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NILES BASEBALL ESTABLISHED 1958

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Jan, 2021

What Gear Do I Need?

How To Choose A Bat

Selecting a bat for your young athlete can seem like a daunting task. With so many brands, sizes, colors and shapes, how do you decide? Well, let's try to simplify things for you.

Although there are many different ways to measure for the best baseball bat length, the best way is to choose what you feel comfortable swinging. A general rule to follow is never go up more than an inch at a time. This makes it easier to adjust to your new bat without drastically changing your swing. If you’re new to the game or want to re-size yourself, follow the steps below to learn how to properly measure yourself:

Look at our ballplayer illustration. Measure from the center of your chest to the tips of your index finger, making sure to have your arm straight out to your side. This measurement will tell you where you should be looking on the chart below:

After you’ve selected the proper bat size to use by calculating all the numbers and referring to the bat length chart, there are some additional ways to determine whether or not it is the right size:

  • Put the bat to your side and as long as your palm reaches the handle, you have the right sized bat
  • Put the knob of the bat at the center of your chest with the bat facing outward - if you can reach your arm out and grab the barrel of the bat, it’s the right size.

COMPOSITE BATS

Composite bats are made out of a layered material similar to carbon fiber, which makes it easy to control the weight distribution of the bat. Manufacturers can make bats balanced (weight is evenly distributed) or end-loaded (the bat has more weight at the end of the barrel, giving it a heavier swing weight), depending on the style.

Pros of Composite Bats

  • Reduced vibration to the hands, minimizing sting from a miss-hit ball.
  • Tend to have a larger sweet spot and more ”pop”.

Cons of Composite Bats

  • More expensive than alloy bats
  • Not as durable in colder Chicago weather
  • Requires a break-in time. The pop won’t come until a composite bat is broken in. Hit 150-200 balls, slightly rotating the barrel after every hit.

ALLOY BATS

Alloy bats, also called metal and aluminum bats, have been around longer than composite.

Pros of Alloy Bats

  • Less expensive than composite bats
  • Do not require a break-in time
  • Often last longer and even when they get damaged, they typically dent, rather than crack.

Cons of Alloy Bats

  • A good rule of thumb is the more expensive the alloy, the longer the sweet spot is and the better balanced the bat will be.
  • If you like both alloy and composite, it’s possible to get a hybrid, or comp/alloy bat. Hybrid bats have a composite handle and an alloy barrel. The benefits of getting a hybrid bat are that you can get the composite handle, which reduces vibration, and the alloy barrel for the performance and cost savings.
  

How To Choose A Glove

Selecting a glove for your young athlete doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some quick pointers.
  • Make sure your ball player can squeeze the mitt. It shouldn't be too large or stiff for him to squeeze.
  • Make sure fingers fit snugly, but not too tightly. You want your mitt to last at least 2-3 seasons.
  • Break-in your mitt. Lots of catch is the best way, but placing balls inside and wrapping with rubber bands when not playing helps too. You can also pay for pricey "steam break-in" methods, for a fast shortcut. 

Contact Us

Niles Baseball League

P.O. BOX 480482 
Niles, Illinois 60714

Email Us: [email protected]
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