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Baseball is a wonderful sport that is played in many parts of the world. No matter where one goes to play, the equipment or “gear” required to play baseball remains the same. Baseball players share a certain bond with their baseball gear; some even believe that a certain piece of gear can give them good luck. There is seemingly no end to the various types of baseball equipment a player can acquire. Some pieces of equipment are a staple of any baseball game, and a player’s equipment choices hinge on the position that they play.
A good baseball mitt has made it to the top of many kids’ wish list, and for good reason. Even if a person only has a mitt, they can still throw the baseball around with friends or even self-catch. There are different styles of baseball mitts for each position played. There are outfielder mitts, pitcher mitts, catcher mitts, first-baseman mitts, and infielder mitts. Each mitt has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Another icon of baseball is the baseball bat. Baseball bats come in different lengths and weights, which are usually determined by the age and weight of the player using them. Bats also are made up of different materials, depending on the playing level of the user. Major league ballplayers are only allowed to use wooden bats, mostly because the majority of all-time baseball records were set using wooden bats. Other leagues allow their players to use bats made of aluminum and other composite materials, all of which add distance to hits.
Catchers wear the largest variety of equipment compared to other positions; this is because they are having the baseball thrown at them constantly during the game by the pitcher. They need a catcher’s protective mask, which prevents them from being hit in the face with the ball. They also wear a chest protector, kneepads, shin pads, optional elbow guard, and their mitt and cleats. It becomes painfully obvious after watching a baseball game why catchers need the equipment they wear, it is definitely not for show.
Baseball players wear different types of footwear, depending on what surface they play on. If they play on natural grass, then they commonly wear metal cleats, which have metal spikes that dig into the ground to give the player traction. If the player should have a game on artificial turf, then they would most likely wear plastic dull cleats, which would be optimal for that surface.
Another piece of baseball gear that is popular with fans is the baseball jersey, or the uniform. Organized baseball teams typically have their own style of uniform, which helps differentiate them from their opponent. Major league baseball teams actually sell authentic team jersey replicas to the general public as a source of revenue and publicity. Many fans like to purchase a jersey with their favorite player’s number stitched to it.
Other common pieces of baseball gear are batting gloves, helmets, umpire gear, duffle bags, pitching machines, instructional aids, sunglasses, and baseball hats. All of these can normally be purchased from a sporting goods store. While it is not essential to have every single piece of baseball gear possible, the right piece of equipment can sometimes drastically improve a player's performance.