no wonder so many different types of people have adopted the snapback. You can get them in flat or curved brims, but the flat is more popular.
3. Trucker Hat
Trucker hats are kind of snapbacks, but they have a plastic mesh construction on the sides and back of the hat. This makes it ideal for hot days as the hat allows airflow to your scalp and doesen’t absorb sweat nearly as much as other hat types.
You can also adjust trucker hats from the back like snapbacks, so you don’t need to be as careful with the size.
However, trucker hats aren’t as stylish as the two above ones, at least by the public opinion. They tend to be a bit taller as well.
4. Dad Hat
Dad hats have been rising in popularity like crazy lately. These hats are less structured and more sloppy than other baseball caps.
Dad hats have openings on the back, but instead of the plastic size mechanics, these hats have canvas winches that are the same material as the hat itself.
You can see dad hats on many types of people and well dads. They are more popular with the non-athlete population because dad hat’s often don’t carry any sports team logos.
I like to wear a dad hat in my free time as they are comfortable, stylish, and I’m not too fond of the plastic size winch.
5. 5-Panel Hat
5-panel hats get their name from the visible five-panel construction style. These hats often have shallow crowns and flat brims.
You can see 5-panel caps on many skateboarders and people that love hipster fashion. If you look at the hat, that’s exactly what it looks like.
The style is also quite minimalistic with an overall pattern.
Do MLB Players Get New Hats Every Game?
If you have watched any MLB, you can see that every piece of their uniforms looks brand new, including the hats. Do MLB players wear a new hat every time they step on the field?
In short, some MLB players get new hats to every game, and some players wear the same hat the whole season. It all comes down to personal preferences, but the players do have the chance to get a new hat for each match. Some players are superstitious, making them wear the same hat the whole season.
It seems pointless to change a hat every game because they doesen’t get that dirty in a single match. In addition, the MLB teams have a professional cleaning service that washes the uniforms properly after each game.
Although, there is a limit to how long one can wear a cap as they will get dirty and smelly eventually.
There are even players that wear the same hat the whole time they play for a team. Reportedly, Steve Kline wore the same hat while playing for the Cardinals. If you look at this picture, you can believe it’s true.
Can You Pitch Without a Hat?
One popular question that I always hear and see all over the place is whether you can pitch without a hat. That’s a valid question as all pitchers seem to wear one.
In general, you can pitch without a hat because the baseball rules doesen’t require a hat to be worn at any time. However, the rules require identical uniforms from the players. As most players want to wear a hat for practical and stylish reasons, a hat is required from all players. Pitchers included.
The same rules apply to pitchers as the whole team. Because baseball players, in general, aren’t required to wear a hat if it doesen’t mismatch with the identical uniform rules, you could pitch without a hat.
However, you can only pitch without a hat if the whole team plays without them. This, on the other hand, is a more rare sight.
Can Baseball Players Wear Their Hats Backward?
When you walk down the streets in summer, you can see people wearing caps, and some of them are turned backward. That kind of takes the whole point of a cap away. Can baseball players wear their caps backward?
Generally, baseball players can wear their hats backward. Catchers wear their hats backward whenever on the defense, as they can’t fit the faceguard if the hat is onwards. Other baseball players don’t often turn the hat backward because it wouldn’t protect their face from UV light and glare.
That being said, baseball players can turn their hats backward if they want to. That’s because there are no rules considering hats in the baseball rules anyways. I wouldn’t recommend it tough except if you are a catcher, because you would lose the reasons why you are wearing it in the first place.
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.