Baseball is arguably one of the most well-known sports in the United States and in some countries around the world. Besides being a sport that is watched by millions of people through the TV screen and in stadiums or ballparks, baseball is also a fairly popular sport to play among kids and teenagers. Because of its popularity, many schools and organizations in the United States have youth baseball teams where kids can hone their skills in batting, pitching, and catching against players that have the same or higher level of skills.
Youth baseball is considered a very important stepping stone for some of the best baseball players in the world, as it is through the sport that they will be able to improve their skills and become much better before they hit the bigger leagues. So, it is essential to give players in youth baseball all the necessary equipment they need in order to play and practice the sport properly, which can help in honing their skills without any hindrance or problems. To know which pieces of small or large equipment are essential in the sport, here is the ultimate guide to youth baseball equipment.
A kid or a teenager wouldn’t look like a proper baseball player without wearing the necessary pieces of clothing that baseball players usually wear during a game. Besides the looks, baseball apparel also has different functions that are beneficial for the player on the field. Here are the pieces of apparel a youth baseball player needs to wear while playing a game.
One of the most iconic or recognizable pieces of clothing that baseball players wear is the jersey, which would usually sport the name of the player’s team, as well as his or her surname and chosen number. In addition to looking spectacular most of the time, the jersey also has functions that can help the player feel more comfortable while playing the sport.
Most baseball jerseys today are made of breathable materials that can be greatly beneficial in keeping the body cool and preventing overheating, which can cause cramps and muscle pain. Also, a lot of jerseys have moisture-wicking technology that can prevent sweat buildup and make the player feel more comfortable. To learn more about jerseys and uniforms, read out “Guide to Baseball Uniforms.”
Another iconic piece of clothing in the baseball world is the baseball cap, which is a type of hat that has a deep crown and a relatively long visor at the front. The baseball cap that most professional baseball players wear is fitted, which means that the crown has a custom size that can fit the player’s head nicely. These fitted caps can be purchased in sporting goods stores, although a lot of youth baseball players prefer adjustable caps that have a strap at the back that can be lengthened or shortened with ease.
The visor of a baseball cap is helpful in preventing sunlight from obscuring the vision of a baseball player. So, wearing a baseball cap is important since it will give you better visibility on the ball or on the other players. Moreover, most games are played during the morning or the afternoon, which are the times when the sun is shining bright, so a baseball cap is basically an essential piece of equipment that all players should have.
Aside from the jersey, a piece of clothing that baseball players would need to wear is the baseball pants, which would usually be made from the same materials as the jersey. Much like the jersey, baseball pants are usually made from moisture-wicking and breathable materials, which can prevent discomfort and muscle problems.
However, as baseball players would usually slide towards bases most of the time during games, baseball pants should be durable enough to withstand scratches or scrapes. So, the pants should have reinforced parts that have extra padding or fabrics to make those sections more durable while still offering breathability and comfort.
Many consider socks as important pieces of clothing baseball players should have, as the socks would provide protection from blisters, which are often caused by your foot sliding around inside a shoe and causing too much friction. Moreover, baseball socks are relatively long, so they can also offer protection for your ankles and the lower part of your legs against scratches, scrapes, and other types of wounds.
Besides protection, baseball socks should also provide ample compression so that you can boost blood circulation in your legs and offer support for your veins. Furthermore, the baseball socks should also be breathable to avoid sweat buildup that can also cause blisters. Click here to learn more about the importance of socks in baseball.
Youth baseball players wouldn’t be able to move around the field properly without wearing baseball cleats. A pair of baseball cleats features studs at the bottom that can help your feet have a better grip on the ground or grass and prevent slipping. Check out our “How to Choose the Best Cleats for Playing Baseball” article to know which type of cleats is perfect for a youth baseball player.
If a baseball player doesn’t have cleats while playing the sport, he or she will have a higher chance of getting injured since the field can often be rough and slippery. So, before a youth baseball player plays for a team, it is important that he or she should have a pair of new baseball cleats to wear to avoid injuries and have a much more enjoyable time playing baseball.
Baseball Equipment and Accessories
Of course, in order to play baseball properly, a youth player should have the proper baseball equipment and accessories ready to use and wear. These items are essential for playing baseball, and they are also helpful in providing protection. Here are the pieces of baseball equipment and accessories that a youth baseball player should have at a game.
The baseball bat is regarded as one of the most important pieces of baseball equipment that teams and players should have, as it is needed to hit the ball and win the game. The baseball bats used for youth baseball are slightly different from the regular bats, as they would often be narrower and shorter. So, it is crucial to buy the correct size of a baseball bat for a youth baseball player.
However, most teams or leagues would already provide bats for their players, although for the best experience, a youth baseball player should have his or her own baseball bat that is more comfortable for him or her to use. To know which type of baseball bat is suitable for youth baseball players, read our “Comparing Wooden and Metal Baseball Bats” article.
A baseball that is traveling at high speeds can often be dangerous, as it can cause moderate to severe injuries to players that will get hit by it. So, if a youth baseball player is assigned as the batter or hitter, he or she should wear a batting helmet that will protect his or her head if ever the baseball hits the said body part.
The batting helmet should be small enough to fit youth baseball players, so they should wear the ones that are specifically designed for smaller heads, which are perfect for kids. Also, the batting helmet should have ample padding so that it would feel more comfortable while the youth baseball player is wearing it.
