5 Cold Weather Baseball Essentials

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Pro recommendations for how to stay warm in baseball

April is usually cold in most baseball cities around the country. Having spring training in Florida or Arizona where temps can easily be in the 90’s before we leave to our cities makes the transition to 30 and 40 degree temps even more difficult. Here are a few cold weather essentials that I or my teammates use to stay warm and help us perform our best in cold weather baseball games.

How to stay warm in baseball - Cold weather long sleeves for cold weather baseball clothing

Under Armour long sleeves

1. Best Baseball Long Sleeves

In cold weather baseball, long sleeves are a must. The cold weather long sleeve undershirts are thicker than regular sleeves  Inside they have a fleece type layer that touches the skin to give you extra warmth.

Options for fit:

  • Crew or mock turtle neck
  • Compression, fitted or loose fit.  Compression is designed to actually squeeze the muscles and is supposed to help keep them warm and loose, and even aid recovery time.  “Fitted” means a streamlined fit but no squeeze.  Which is best is really more of a personal preference.  Some guys like and prefer compression, while others feel restricted when their clothing is too tight and prefer the loose fit.  

There are cold weather sleeves which can be thick and heavy.  I actually prefer to wear 2 thin long sleeve shirts. It keeps me warm and I don’t feel restricted by a bulky undershirt.

The best long sleeves for baseball are Under Armour‘s Cold Gear and  Nike’s long sleeve called Hyperwarm.

Realistically, most professional baseball players are wearing one of these two brands.

2. Best Cold weather leggings

cold weather baseball compression leggings

Under Armour Cold Gear compression leggings

Baseball leggings for cold weather come in compression or fitted.

I prefer compression, and here’s why – Sitting in the dugout or waiting for a play in the field to come your way, it’s very easy for your muscles to get tight in the middle of a cold weather baseball game.  The last thing anyone needs is an injury, and compression tights help keep your muscles warm and ready for sudden athletic movements.

The long compression pants are thin and have a fleece-like lining. When worn under your baseball pants and socks they are not visible.  When the temps drop and that cold wind picks up, you’ll be VERY glad to have them on.

Under Armour has the Coldgear leggings in compression or fitted.  They’re very good quality –  moisture wicking (dri-fit), light but warm, and anti odor.  Rated for temperatures 0 to 55 degrees.

Nike has 3 tiers of cold weather leggings.  What’s the difference?  Each tier is based on the different heat degree ranges recommended:

  1. Pro Warm: 40-60 degree weather, $50
  2. Pro Hyperwarm: 40-20 degrees, $55 – $70
  3. Pro Hyperwarm Max: 20-1 degrees.

Tips for buying Nike’s cold weather leggings:

  • And don’t be confused by “Pro” vs “Combat Pro” on the labels.  It’s the same product.
  • Some companies add the label Sr or Senior (for adult sizes) and Yth or Youth
  • Leggings labeled “Hyperwarm lite” have less insulation than the regular Hyperwarm leggings

3. Hand warmer

When your hands get cold, throwing a baseball very difficult and errors happen more often.  Keeping a  hand warmer  in your back pocket allows you to hold it between pitches in order to keep your throwing hand warm.  This makes throwing so much easier, and helps you feel warmer in general. I’ve noticed that once my hands get cold, the rest of my body tends to follow.  Keeping your throwing hand warm is essential in cold weather baseball.

4. Stay warm in the dugout.

These are the extra cold weather baseball pieces that may make your night a little more bearable, and help keep your body warm and loose.

  • Gloves – It’s also nice to have cold weather gloves that will keep your hands warm in between innings or on the bench.  When your hands and feet get cold, the rest of your body is sure to follow.  Under Armour has some Coldgear Side Lines gloves that are made for athletes – grippy, easy to move in, and quick to get on and off.
  • Beanie- keeping your head warm keeps the rest of your body warm.
  • Jacket- bundle up in between innings and stay warm.
  • Facemask– in real cold weather a facemask can be warn under your hat. It can cover your ears, mouth, and sometimes nose. Its helpful on windy cold days.
Best baseball gear for cold weather batting gloves

Franklin cold weather batting gloves

5. Cold weather batting gloves.

These batting gloves are a little thicker than regular batting gloves, but the big difference is that they have a neoprene back that keeps your hands warm. There is nothing worse than having cold hands when you are at the plate. These gloves will keep your hands warm.  I really like Franklin’s cold weather pro batting gloves. They’re durable, not to bulky and keep your hands warm.

Even though I grew up and now live in warm weather locations I have played many Aprils in the midwest, Colorado, and all over the north east. Hopefully this information can be helpful so you can be prepared when playing cold weather baseball.

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I hope this quick rundown on whats the best cold weather baseball gear and how to stay warm playing baseball has been helpful.  For pro recommendations for baseball in regular weather, see our Baseball Clothing page.

As always, you are invited to add your opinion or ask any questions in the comments section below.  Play Hard ! – Doug

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About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After batting .200 in 45 at-bats and fielding .950 during 2017 spring training with the Rangers, Doug was assigned to the Ranger’s AAA team the Round Rock Express. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

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5 Comments

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  2. great advice. i would also add a palm guard as another essential piece of equipment. there are many styles available. i personally have tried padded batting glove styles, gel pads, leather pads and various synthetic pads. i found most of them were too thick and changed the fit and feel of the baseball glove on my hand. they also made it harder to feel the ball in the glove, especially since the cold weather already makes your glove feel stiffer. i prefer the palmgard sting stopper. this is a small, very thin two finger guard that is light enough that it does not affect the feel and performance of your glove. another thing i try to do is continuously flex my glove between pitches and between innings. this helps keep the glove loose and my fingers warm. i also wear the under armour mock neck cold gear shirts recommended by mr. bernier, they really help keep you warm. nike makes a good balaclava that covers the head and neck and is thin enough to wear under a baseball cap. while i’ve never tried one on, new era now makes an mlb hat with fold down ear flaps. some people call it the elmer fudd. i live in new york and regularly play from early march to well into november. every little bit helps! have fun and watch out for those bees in the bat handle!

    • John,

      Thanks for your input on the palm guard. I will add it to our product list. I know many catchers that use it and love it. I used it before and liked it. It definitely makes your hand not sting when you catch a ball in the palm of your glove. I am also glad you liked the cold gear I recommended. That is the same stuff I use and it keeps me warm.
      Thanks for the comments and keep checking back with the website, we are planning on adding videos to our articles.

      Doug Bernier

  3. Another terrific and insigtfull aricle. It is nice that you have the high quality clothing you recommend on your website so people don’t have to go all over the place or search the web looking for the various items. A nice one stop shop.

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