SoSH Glossary: MLB Equipment

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language.The Sons of Sam Horn glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

MLB Equipment

Although players each have their own gear, MLB equipment is regulated. These are the rules players must abide by when it comes to the tools of their trade.

The Ball

At the center of every baseball is a round piece of rubber, called a pilled which is wrapped around a piece of cork. After being dipped in an adhesive, the pill is wound in yarn four times. Each layer of yarn increases the baseball’s resilience, allowing the ball to keep its shape after being hit over and over. Adhesive is then applied to the ball before two pieces of leather are attached, sewn on with red thread and stitched 108 times. The ball must weigh between five and 5 ¼ ounces. Its circumference must be between nine and 9 ¼ inches.

The Bat

Each baseball bat must be a smooth, round piece of wood with a diameter no larger than 2.61 inches and a length no greater than 42 inches. The bat must be constructed from one piece of wood. The types of wood allowed are white ash, sugar maple, true hickory, yellow birch, red oak, and Japanese ash. Manufacturers must obtain approval from the commissioner before introducing new designs, such as the Axe Bat. Any colored bats must be approved by the Rules Committee.

Bats are allowed a 1 ¼ inch deep cup to be taken out of the top. This hollowed end can be no wider than two inches and no narrower than one inch. Foreign objects and substances are not allowed in the cupped end of the bat.

Fielders’ Gloves

Baseball gloves must be made of leather and cannot fall within a PANTONE® color set lighter than the current 14-series. All fielders’ gloves must fall within the measurements below:

Image from MLB Rulebook
Image from MLB Rulebook

The webbing in between the thumb and hand may be constructed of one of the following:

  • Two plies of standard leather to completely close the gap
  • Series of tunnels of leather
  • Series of panels of leather
  • Lacing leather thongs

The webbing cannot be wound or wrapped lacing constructed to create a net-like trap. When the entire gap is covered, a joint is allowed to create flexibility. Any series of materials to construct the webbing must be joined together. The webbing must be maintained to hold a consistent size of the pocket.

Pitcher’s Glove

The pitcher may not have a white or grey glove, nor may he have a glove that is distracting in the judgment of the umpire. The umpire may, at any time, order the pitcher to change gloves if he deems the pitcher’s glove distracting. Foreign materials of a different color are also not allowed on the pitcher’s glove.

Catcher’s Mitt

The catcher’s mitt may have a circumference up to 38 inches with a length of no more than 15 ½ inches from top to bottom, including any straps and lacing. The distance between the thumb and index finger can be no more than six inches at the top and four inches at the base of the glove. The webbing of the glove can be constructed of lacing, or a centerpiece of the mitt itself that is connected with lacing.


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Pete is the Editor-in-Chief of Sons of Sam Horn. Currently residing in North Carolina, he enjoys reading and spending time outdoors when not editing or working with his tremendous team.

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