Baseball, the greatest pastime of America. It’s such a part of many Americans’ lives: little children pitch and bat in the Little League while their parents proudly look on. The same intensity can be felt by baseball players in the Big Leagues. They feel pressure not only from public scrutiny, but also from making sure that they take every step possible to avoid injury or sickness, because time away from the field means less money and more chances of being replaced by someone younger and stronger. Baseball sunglasses are part of a player’s arsenal of protective bodywear and accessories for staying in the game.
Many baseball games are played at night, but about just as many are played outdoors in broad daylight, too. This is when baseball sunglasses are indispensable. Without such sports sunglasses, trying to catch a ball – especially one that is hit up high – is very difficult indeed. Staring straight up into the sun while trying to ascertain the ball’s location and speed of descent can strain the eyes and increase the chance that the ball will be missed. It is partly for this reason that baseball players wear sunglasses – to enhance their playing performance. Many baseball sunglasses come with lenses that are optimized to eliminate glare and enhance vision, especially on sunny days. Baseball players prefer wearing so-called amber sunglasses on such days, even though the lenses aren’t really amber. More often than not, they are either brown or gray.
There are also baseball sunglasses that are suitable for games played at night, but the tint of the lenses need to be considered very carefully. It is best to use clear lenses that have an anti-reflective coating to offset or absorb the glare of bright stadium lights. Baseball players sometimes use sunglasses with yellow lenses for indoor games, but experts warn that such colored lenses can compromise visual discernment and can affect reaction times.
Another aspect of the importance of sports eyewear is their ability to shield players from serious injury. In fact, figures from the National Society to Prevent Blindness show that thousands of injuries were caused directly or indirectly by playing baseball. Many of the injuries were inflicted on players’ eyes when the ball would hit them there. A baseball that has been pitched or batted can travel at very fast speeds, and the injuries they can cause have the potential to be very serious indeed. For this reason, it is recommended that baseball players choose sports sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses, which are able to withstand the impact of a baseball and are virtually shatterproof. Having a lightweight but durable frame is just as important. Polycarbon frames are likewise resistant to breaking and are suitable for baseball players. Some baseball sunglasses have a shield design where the entire front of the frame is a polycarbon lens while the temples are another material. What’s good about this type of design is that the lens can be changed to suit the daylight condition of a particular game.
Players who need prescription sports sunglasses or goggles need not worry. Many brands now offer customized eyewear to fit any prescription. There are even models where the user can change the lenses to fit lighting conditions while maintaining lens prescription. Rudy Project is one such brand that offers prescription sunglasses.
There are many other baseball sunglasses brands in the marketplace, the vast majority of which offer the high quality and stylistic design that athletes want and need. Some brands use their own proprietary technology in their sports sunglasses. For instance, Oakley incorporates its Polaric Ellipsoid technology in its lenses to ensure purity of vision, one that is not hampered by distortions. Akadema is another popular brand whose shades offer 100% ultraviolet radiation protection and shatter-proof frames and lenses. Kaenon, Nike, Bolle – these and many more grace the faces of baseball players and other athletes, both in the professional and non-professional leagues.
Baseball sunglasses are part of the whole package that contributes to how a pitcher pitches, a batter bats, or a catcher catches. They can enhance playing performance and play a major role in protecting players from eye injuries caused by either sunlight or an errant ball. On top of all that, they can make a player look cool, too! This proves that baseball sunglasses are not only useful and functional, but that they are attractive pieces of sports eyewear as well.