Look Ma, no gloves!

Matt Carpenter, the youngster filling in for Lance Berkman at first base while he recovers from a calf strain, has a hot bat.  But Matt is doing something very old school – he does not wear batting gloves., Derrick Goold, a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, interviewed Matt about his habit of not wearing batting gloves.  Matt said that he closes cuts on his hands with Super Glue. Eww!  Yuk! (Sorry, that’s the girl in me.) As long as he swings a hot bat, however, I don’t care if he wears batting gloves or not.

If you’re a baseball player, there are reasons you would want to wear batting gloves. When it’s cold, batting gloves will keep your hands warm.  When it’s really hot, batting gloves will keep the bat from slipping out of your sweaty hands.  Batting gloves provide protection from errant pitches.  They also keep you from getting blisters and calluses on your hands.  They give you a better grip on the bat handle.

Batters are always adjusting their batting gloves at the plate. I’m not sure if it’s because the gloves slip around on their hands or they’re doing it to try to slow up the pitcher. If they don’t fit, they should get a pair of gloves that do fit.  It reminds me of back in the day when Terry Pendleton was batting, he would adjust his jock strap on live TV. That was distracting for the pitcher, I would think, and disgusting for the viewer.  But I digress.

Believe it or not, batters didn’t always wear batting gloves.  Bobby Thomson of the Giants reportedly wore golf gloves during spring training in 1949. In 1964, Ken Harrelson was the first player to wear a batting glove during a game.  Rusty Staub was the first player to wear golf gloves on a daily basis. In the 1980’s, batting gloves finally became the norm for all players due to Mike Schmidt teaming up with Franklin Sports to develop gloves specifically for batters.  Franklin provides the most batting gloves for major league players, but other athletic goods manufacturers have added batting gloves to their lineups.

Young Mr. Carpenter, however, is not the only current major league player that does not wear batting gloves. Jamie Moyer, that ageless pitcher, doesn’t wear batting gloves. Former Cardinals players who didn’t wear batting gloves are Terry Pendleton (probably so it would be easier to adjust his jock strap), John Mabry, George Hendrick, Tommy Herr, and Keith Hernandez.

I played co-ed softball in my younger years but don’t remember if anyone wore batting gloves or not.  I couldn’t hit worth a darn, so they wouldn’t have helped me anyway. LOL!

Congratulations to the winners of the Baseball’s Greatest Games:  Game 6 of the 2011 World Series Blu-ray/DVD combo sets!  The winners are:  Chris Hays, Lisa Weyenberg, Bob Hatter, Ross Willimann, JoAnn Johnson, and Kim Ahrens.  Thanks for reading and thanks to A&E/MLB Productions for providing the DVD’s.

And thank you for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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