If you are preparing for the next season of baseball, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of baseball equipment available to purchase. No matter if you are just starting out or are an experienced coach or parent, we are here to help. We have put together a comprehensive guide and checklist of all the baseball gear that you need for the season.
Equipment Required to Play Baseball
One of the most basic pieces of equipment is the beloved baseball glove. Specific positions, like catcher, require a specific time of glove. The catcher’s mitt is often more padded and larger than other gloves. For other players, there are a lot of options available in a variety of different materials, sizes, and colors. For youth players, make sure that the glove is already broken in. For best results, baseball gloves should be comfortable and fit well. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended gloves.
Baseball Bat (USABat, USSSA, BBCOR, Youth, Big Barrel, Senior League)
Like gloves, baseball bats are necessary to play baseball. Different ages and leagues require different types of bats. Follow league guidelines for selecting an appropriate bat. Once you know what league certification your bat needs to have, you can begin shopping for material, design, and sizing. In youth leagues, aluminum or metal bets are usually the go-to. These bats are often lighter and easier for youth players to swing. Older players will typically use wooden bats like the ones regulated by MLB. When shopping for a bat, make sure that the bat has the required league certification. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended bats.
You most definitely need baseballs to play baseball. Baseballs are readily available at most sporting goods stores and on Amazon. Age and skill level will determine what kind of baseballs you should pick up.
Batting helmets are important for player safety. A properly fitting helmet can protect from wild pitches and missed throws. Beyond head protection, batting helmets also offer faceguards. Faceguards are recommended for players with braces. The batting helmet should be properly fitting, comfortable, and secure. Optional chin straps can be added to most helmets to keep them in place. Make sure the helmet is properly sized by measuring the circumference of the head, the wrong-sized helmet can lead to injury.
Batting gloves are not required equipment, but they do help prevent blisters while also offering increased grip on the baseball bat. If you have ever hit a baseball, you know that the vibration and rattling felt in the hands can sometimes last for days. Batting gloves can help reduce the vibration and rattling feeling felt by players. Make sure that the gloves fit properly and are comfortable. A poorly fitting pair of baseball gloves will not give as good a grip. Batting gloves come in a variety of different styles, and materials so the player can use them to customize their look. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended batting gloves.
It might not be the most comfortable thing to wear or buy but the athletic cup is a vital piece of equipment for male baseball players. Baseball sliding shorts often come with a built-in pocket for the athletic cup making them more comfortable to wear.
Catcher’s gear is only required for players that are going to be playing catcher. Without gear, catchers would constantly be getting hit with bouncing balls, strikes, and foul tips. A full set of catcher’s gear consists of leg guards, a chest pad, a catcher’s helmet, and a catcher’s mitt.
Cleats are shoes with spikes on the bottom of the shoe. These spikes dig into the dirt and grass, helping players to get better traction. A good set of cleats can help protect players’ feet, ankles, and help them make better plays. There are a wide variety of sizes, styles, and colors available for baseball cleats. The cleats can be made from metal, rubber, or plastic. Check with your league for specific guidelines on cleat material because many youth leagues do not allow metal cleats. How to choose the right baseball cleats.
Baseball pants are usually part of the baseball uniform. Baseball pants are designed to be breathable while remaining flexible enough for running around the bases. Baseball pants usually come in a couple of different colors, styles, and lengths. The hem can usually be open or closed, depending on the preference of the player.
Team jerseys are important for quickly identifying teammates and opponents. A baseball jersey is usually a polyester button-up shirt that is embroidered with the player’s name and number on the back. In some leagues, the jersey may just be a t-shirt with the player’s name and number on the back.
Baseball Cap or Hat
Baseball hats help shield the eyes from the sun. A good hat can help players see the ball and make better plays. Baseball hats are often provided as part of the team’s attire but an extra one does not hurt. Baseball caps can also be a statement piece, worn by players just for looks. The official cap of the MLB is the New Era baseball cap. Here’s how to wash a dirty baseball hat.
Also known as baseball shorts, baseball sliders, athletic sliders, athletic pants, or compression shorts are spandex undergarments that protect the player’s legs when they are sliding on the ground. Baseball sliders are form-fitting and worn underneath baseball pants. They are usually moisture-wicking and take care of sweat. These shorts often have additional padding in the thigh and buttocks area for extra protection. Additionally, baseball shorts often have a built-in pocket for an athletic cup.
Baseball belts are usually part of the baseball uniform. They are made of stretchy elastic and come in a variety of colors to match any uniform. They help keep baseball pants in place. This is especially important when players are often running, dividing, and sliding.
Chest Protection Shirt
Baseball chest protection shirts are relatively new pieces of equipment. Chest protection shirts are tight-fitting shirts that are worn under baseball shirts or jerseys. A chest protection shirt will protect the chest and heart from errant groundballs.
