When Did Baseball Players Start Wearing Mittens?

Baseball is one of America’s most beloved pastimes. It is a sport that is steeped in tradition and has a long and storied history. One of the most iconic pieces of equipment associated with the game is the mitten, which is worn by players to help them catch the ball. But when did baseball players start wearing mittens?

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History of the Baseball Mitt

The baseball mitt is believed to have been invented in 1875 by Charles H. Waite of the Brooklyn Excelsiors. He created the first “catcher’s mitt”, which was a leather mitt with a pocket that allowed players to catch the ball more easily. This mitt was seen as a revolutionary piece of equipment, as it improved the game significantly while also providing players with better safety protection.

Growth in Popularity of Baseball Mitts

The popularity of the baseball mitt quickly grew, and by the early 1900s, mitts were being used by players in all positions. This was due to the fact that mitts allowed for better control when fielding the ball, as well as better protection for the hands.

The rise of the mitt also coincided with the rise of baseball as a professional sport. Professional leagues began to form and teams began to offer contracts to players based on their ability to play the game well. As the sport grew in popularity, the use of mitts became increasingly common.

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Advancement in Mitt Design

In the early days of baseball, the mitts were made of stiff and bulky leather, which made them uncomfortable and difficult to use. However, as technology advanced, mitts became increasingly more comfortable and easier to use.

The most significant advancement in mitt design came in the 1940s, when the first “webbed” mitts were developed. These mitts featured a web-like material between the fingers and the thumb, which allowed for better control of the ball and improved gripping ability.

Modern-Day Mitts

Today, mitts are made with a variety of different materials, such as leather, synthetic materials, and even titanium. The mitts are also designed to provide players with improved protection, comfort, and control.


The use of mitts in baseball is an integral part of the game, and it is impossible to imagine the sport without them. While the exact date of when baseball players started wearing mitts is not known, it is believed to have been sometime in the late 1800s. Since then, mitts have become an essential piece of equipment for any serious player, and have continued to evolve with time.