Baseball Checklist: Equipment & Apparel Needed To Play
It’s March and that can only mean one thing… it’s baseball season! Our local little league has tryouts early next week, practice starts later in the week and games start in the second week in April. Needless to say, we’re well underway!
If you’re reading this post, it’s likely that this is the first year you have a kid playing baseball and you’re trying to figure out what equipment, gear, and apparel you need to buy to make it a successful and enjoyable season.
This is a fairly comprehensive list but doesn't include any specialized equipment like catchers gear which you might consider investing in a few years down the road if your child decides to become a catcher. So, let's jump in head first starting out with apparel.
One of the most critical pieces of apparel you can buy your boy is a baseball hat. A hat is needed to keep the sun out of his eyes and makes it so you can more easily see and react to the ball. Most little leagues will provide hats as part of the uniform, but it’s always good to have another one on hand.
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To look the part of a baseball player, you’re definitely going to need to purchase a pair of high-quality baseball pants. I say high quality because if you opt for a budget-friendly pair of pants, they likely won’t hold up for more than a few games and will end up with holes in them.
Baseball pants come in several different colors, but most players opt to wear white or grey. They also come in two different styles, one that you wear up and one that you wear down. The pants that you wear up and for players that want to show off their socks and come with elastic bottoms so they don’t fall down over their calves. Many players today prefer pants that go all the way to their ankles.
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Baseball cleats are another critical element of a baseball player’s apparel list. Cleats are needed to help players have some good traction when playing on both dirt and grass fields. Baseball cleats come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. They come with both rubber spikes and metal. Most little league programs will not allow your child to wear metal spikes, so before you purchase a pair of cleats, check with the program director to make sure you know what is and is not allowed.
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Chest Protection Shirt
Relatively new to the apparel scene are baseball chest protection shirts. These are special shirts that you wear underneath your baseball shirt or jersey and protects your little baller heart in case he gets hit by a baseball in the chest. These shirts aren’t cheap and not required, but should be considered for the protection of your child.
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Another protective piece of apparel is sliding shorts. These shorts are made of spandex material and have big pads in the bottom area to protect the legs and butt of a baseball player when he is sliding into bases. Again, good sliding shorts are not cheap and not required, but should be considered for the safety of your kid.
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If your child is going to be swinging the baseball bat a lot, you’ll want to consider investing in a good pair of batting gloves. Batting gloves will protect your kids hands from getting torn up or getting blisters. Like everything else in this list, these come in many different styles and colors. Each brand is cut a little differently, so you’ll want to make sure your boy tries on multiple pairs before making a decision.
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Chances are, your child will want to wear their brand new baseball pants to practice, but it’s also a good idea to encourage him to wear shorts (if the coach allows). As the temperatures start to rise, it doesn’t take much for your player to start to heat up. Our boys athletic shorts are a great option for baseball players because they are super durable and can take a beating on the field.
In terms of shirts, there are lots of really great looking baseball shirts on the market. The traditional, ¾ sleeve shirt is a fan favorite for baseball players. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more durable and wicks sweat, our boys athletic shirts are a win!
One of the very first things that your kid will need is a baseball glove. There are so many options out, from so many companies. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, colors, designs, and usages.
The quality of baseball gloves is going to vary based on the material it is made out of. Youth gloves will cost anywhere from $30-100, some even higher, again depending on the material. When picking a glove, you'll want to make sure your boy tries several on to make sure he likes how it fits and feels.
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You can’t really play baseball without a bat. Just like gloves, there are so many different types and brands of bats on the market. Depending on how old your boy is and what type of league (t-ball, coach pitch, little league) they play in, they will need a specific type of bat. If you’re wondering how to size up a player for a bat, Dicks Sporting Goods has a great guide you can read here. Baseball bats will range in price from $20-200.
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Along the same lines as above, you can’t play baseball without a baseball… duh! Most baseballs are made with a rubberized core and covered with full-grain leather. A good ball will run you around $3-5 and can be picked up at most any sporting goods store.
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If your son is going to be batting in a live situation (in a game or in a batting cage), you will definitely need to pick up a helmet. They are made out of strong plastic material and have really good padding on the inside. There are lots of different brands and styles to choose from, so like a mitt, you’ll want to make sure your kiddo takes time to try on many different styles to find the right fit. Batting helmets cost anywhere from $15-100.
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Not the most fun thing to purchase for your son, but absolutely critical is a protective cup. Many outfielders don’t wear cups, which is fine, but if he is playing infield and especially catcher, you’ll want to pick one of these up.
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So there you have it. Now head over to your local sporting good retailer and get shopping! Good luck and have a great season!