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Author Topic: Why do base runners in baseball wear an oven mitt  (Read 139 times)

Offline y04185

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Why do base runners in baseball wear an oven mitt
« on: July 13, 2019, 04:21:04 PM »
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Dear Sports Fan,

I was watching a playoff baseball game the other day and noticed that once players get on base, they put on (don’t laugh) what looks like an oven mitt on one hand. Why do base runners in baseball wear an oven mitt??!!

Thanks,
Estelle
— — —
Dear Estelle,

I’m not laughing! I’ve noticed that too. What we are looking at when we see a base runner put on what looks like an oven mitt is a new evolution of safety equipment. The oven mitt — called, unsurprisingly, a sliding mitt, is a clever combination of two separate pieces of safety equipment that some baseball players wore to prevent injuries when sliding into a base.

Baseball is, on the whole, a very safe sport. The story from the late 1800s when both sports began in earnest in America is that baseball was played by the working class, who couldn’t afford to injure themselves, while football was played by the upper class whose lifestyle could sustain frequent broken bones. Perhaps the most common danger in baseball is sliding into a base. The speed with which players slide, combined with the great need to touch the base and keep touching it before the fielder gets the ball and steps on the base or tags them, leads to jammed or broken fingers and wrists and even torn wrist cartilage. More rare but still possible is a fielding player coming down on a runner’s hand with their baseball cleats. Ouch!

Baseball players have long had strategies to deal with these risks. Before the sliding mitt, players were taught to hold their batting gloves in their hands or even a fistful of dirt as a reminder to keep their hands in the air for as much of the sliding process as possible. For players who favor protective equipment, a slider’s wrist guard is and has been readily available for years. Like something you would have worn in the late 1990s when you learned how to roller blade, the wrist guard keeps the arm from bending back when it hits the base. The other element that the sliding mitt incorporates is rigid, often fiberglass, protection for the fingers. This evolved from a cast that Kansas City Royals player Scott Podsednik started wearing in 2008. Here’s Podsednik explaining it to the brilliant blog uni-watch:
Fayetteville State by choice. Bronco by the Grace of GOD.

Offline oleschoolaggie

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Re: Why do base runners in baseball wear an oven mitt
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 04:04:59 PM »

i don't know that baseball is necessarily a "very safe sport".  when i was a youth, i played multiple sports.  but i "quit" playing baseball for one reason and only one reason.  i quit because i ain't trying to get hit by a 90 mph hard azzz baseball!

at least playing football i had plenty of equipment to protect me.  but a baseball helment alone didn't cut it for me.  i wasn't gonna wait for a pitcher to "intentionally" hit me one day cuz i would go right after his azzz.

lol, so i decided to quit before i had to resort to fighting a pitcher one day...

Offline y04185

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Re: Why do base runners in baseball wear an oven mitt
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 06:00:21 PM »
Scared of a baseball?  Don't play fast pitch softball.  It's those guys sliding into bases that's really dangerous.
Fayetteville State by choice. Bronco by the Grace of GOD.

 

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