With the Holiday Season upon us, Babe Ruth League wants to help you with some gift giving ideas for those special baseball or softball enthusiasts in your life.
Buying the Right Bat
If a new bat is on your baseball player’s Christmas list, there are some important things to think about before making your purchase this year. As announced previously, USA Baseball, in conjunction with participating national member organizations (Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball) adopted a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats. The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat) will be implemented on January 1, 2018. Please note the chart below that shows the change in bat standards beginning with 2018.
All new approved bats that bear the USABat licensing mark are currently available for purchase.
This new standard will only apply to baseball. So, if you are looking to buy a softball bat for the holiday season, be sure to follow the specifications in the Babe Ruth Softball Rulebook.
For further information on the USABat standard, please visit www.baberuthlegaue.org. To view an approved bat list, please visit https://usabat.com.
Selecting a Glove
Why not consider purchasing a new glove that will surely put a smile on the face of your young player. There are few pieces of sports equipment as cherished as a glove. When selecting a glove for your young athlete, there are a few considerations to take into account to ensure safety and high performance. One of the most important things to consider is choosing a glove that is the correct size and the right glove for the player’s position.
Gloves are measured by starting at the top of the index finger of the glove and measuring down the finger, along the inside of the pocket and then out to the heel of the glove. Please review the suggested guides below.
Selecting a Glove by Position - In order for your young athlete to achieve his/her ultimate potential, choose a glove that’s appropriate for their position on the field.
Catcher’s Glove or Mitt
- Is a fingerless mitt (does not have individual fingers)
- Has heavy padding to reduce the sting from the pitcher’s throw
- Is reinforced to withstand heavy use throughout a game
First Base Baseball Glove
- Has less padding than the catcher’s mitt
- Is longer to help the first baseman reach, scoop and catch throws from infielders
- Has a shallow pocket that allows the first baseman to quickly retrieve the ball from the mitt.
Infield Baseball Glove
- A five-fingered glove with a shallow pocket
- Softball infielder gloves have a deeper pocket to accept the bigger ball
- Second basemen need a smaller glove to help make quick throws while still having control
- Shortstops use something in the middle for grounders and quick throws
- Third basemen need a larger glove
Outfield Baseball Glove
- Has a deeper pocket to handle balls hit high in the air
- Has a longer length to give as much reach as possible
Pitcher’s Baseball Glove
- Can be any size (just make sure it’s comfortable on your hand)
- Has a closed web to hide the ball and pitcher’s hand
- Sometimes has a finger hood to conceal the index finger
- Popular web styles for pitchers: Basket, Basket Connector, Two Piece Solid and Modified Trap-eze
- Generally larger both in the pocket and in length to help players handle the larger ball
- If you play both baseball and softball and only want to buy one glove, select a softball glove
Finding the Right Helmet
Batting helmets are one of the most essential items for any baseball or softball player. The helmet’s purpose is to protect the head and the ear against injury. Per Babe Ruth League rules, helmets must cover the top of the head and have extended earflaps, which cover both ears, and properly fit the player wearing it. The batting helmet shall not have a chrome or mirror-like surface.
The batting helmet should fit securely on the head without squeezing the head. It should not move when the head is turned from side to side and should be easy to take on and off as well. A secure batting helmet should not fall forward over the eyes. Whether you are buying a helmet in a store or online, be sure to take a measurement of your child’s head circumference at its widest point (above the ears). A secure fit is important in a batting helmet. Please refer to the following guide for sizing.
Apparel, Stocking Stuffers and More
To give a gift that will keep the smiles coming now through the baseball and softball season, please visit the Babe Ruth League Store, where you will find deals on unique apparel, equipment, accessories, and everything you need to make the 2018 Holiday Season extra special.