I recently watched a New York Mets-Atlanta Braves game on TV. Doug Mientkiewicz, first baseman of the Mets, didn’t bat with batting gloves on. I thought it was kind of odd. The broadcaster noted it, also, and mentioned that Vladimir Guerrero, outfielder of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, doesn’t either. Anyone who watches baseball knows that Moises Alou, outfielder of the San Francisco Giants, hasn’t worn gloves his entire career — he urinates on his hands to “harden” them.
Could this just be an isolated fad by some players to show people how tough they are to hit without gloves? I certainly hope that it’s a trend that helps bring the old days of baseball back from the modernity of baseball. Babe Ruth never wore gloves, and he hit 714 home runs. Ted Williams never wore gloves, and he batted .406 in 1941. The old days of baseball featured many of the greatest baseball players of all-time, and these legends never wore gloves. Although they never had to face pitchers who regularly topped at the high-90s, they had to play everyday with the most basic of baseball equipment and excel with it.
I like to think that baseball players are becoming more enamored with baseball history and realize that the true way to play is the way they played originally from the 1900s to the 1950s. That means no more aluminum bats for the little leaguers and the high school and college players. That means no more vitamins and special diets. That means having to work another job on top of going to the ballpark every day.
This might just be a pipe dream, but I hope that more players embrace the old ways of baseball and reject the modern movement of lighter bats and bigger gloves. Granted, a lot of these players have multi-million dollar contracts and need to take good care of their health. But if you emulated Ted Williams and Babe Ruth as idols when you were a kid, then why not emulate them as adults and as players?