If you have ever watched a baseball game – whether in the stadium or on TV – you must have noticed that every player has a hat on.
The tradition of wearing hats in baseball is one that has been around for more than a century, and has become quite intertwined with the sport. Today, most players cannot even imagine playing a baseball game without a hat on. What started out as a mere necessity has transformed into an unshakeable tradition.
But, why do baseball players wear hats? In this blog, we will discuss the main reasons.
Why do Baseball Players Wear Hats?
1) For Protection from the Sun:
Baseball is played throughout the year, during fall, summer, and spring. Little League players, in particular, often have to play their games under the scorching sun. Since baseball is primarily an outdoor sport, the presence of the heat and sun can often deter the players from making in-field plays.
The hat – particularly the brim – serves as a barrier and keeps the sun out of the eyes. As a result, the player can clearly see if a ball is approaching them. Remember that batted balls can often travel at speeds of over 100 miles per hour and, if a player cannot clearly see the ball coming at them, they could suffer serious injuries. Even if the sun is not shining brightly, the glare from multiple sources can lead to vision problems.
These days, batters use helmets for protection. However, even helmets come with brooms that help enhance the batter’s vision. In the minor leagues, players often wear a hat underneath the helmet for hygiene-related reasons or to improve the fit of the helmet.
These days, youth players often get their separate helmet from their family, so that they do not have to share helmets with other players. This means that you can find a helmet with good fitting, which can further improve your vision and level of comfort.
2) For Protection from the Bright Stadium Lights:
Back in the day, almost all baseball games were played under the daylight. However, these days, an increasing number of baseball games are being played at night under artificial lights. Even at lower levels of baseball, night matches under the lights are not uncommon. Night games are beneficial for both the players and the spectators, as it ensures that games do not have to be played under the scorching heat.
However, the artificial stadium lights, just like sunlight, can act as a barrier to making in-field plays; the third-base is called the ‘hot corner’ for a good reason. The ball races off the bat, and, unless the fielder can see the ball clearly, it is extremely hard to make quick plays.
Likewise, when the baseball is struck in the air, the artificial stadium lights can really interfere with the vision of the player trying to catch the ball. Once again, wearing a hat creates a barrier between the lights and the eyes, offering clearer vision. What makes artificial lights more complicated is that the baseball can get caught on its way up and then again when it is headed downwards.
Before playing their first night game, a fielder should train under the lights to make sure that they are adequately ready and prepared to deal with any vision-related issues.
Other Ways to Block the Light and the Sun:
Apart from hats, sunglasses and eye-blacks have also found their way into baseball. These gadgets add another protective layer that helps players improve their vision both in the field and at the plate.
Needless to say, vision is crucial in baseball (or any sport, for that matter). Poor vision can lead to not just dropped catches and lost games, but can also be the cause of severe and often career-ending injuries. Therefore, players and coaches should put a lot of emphasis on vision, and make sure that they are using all available protective gadgets.
3) Team Pride and Identity:
Getting a team hat at the start of each season is quite an indescribable feeling. It triggers feeling of unity and pride, and sets you apart from other teams. There is a reason that the very first thing that a rookie receives upon being drafted, is the team’s hat.
This is also why fans don the hats of their favorite baseball teams. It makes you stand out, and tells the world that you are proud to be a fan of the team. You can find a number of cool hats at all levels of baseball; even kids get excited about their new hats and spend the entire summer wearing them.
Hats have become a part of the baseball tradition, and we are certainly not complaining about that. It is a proud feeling to wear your team’s hat, whether you are a player or a fan. These days, teams launch multiple types of hats to not only cater to the fans’ varying demands but also to generate more money through merchandise sales.
Curved Brim v/s Straight Brim Hats:
When it comes to picking a baseball hat, you will have to choose between curved brim and straight brim. We believe that curved brim hats are the better choice, since they provide greater protection to the eyes and help improve your vision. In addition, curved brims can keep you shielded from the glare of the sun, while also protecting the side vision.
Our Final Thoughts:
Baseball hats have become synonymous with American baseball, and have been a part of the game for close to 150 years.
Hats are worn by baseball players of all levels and ages. In fact, a lot of other sports, such as tennis and golf, have also started using hats.
This is because, hats are not just cool and stylish, but serve a very practical and essential purpose. Baseball hats are becoming popular with every passing season, and this popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.
To learn more about baseball and baseball attire, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.