2019 Holiday Gear Guide: Baseball Accessories
For some, baseball’s accessories play just as important a role as foundational gear. The batting glove, then, may serve as the king of the accessories, easily finding its way into the regular routine of nearly every ballplayer, no matter their age. As the batting glove continues to grow in popularity, companies are finding new ways to express both personality and quality, expanding ranges of colors and styles while embracing high-level materials and performance attributes.
Franklin has taken the color craze to the next level with the addition of its newest batting glove, the Powerstrap, into the company’s online customization portal. “The ultimate step forward is adding it to our custom site,” Franklin spokesperson Aaron Stahl said. “We had one major league player notice it the day it went live, and he created a couple of different designs and purchased 20 (pairs). It was pretty wild.”
The Powerstrap design took batting gloves beyond the Pro Classic and CFX Pro, the most common glove used by Franklin players in MLB, by redesigning the strap to eliminate any bulk around the opening on the pinkie side of the glove. The full triangle strap continues the full length of the back of the hand for ideal fit, Stahl said. Using a single piece of Pittard sheepskin leather in Franklin’s patented tri-curve technology, the single piece eliminates stitching that can break down.
As Franklin enjoys a range of colors, the brand has really seen chrome as the hottest color for most of 2019.
Easton’s new Walk-Off Batting Glove, used by Alex Bregman, features Pittard leather and Cabretta sheepskin for durability and comfort with Lycra on the back of the hand and a flexible neoprene on the pull tab for fit. “The Walk-Off Batting Glove is the same model used by all of our professional guys, including Alex Bregman, Ramon Laureano and Adalberto Mondesi,” said Trevor Anderson, Easton’s director of product development. “We get nothing but great feedback on the Walk-Off. We made Bregman about 10 different custom colorways.
"He raves about how comfortable and light they are.”
The Walk-Off is available in the 2019/2020 season in 15 different colors.
And while batters strap on gloves, pitchers can hone their skills with the new Pitching Monitor 2.0 from Rapsodo, a training tool to track a pitcher’s velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, pitch break, spin axis and more using a built-in camera in a protective metal housing that can sit on the floor instead of a tripod. The device connects wirelessly to a tablet or laptop to display metrics and show video of release height and angle.
“We built the Pitching 2.0 monitor to help baseball athletes of all ages improve their game,” said Art Chou, Rapsodo’s North American general manager. “Whether it’s designing a new pitch or plotting a new development program, our athletes and coaches use Pitching 2.0 to assess performance and chart a path for improvement, all through data, not options, because you can’t improve what you can’t measure.”