Baseball has long been praised as America's favorite pastime. Baseball gloves have been used for nearly as long as the baseball game has existed are a very integral part of the sport.
The first baseball gloves were used in the 1870s and are very different from the baseball gloves we use today. Prior to the late 1800's, the sport of baseball was much more rugged than what we are accustomed to today; players were expected to catch or knock the ball with no protection. One can only imagine the injuries sustained from this practice.
Early baseball gloves were fairly simple as compared to today's standards. The basic idea was to create a glove that would pad and protect the players’ hands and provide a cushion for catching the ball. Surprisingly, the first gloves were designed so the player could knock the ball to the ground and not necessarily catch it. History's first baseball gloves were made from pieces of leather sewn together to fit over a player's hand. Not nearly as padded, thick or advanced style-wise, early baseball gloves are on display at many sport and baseball museums across the country.
The first players to use baseball gloves were often taunted and teased as being “too soft" or “sissies" because they did not want to catch the ball with their bare hands. It is difficult to understand the resistance and fun-poking of the late 19th century since baseball gloves are a standard item used in modern games. Eventually, however, the use of baseball gloves became more accepted and a safety standard in the sport.
The history of baseball gloves is a colorful one with many advances in comfort and safety. The evolution of baseball gloves has helped to shape the game and many cannot imagine the sport without them.
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