Keeping a baseball team fully outfitted can be a challenging task. While there’s less equipment involved than sports like football or hockey, a baseball team is going to still have a substantial amount of gear that needs to well-kept. The longer equipment lasts, the more money that’s going to be left in your budget for taking care of other team needs, paying for away game expenses, and having great options in concessions and memorabilia for your fans.
Here’s some of our favorite ways to take care of your baseball gear.
1 – Baseball Gloves
Arguably the most important piece of equipment in the game and, while a poor player won’t be improved by a great glove, a poor glove can definitely impair a great player. To keep gloves in great shape:
- Wipe off any dirt and grime on the outside after every game.
- Use a leather cleaner – not typical household cleaners – to clean “caked in” dirt, by rubbing it down with a soft cleaning rag.
- Occasionally moisten the glove using an approved glove conditioning oil. Be careful not to use too much, or to moisten too often, as these products can leave a buildup if overused.
- Petroleum jelly can be used as a moisturizing alternative, but it must be fully wiped off after application.
- Always store gloves in a clean, dry, cool area to prevent mold and mildew.
- Occasionally use a disinfectant product like Febreze on the interior of the glove to further prevent mold\mildew and to stop any unpleasant smells.
2 – Catcher’s Gear
Most baseball players travel light with minimal other gear, but that’s not true of your catcher. Catcher’s gear needs special treatment to keep it game-ready.
- Always clean off catcher’s gear after each game to prevent dirt and grime buildup.
- Maintain the shin guard straps and hooks. Straps and hooks are cheap to replace, but a critical failure during a game could damage the entire shin guard. The same goes for straps/hooks on the chest piece.
- Air out the chest piece after use, and be sure it’s stored in a cool dry area. This is the piece of gear most likely to become moldy (or just stinky) if poorly cared-for.
- Watch for cracks in the face mask and helmet. Do not attempt to repair them. The only safe policy with masks and helmets is to replace them if cracks appear, because no repair will ever be as strong as a factory-fresh product.
3 – Baseball Bats
If your team is using metal or carbon-composite bats, then there’s actually very little maintenance needed. Just keep them clean and ensure the grip is secure, since they otherwise won’t corrode or develop other problems.
Wooden bats need a little more care:
- Wipe down the bats with rubbing alcohol after each game, to prevent bacteria from getting into the wood as well as to eliminate any pine tar.
- Avoid getting the bats wet with water, and be sure to dry them out quickly if they ever do get wet such as at a rainy game. Otherwise they could warp or deform.
- Smooth and condition your bats by rubbing them against each other using hard even strokes, much like sharpening knives against each other.
- Always store them vertically with the handle upwards to minimize the chance of warping.
4 – Baseballs
Baseballs are cheap, so you’ll probably not go to too much trouble to preserve them. However, if you’re really looking to stretch your budget, they can be cleaned by soaking them in a solution that’s one part ammonia to four parts water, then wiping them down with a soft rag. This will sterilize them as well as removing dirt and stains.
(This also works for balls from many other sports, including footballs, soccer balls, golf balls, and volleyballs.)
5 – Cleats
Finally, let’s look to the shoes. Cleats are absolute magnets for mud and grime, and can be difficult to clean.
- Go outdoors, and bang them together cleat-to-cleat, to knock off most of the caked-on mud.
- Soak the cleats in warm (not hot) water for around five minutes, then use a stiff brush to get most of the remaining dirt off.
- Use a soft rag soaked in regular dish soap (or any other common household soap) to clean the cleats individually of anything the brush missed.
- Rinse off with a hose, then dry off with a towel or paper towels.
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SquadLocker makes it easy to outfit an entire team with pro-quality custom-branded gear at highly competitive prices! No other custom gear store online offers our same range of products, ease of use, and overall fundraising potential. By making your very own online store, you can outfit your team and provide great products to students, fans, patrons, and anyone else who wants to support your team.