Why Do Baseball Players Wear Eye Black?

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Watching your favorite player and it got you wondering “Hey! What’s that weird black substance under their eye?”

Well folks I’m here to tell you all the things that you need to know about eye black! 

Let me get right into it! 

What is this ‘Mysterious’ Eye Black?

It’s pretty straightforward forward honestly! There’s no big-brainer that you gotta apply to it and if you are on the field you must have heard or seen it, heck! You might have even applied it. That’s right, now for those of you who are super new to the field of baseball and don’t know about certain things, well I got you! 

Eye black is simply a substance that most baseball players wear when they want to avoid sunlight. Yup, like I said it’s as simple as that. They apply it normally in strokes under the eye and it kinda is believed to avoid the light or sun hitting their eye each time they play on the field. 

professional baseball batter

What’s the Eye Black Hype All About?

Now shockingly enough this trend dates back all the way back in the 20th century. A lot of players wore these under their eyes to protect themselves from the light just striking their eyes in the wrong way and thus hindering their vision to play the game. Now there is no scientific proof against whether or not this helps but a lot of players tend to wear it for this reason still. They wear it to try and connect with the traditional way of baseball, and how it has come to be. So to answer your question do baseball players wear eye black? yes, eye black is still worn on the field. 

Other Reasons Why People Have Chosen To Wear Eye Black

So eye black for baseball is like a warrior with a shield. Sounds super corny I know! But hey think about it, there are tons of reasons other than eye protection that people tend to wear eye black. But first moving on to the majority of the reason why people wear eye black on the field. 

Now traditionally it is believed that eye black tends to reduce glare from the sun or the stadium lights as well. The dark color absorbs the light thus preventing it from reflecting off the player’s cheeks and into their eyes. This will allow us to increase visibility when playing on the field. Eye black also allows you to have a contrast enhancement and this allows you to be able to focus on your target precisely. This will kind of improve the contract between the white baseball and the other players around as well. This makes the players track the ball easily even when it is going at high speeds. 

Eye black is also known to act as a form of protection against light. It helios to reduce the amount of light entering the eye, which is of course beneficial when playing in sunlight. Also, the amount of glare is also reduced as well when playing on the field. It is believed that the glare that is caused when the ball goes up into the clear blue sky, hinders the player’s vision therefore eye black kind of reduces that and tries to avoid the glare from hitting the eyes. 

Now coming to the point where, why do other players still wear it, even when there’s so much scientific proof to suggest the same? Well, the answer is quite simple there are several reasons why baseball players wear eye black. Some people believe it gives them a psychological sort of boost every time they step on the field. It gives them a sense of confidence and a sort of way to intimidate their opponents, by their looks. That sort of warrior-like feeling comes within every time you perform on the field, making you wanna conquer the field each time you step on it. 

Another reason that people tend to wear eye black is because of the tradition that surrounds it. It’s a sort of way to connect with the roots of baseball and to have that sort of connection with the players that have conquered the field just by wearing this. Many other players swear by wearing eye black because it gives them good luck each time they play on the field. Therefore they wear it religiously each time they perform on the field and feel like every time they would perform without it they may have an issue. 

Sweat management is another reason that most players tend to wear eye black, it kind of prevents sweat from dripping down into the player’s eyes. I’m sure you know that feeling it’s the last pitch and you really wanna do your level best, and a sweat droplet just comes trickling down your forehead and before you know it bam! Your vision is hindered and you can’t pitch in the right way. So to avoid such things players tend to wear eye black for this purpose as well.

Another way eye black works are by camouflaging. Yes! It does help. Well, so when you wear eye black you typically wear it under your eyes, when doing so it sort of creates the sense of camouflaging by reducing the contrast between the eyes and the surroundings as well. This kind of gives the opponents a tough time understanding what going on and where your eyes are looking, and since they can’t read your movements that gives you the upper hand to make pitches or throw balls right at their weak point, thus enabling you to conquer the field. 


So whether you may believe it or not! Eye black does have a lot of advantages and that’s why a lot of players have been using it for decades. You could always do the same but it would be best if you were to consult with your association on what are the guidelines for wearing eye black and then you may proceed to wear it and conquer the field.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.