Why Do Baseball Players Wear Black Under Their Eyes?

Baseball players of all ages, from Little Leaguers to professionals, often sport a smudge of black paint under their eyes. But why? What purpose does it serve? Read on to find out why baseball players wear black under their eyes and why the practice has become so popular.

History of Black Eye Paint in Baseball

The practice of wearing black eye paint in baseball dates back to the 1940s. It is believed that the black paint was originally worn by catchers to reduce glare from the sun and create a more distinct image of the ball as it was thrown. Catchers were the first to begin wearing the black paint, and it soon became a staple of the game.

Advantages of Wearing Black Eye Paint

Today, many players regardless of their position wear the black eye paint. There are a few advantages to wearing black eye paint:

Reduces Glare: The black paint helps to reduce the glare of the sun on the field, making it easier to see the ball. It also allows players to better track the ball as it is thrown.

Better Focus: The black eye paint creates a more focused look, helping players to concentrate on the game and remain focused.

Increased Confidence: The black eye paint can give players a sense of confidence, allowing them to perform better during the game.

Improved Visual Acuity: The black eye paint can improve a player’s visual acuity, making it easier to pick up on the details of the game.

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Types of Black Eye Paint

There are two main types of black eye paint used in baseball: liquid and stick. Liquid eye paint is a liquid solution that is applied directly to the skin. Stick eye paint is a solid stick that is used to draw a line of black paint under the eyes. Both types of eye paint are popular and have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Liquid Eye Paint: Liquid eye paint is easy to apply and provides a more even coverage. It is also easier to remove than the stick eye paint. The main disadvantage of liquid eye paint is that it can run or smear more easily.

Stick Eye Paint: Stick eye paint is easy to apply and provides a more distinct and precise line. It is also more resistant to smearing and running. The main disadvantage of stick eye paint is that it can be more difficult to remove.

Safety Considerations

When using black eye paint, it is important to take safety into consideration. Always use a product that is specifically designed for use on skin and make sure to follow the directions carefully. Be sure to keep the eye paint away from the eyes and mouth and to avoid getting it in your eyes.


Black eye paint has been used in baseball for decades and continues to be a popular choice for players of all ages. It helps to reduce glare and improve focus, giving players an edge on the field. There are two main types of black eye paint: liquid and stick. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages and should be used with safety in mind.