30th Anniversary of the Batting Glove

Miguel Cabrera
Whether you’re on the Little League field or at-bat under the lights of a major league ballpark, a batting glove will help you play the best game possible. Aside from protecting your hands from weather conditions, batting gloves improve your grip, protect your hands from blisters and absorb shocks from aluminum and wooden bats.

This season marks the 30th year Franklin has crafted batting gloves for Major League players before becoming the official batting glove of Major League Baseball in 1990. But what is the story behind the origin of the batting glove?

Many cite Bobby Thompson and Ted Williams as the firsts to wear batting gloves during spring training, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, respectively. Without a glove made specifically for the needs of baseball the two used golf gloves to protect their hands from excessive blisters before the regular season started. The trend never caught on until Franklin teamed with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983.

In attempts to elevate the batting glove from a simple golf glove, Franklin designed a custom-made glove for the Phillies legend. Implementing the “tri-curve” design, Franklin created a batting glove that provided protection from the elements and comfort without restricting movement. Known as one of the best hitters to ever step up to a major league plate, Schmidt went on to hit 40 home runs in 1983 and later took home his third MLB MVP award in 1986.

In 1990 Franklin became the official batting glove of the MLB and never looked back. Now countless major league players grace their preferred style of Franklin batting gloves including Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, sluggers Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, Nick Swisher and Mark Trumbo as well as brothers B.J. and Justin Upton, Dustin Pedroia, Yadier Molina and Hanley Ramirez.

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