The second most important piece of baseball equipment is the baseball mitts or gloves, which are utilized to catch the baseball with efficiency while also providing protection for the hands. The baseball mitt is responsible for absorbing the shock that is produced by the ball that is moving at high speeds and hitting your hand as you catch it.
Without the mitts, there will be a high chance that you will get injuries from simply catching a baseball with your bare hands. So, in youth baseball, all catchers and fielders should wear comfortable baseball mitts or gloves to protect themselves against injuries.
In addition to baseball mitts, a pair of batting gloves is also essential to provide protection for the hands of batters or hitters. Batting gloves are primarily used by hitters to have a better grip on the baseball bat, which is crucial if they want to get a more accurate hit on the baseball once it is pitched. They also offer protection since the friction produced by the hands and the bat can also cause blisters or scratches. So, for a youth baseball player to have a better and safer experience in batting, he or she should wear proper batting gloves from grip and protection. Check out an article we wrote by clicking here to know more about the benefits of batting gloves.
While the batting gloves, baseball mitts, and batting helmets offer plenty of protection for youth baseball players, those items or accessories are usually not enough for some players to wear, as there are certain positions taken by players on the field that need much more protection against various types of injuries. Below are the pieces of protective equipment needed by youth baseball players.
Besides the head, another body part that is commonly hit by the baseball when it is not caught or hit properly is the chest protector. As its name already suggests, the chest protector provides sufficient protection for the chest, as it features padded layers and sections that absorb impact and shock if ever the ball hits the player’s chest. Moreover, most chest protectors would also have shoulder paddings to offer protection for the shoulders as well. Check out the “What is a Chest Protector for Baseball?” article to know more about this protective equipment.
A similar piece of equipment to the batting helmet is the catcher’s mask, which is specifically worn by catchers instead of batters or hitters. The catcher’s mask features grills at the front that will let the catcher see the field without any obstructions while also protecting the face against a baseball that is traveling at high speeds. The catcher’s mask also has padding at the bottom and the top to make it more comfortable to wear, especially during a hot day where sweat and heat can cause discomfort on the head.
Another body part that is commonly hit by the baseball is the leg. Luckily, there is already a piece of equipment that can protect your legs and prevent injuries, and this is the leg guard. The leg guard is typically worn by catchers and hitters to protect their knees, ankles, and shins from wild pitches, as well as blocking, foul tips, and cleats from another player.
The important baseball apparel and equipment aren’t the only ones needed by youth baseball players, as they may also need training equipment so that they can properly hone their skills in the sport and train even if they are not playing an actual game or if they are not accompanied by other players. Here are pieces of training equipment that a youth baseball player will need to train and improve their skills efficiently.
For players that don’t have pitchers that will accompany them during practice, a pitching machine is a great piece of training equipment to have since it will automatically pitch baseball for you while you are practicing your batting skills. You can adjust the speed of the pitching machine in terms of how many baseballs they pitch per minute, as well as the speed of the balls that are pitched. Also, you can also adjust the angles of the pitches so that you can practice hitting different forms or types of pitches.
If a player is practicing alone, it would often be difficult to retrieve the ball while practicing batting, as the player would have to sprint on a wide field just to get the ball he or she just recently hit with a baseball bat. To save time and effort, the player should have a hitting net, which is a piece of training equipment that will effectively catch balls using a durable net that has a basket-like compartment at the middle where the balls would usually end up. The hitting net is also recommended to use if the player is in a smaller space, like a backyard or a garden, so that he or she won’t hit fragile things like windows and glass doors. To know more about this training equipment, click here to read an article that will tell you the benefits of using a hitting net in baseball.
There are also other items that are not considered as a piece of baseball equipment, apparel, or accessory but are as important as the items mentioned above. Here are the other items that a youth baseball player may need in certain situations.
The eye black is a strip of black paint or grease that is applied on the cheeks or below the eye, and it is supposed to reduce glare that would often occur when the sweat on your face reflects the sunlight. Many studies have concluded that eye black is effective in providing better vision for baseball players, which is why a lot of players in the big leagues are now sporting the eye black. If you want to purchase an eye black for a youth baseball player, make sure that the product you will buy doesn’t have harmful chemicals that may cause irritation on the player’s skin.
First Aid Kit
No matter how protected a player is while wearing proper protective equipment, there will be instances where wounds can’t be avoided. So, to treat those wounds quickly, the player or the team should have a first aid kit ready for application. To know what should be included in the first aid kit, click here to read our article that shows the necessary items for a youth baseball first aid kit.
Those are the most important and beneficial pieces of equipment for youth baseball. Make sure that a youth baseball player, whether it is your child, your student, or your team’s player, should have all the necessary equipment ready to wear and use so he or she will be protected and will have a much more comfortable and fun time playing the sport.
Baseball Equipment Guides
- Guide to Baseball Uniforms
- Guide to Baseball Protective Gear
- Guide to Buying Used Baseball Equipment
- Introduction to Baseball Bats
- Overview of Baseball Gloves – By Type and Position
- What Equipment Does a Baseball Coach Need?
- How to Make the Most of Your Baseball Gear?
- How to Choose the Right Baseball Bat?
- How to Buy the Best Baseball Gloves for Your Needs?
- Why are Baseball Gloves So Expensive?