A sliding mitt is a piece of baseball equipment that is quickly gaining traction for its protective features and the confidence it provides to players, allowing them to take more aggressive slides into bases without worry. Despite being a relatively modern piece of equipment, their importance and usage have made them nearly as popular as batting gloves in today's game. 

Not to mention, the modern-day ball player likes to look good and accessories like sliding mitts can add to their overall drip while on the diamond. From small things like the design on the mitt to the morris a necessary addition to any serious baseball player’s bag.

The Short Answer: A sliding mitt is a protective glove typically worn on the left hand of a player when they are baserunning. Think of it as a sliding guard for diving headfirst, housing a protective plate and secured with an elastic compression strap. Sliding into bases often results in hand, wrist, and finger injuries. This is where the sliding mitt comes in, which aims not only to keep the player safer and boost confidence sliding into bases.

The History of Sliding Mitts 

The sliding mitt, often humorously mistaken for an oven mitt by fans, has become an increasingly common sight on the basepaths of Major League Baseball. The roots of this protective gear can be traced back to the 2008 MLB season with Scott Podsednik, a former All-Star outfielder known for his speed on the base path. Podsednik's need for the sliding mitt arose from recurring hand injuries while sliding into second base, which led him to collaborate with a hand therapist to create what he referred to as a "removable cast". Initially made out of fiberglass, this early prototype was designed to protect his fingers during head-first slides.

Image of a BRUCE BOLT athlete with a sliding mitt in his back pocket.

Adoption & Popularity

Although Podsednik was the pioneer, the sliding mitt didn't gain widespread attention from other professional baseball players until later. His teammates on the Kansas City Royals began adopting the gear after seeing its effectiveness. The trend picked up momentum as players like Brett Gardner and Rajai Davis began using more refined versions of the mitt. Today, it's common to see the majority of baserunners wearing these mitts during games, highlighting their acceptance and perceived benefits among pros. Beyond major leaguers, the popularity of sliding mitts has now trickled down to the youth level, most commonly seen worn by the best young talent.

Regulatory Considerations

As the sliding mitt becomes more prevalent in MLB, questions about its regulation have emerged. Unlike other pieces of equipment like first base mitts and wood bats, there are currently no specific MLB rules governing the size or features of sliding mitts. This raises interesting scenarios, especially in critical game moments, about how much of an advantage a player might gain from the extended length of a mitt during a game-deciding slide into home plate. The lack of clarity in the rules suggests that as sliding mitts become more controversial, official regulations may need to be established.

Understanding the Importance of Sliding Mitts 

At first glance, a sliding mitt looks like a simple oven mitt. However, it's specially designed to protect a player's hand, wrist, and fingers when sliding into a base. The mitt, typically tucked away in a player's back pocket, makes its appearance once a player reaches base. 

Infographic explains the importance of sliding mitts.

The Role of a Sliding Mitt on the Field

Sliding (as we are sure you know) is an essential part of baserunning – making it imperative to stay protected while doing so. The nature of sliding significantly raises the possibility of hand or wrist injuries and the commonality of these injuries is a big reason for the growing popularity of sliding mitts. The protective plate and elastic compression strap of a sliding mitt are designed to provide a buffer.

Impact on Player Performance & Confidence

Regardless of their skill level, every baseball player stands to benefit from a sliding mitt. This protective accessory allows players to focus on polishing their performance by providing extra confidence and the added bonus of extra style. While this piece of protective gear may seem less important for players in youth leagues that disallow sliding into bases headfirst (like Little League), it still looks cool and can protect the trail hand from being stepped on or otherwise injured when sliding feet first.

Versatility Across Positions

The sliding mitt is a versatile accessory, benefitting players across positions and ages, from seasoned MLB players to high school softball players. Whether providing protection or adding a bit of confidence to your baserunning, the benefits of wearing a sliding mitt extend beyond just the professional level, making it an asset for any player. 

Around the Horn: Why BRUCE BOLT Sliding Mitts Stand Out 

BRUCE BOLT gear demonstrates a perfect blend of innovation and quality, ensuring players are doubly guarded against injuries. Each mitt is crafted with an exclusive non-slip palm comprised of proprietary materials for an assured grip, while the semi-flexible polypropylene protective plates offer excellent durability and protection.

Infographic explains the benefits of BRUCE BOLT sliding mitts.

At BRUCE BOLT we are committed to providing reliable protection, and that is evident throughout our protective line. Tailored to provide superior wrist protection, our sliding mitts are equipped with high-quality straps and extra padding. They prioritize safety without compromising on player comfort or mobility. With a BRUCE BOLT sliding mitt on your hand, you're not just wearing a superior product – you're gearing up with unrivaled protection.

With a BRUCE BOLT sliding mitt, you don't just get to slide with confidence; you get to elevate your game. So why wait? Shop our range of sliding mitts today and slide into your next game with style and assurance!

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