Spring is in full swing, so it’s time for baseball season. This may be your first time buying baseball equipment, or you may just be looking for a few upgrades. Whether you are purchasing equipment for yourself or your child, you should have a detailed list of all the items you need. This guide will outline everything you need to know about buying baseball equipment and why it’s best to shop at a local sporting goods store.
The following equipment is essential for baseball players of all skill levels.
Bat—Depending on your league, the type of bat you need may vary so check with your league’s guidelines in order to choose one that’s appropriate. When shopping in-store, let an employee know what league your shopping for and they’ll be able to provide you with lots of options. Getting a feel for the bat in person is a great way to guarantee it’s the right one for you.
Mitt—Mitts need to fit well and be appropriate for the player’s position. Mitts for outfielders have deeper pockets making it easier to catch fly balls, and infielders’ mitts are shallow allowing them to take the ball out with ease in order to make a play quickly. As your child grows, so do their hands so make sure you check the size of their mitt frequently in order to know when to upgrade.
Protective gear—There are a few pieces of equipment that keep players safe from injury. These include cups, mouthguards, and batting helmets. Mouthguards often need to be fitted for each players’ mouth and teeth. Sporting goods stores supply mouthguards that can be boiled and molded to teeth easily. Be sure to check with your league’s guidelines regarding helmets as there may be different standards depending on which league you or your child is playing in.
Catcher’s gear—Not all players will need this gear, but it’s a requirement for catchers. High-quality chest and leg guards, as well as a strong mask, keep catchers protected from high-speed pitches. Catchers also require a glove with thicker padding to protect their hands.
Specific articles of clothing are required for both practice and games.
Cleats—Depending on your league, you’ll need either plastic or metal spikes on your cleats so check with the league’s guidelines. Kids will need to purchase new cleats throughout their childhood and adolescence as their shoe size grows so keep an eye on that or else your child will be using ill-fitted cleats. Trying cleats on in-store is incredibly important to be sure they feel comfortable and well-suited to your feet.
Sliding shorts—Compression shorts or sliders are important for protecting your legs from the rough dirt when sliding. Keep a good number of pairs stocked in case you’re attending multiple games or practices over the course of a few days.
Hats—Keeping the sun out of your eyes is important. Keep a couple of nice hats in your arsenal that shield your eyes and wick away moisture.
Shirts and pants—Your practice shirts and pants should also be moisture-wicking and high-quality. Choose clothing made from well-made fabric for practice that will stand up to the wear and tear they’ll be going through. Make sure you have layers that will keep you warm during early morning practices that can be easily shed once it warms up.
Bag—Your baseball bag needs to be large enough to accommodate all your gear and strong enough to not rip or break under pressure. It should have pockets and compartments that keep you well-organized so you’re not slowed down when looking for equipment. Find one that you can easily carry on your back without straining yourself.
Water bottle—A large reusable water bottle is a crucial item for both practice and games. Players often spend several hours on the field so choose a large bottle that will keep you hydrated for an extended period of time.
Sunglasses—As previously mentioned, keeping the sun out of your eyes is crucial. A good pair of sports sunglasses will help you during exceptionally sunny summer days. Make sure you purchase a pair that are shatterproof and can be fitted with a strap that prevents them from falling off.
If you’d like to practice at home, there are a few things you should purchase in to make training easier and more effective.
The best at-home practice gear to purchase would be a bucket of baseballs, a pitching machine, a pitchback net, and a swing trainer. These will all help you practice your throwing, catching, fielding, pitching, and hitting techniques. If your child is in tee ball, having a tee at home will help them train as well. If you’d like to act as a catcher for your child while they practice pitching, get yourself fitted with catcher’s equipment in order to protect yourself.
Why Buying Baseball Equipment In-Store is the Best Option
Buying baseball equipment in a local sporting goods store is far better than doing it online.
Test the products—Trying out the gear before buying it ensures that it’s the perfect fit for you. This equipment is an investment and you should take the time and care to make sure you will love it 100%.
Knowledgeable staff—Employees at local sporting goods stores will be able to guide you through the process and answer all questions you have. They will help fit you with the perfect equipment and be sure you’re complying with all the rules your league enforces.
High quality—Sometimes you can find cheap baseball equipment online, but buyer beware. A lower price often indicates lower quality. It’s likely that the online retailer is mass producing these products with less care than the brands sold in local sporting goods stores.
Buying Baseball Equipment? Come to Wayne Sporting Goods
At Wayne Sporting Goods, we’re passionate about helping people enjoy healthy and fun lifestyles through sports and recreation. Our knowledgeable staff will ensure that you choose the equipment best suited for you. If you want to make buying baseball equipment simple, come visit us at Wayne Sporting Goods.