The Mystery Behind the Mitt: Why Do MLB Players Wear a Mitt When on Base?

Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition and superstition. Players have their own unique rituals and quirks that they believe helps them perform their best while out on the field. One of the most well-known traditions is the use of a mitt when on base. But why do MLB players wear a mitt when on base? This article will explore the various reasons why this is a popular practice among baseball players.

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History of the Mitt

The use of a mitt when on base dates back to the early days of baseball. In the late 1800s, mitts were used as a way to protect the hands of players from the hard-hit balls that were common in the game. This was especially important for the catcher, who needed protection from the frequent fast pitches that were thrown. Over time, the mitt became a symbol of protection and was used by all players, including those on base.

Protection from Injury

The main reason why MLB players wear a mitt when on base is to protect their hands from injury. When a ball is hit hard and fast, it can cause serious damage to the player’s hands. By wearing a mitt, players are able to reduce the risk of being injured while attempting to catch a ball. This is especially important for players who are not used to playing in the infield and are not used to the speed of the game.

Better Grip

Another reason why MLB players wear a mitt when on base is to improve their grip on the ball. The mitt helps them to catch the ball more securely and accurately. It also prevents the ball from slipping out of their hands, which can lead to costly errors. The mitt also provides extra padding, which helps protect their hands from the impact of the ball.

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Improved Hand-Eye Coordination

Another advantage of wearing a mitt when on base is that it helps improve players’ hand-eye coordination. The mitt allows them to track the ball more easily and accurately, which helps them react quicker to the ball and make better decisions. This is especially important for players who are new to the game or who have trouble tracking the ball.

Added Comfort

In addition to the protection and improved grip that the mitt provides, it also adds an extra layer of comfort. The mitt helps to cushion the impact of the ball and makes it easier for players to catch without experiencing any pain. This is especially important for players who are used to playing in the outfield and are not accustomed to the speed of the game.

Symbol of Professionalism

Finally, the mitt has become a symbol of professionalism in baseball. It is seen as a sign that the player is serious about the game and is taking the necessary steps to protect themselves. This is especially important for players who are new to the game or who are trying to make an impression on the coaches and scouts.

Conclusion

The mitt is a staple in the world of baseball and has been for many years. There are a number of reasons why MLB players wear a mitt when on base, including protection from injury, better grip, improved hand-eye coordination, added comfort, and as a symbol of professionalism. All of these reasons come together to make the mitt an essential part of the game of baseball.