Compression gear comes in several different varieties that are worn depending on the needs of the player. Compression arm sleeves, leg sleeves, shirts, and pants are just some of the available compression garments. Compression gear helps support the muscles and protect the skin. The choice to wear compression gear is usually based on player preference but some players choose to wear compression garments as a fashion statement.
Sunglasses might seem like an accessory of professional baseball players, but they do help protect the eyes from the sun. Sunglasses can be especially useful for fielders that are constantly looking up to locate fly balls. Not all sunglasses will work, look for styles that are designed for baseball.
Practice Equipment and Training Aids
Bat bags are helpful for keeping equipment organized during practice and games. Players often have a lot of gear to carry around. Baseball equipment does not typically fit in a standard backpack. Bat bags were designed specifically for baseball equipment, making it easier to transport gear. Many bat bags come with dedicated sleeves for bats, water bottles, and compartments for cleats. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended bat bags.
A bucket is used to hold baseballs. They are useful for practices and help by allowing players to perform several drills in a row. By using a baseball bucket, players and coaches spend less time wrangling up baseballs and more time practicing. Baseball buckets can often be purchased already filled with baseballs, and typically come with a padded seat to sit on in the dugout. Alternatively, any 5-gallon bucket can often be used as a baseball bucket.
Baseball tees are used by professionals and little leaguers alike. A tee can be used to simulate pitches and train specific situations. Additionally, a tee allows players to do practice drills without the help of a pitcher or coach. A good tee is one of the first things we suggest picking up when purchasing practice equipment. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended batting tees.
Pitching machines can help with practice in several different ways. Rapid fire balls and specific pitches are just a couple of the scenarios where a pitching machine comes in handy. There are several different styles for pitching machines and they are available for just about any price range. Modern pitching machines often include wheels so they can easily be transported to and from the field. These are Baseball Tools top-recommended pitching machines.
Practice balls are typically used just in practice. They come in several varieties including plastic and foam. Lighter balls are often used for younger players because they are easier to hit and do not hurt as much. We recommend getting a couple of different styles of baseballs so that you have plenty of options when it comes to practicing.
There are a lot of different swing trainers on the market that work to correct all types of swing mechanics. Some of the basic swing trainers to consider are:
- Bat donut
- Insider bat
- Hitting stick
- Speed Velocity Gun
Batting nets can help players practice more efficiently. Batting nets can be set up in a backyard, but they are also found at indoor batting facilities and sometimes next to baseball fields.
An L-screen is used to protect the coach, pitcher, or pitching machine from hit balls. The pitching device or person is set up behind the L screen so that they do not get hit by any line drives up the middle.
A pitching net is portable and can be used to set up a bullpen session anywhere. A pitching net can help with targets and keep the baseballs close by so that players and coaches do not have to chase them down constantly.
Water Bottle/Sports Drinks
When playing ball in the dead of summer it is important to stay hydrated. A good water bottle and sports drink should be brought to every practice session and game. A small cooler with some ice can be helpful for keeping drinks and snacks cool.
Protect the skin from the sun with a high-quality sunscreen. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours. Consider purchasing sport sunscreen to help the sunblock stay in place even while sweating.
Chewing Gum and/or Sunflower Seeds
Baseball players can often be spotted chewing on something when in the dugout. Chewing is said to calm nerves and keep the players active even when there is not a lot of action happening. Additionally, chewing something can help absorb some of the excess saliva that the mouth produces. Big League Chew is the go-to bubble gum for baseball players. For a fun and salty snack, sunflower seeds are great.
Baseball bat grip tape is often used along with the handle of the bat so that players can get a better grip. Some bats come with grip tape already on them but carrying some around might be helpful. Athletic tape can also be used as an accessory for customizing the look of the bat. Alternatively, pine tar and batting gloves can be used to improve bat grip the same way that athletic tape does.
Eye black is not used just for looks, it is used to reduce the glare of the sun in the player’s eyes.
With this baseball gear checklist, you will be better prepared for the upcoming season. For a printable version, see our baseball equipment checklist provided below.
Baseball Equipment Checklist
- Baseball Glove
- Baseball Bat (League Certified)
- Batting Helmet
- Batting Gloves
- Athletic Cup
- Catchers Gear
- Baseball Pants
- Baseball Jersey
- Baseball Cap or Hat
- Sliding Shorts
- Baseball Belt
- Chest Protection Shirt
- Compression Gear
Practice Equipment and Training Aids
- Bat Bag
- Baseball Bucket
- Baseball Tee
- Pitching Machine
- Practice Balls
- Swing Trainers
- Batting Cage
- L Screen
- Practice Net
- Water Bottle/Sports Drinks
- Chewing Gum and/or Sunflower seeds
- Athletic Tape
- Eye Black