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Baseball and Softball Buying Guide

Although obviously inferior to cricket, these two American imports, baseball and softball, are becoming popular in the UK and leagues are forming everywhere from colleges to community teams.

Baseball vs. Softball

Baseball and softball are not too dissimilar.  The major difference between the two are the sizes of the balls, the baseball being 9 inches around while the softball is about 12.  A softball also has a less dense core, providing for a softer ball, hence, softball.  In American school leagues, boys play baseball while girls play softball.  There are other technical differences such as the distances between the bases and the pitching styles, but other than that, the two games are the same and employ the same basic concepts.

Basic Rules

"This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." -Nuke LaLoosh of Bull Durham

Equipment

Bats

Baseball bats tend to be longer than softball bats, but both are usually made of wood or aluminium.

Gloves

To break in a new glove, rub in a teaspoon of leather oil, place a ball in and use a rubber band to keep the glove closed over the ball.  Leave it for a couple of days. This will soften up the leather and mould it the ball.

Cleats

Like other field sports such as football, special trainers are needed for football and baseball. They are not as of yet widely available in the UK, but football cleats can suffice.

Baseballs

"There are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance."

-Anne Savoy of Bull Durham


Softballs 

"She was a great woman and a damn fine baseball player"

- Dotti Hinson in A League Of Their Own

Batting Gloves 

Keep your hands safe from friction and calluses with bating gloves.

Pitching Machines

Practice makes perfect.

Helmet 

Safety first--make sure you can tip your head without your helmet moving.