When Josh Hamilton became the 16th major league player to hit four home runs in one game on May 8th against the Baltimore Orioles, he was wearing custom-designed Carbon Fiber® II Digital® Pro Franklin batting gloves – specially designed to protect the hamate bone in his wrist. They look like this (click on the image to enlarge it):
Batting gloves have come a long way. I remember when I used to play back in the late 70′s and early 80′s, I had to go to a golf pro shop to buy gloves to use for batting. That was the only place where you could get them. And, yes, I did the Thurman Munson thing of adjusting the glove on my left wrist when batting. Hey, I was young…
Today, as a Little League manager, I have to confess that the kids drive me nuts with their batting gloves. It seems like we’re always waiting for a kid to get his gloves on to hit, or for him to take them off when he reaches base, or for him to put them away before he heads to his position on the field. (We’re talking 8-year olds here.) More than once this season, I have yelled out to a kid “Com’on, stop fussing with the gloves. You don’t need batting gloves to hit. Hustle up!” And, they look at me like I am nuts.
I suppose, just like I had to do the Munson thing with my batting gloves back in the day, kids today see big leaguers today and feel like they need the gloves? And, when guys like Hamilton do what he did on Tuesday, wearing batting gloves, it’s easy to understand why they would feel that way.