Can baseball pitchers wear sunglasses? It's often asked, but rarely seen, so we're here to uncover the truth and help you, pitchers, with some tips to make sure you find the best sunglasses for your pitch.
Table of Contents
In short, yes! Baseball sunglasses are generally permitted in Little League, high school, and even pro matches. But while they're a fairly common sight among kids playing baseball, you'll rarely see pro pitchers sporting shades during games. Before we get into why that is, there is a caveat to pitchers' sunglasses.
Since the umpire and batter need to be able to see a pitcher's eyes, a pitcher wearing sunglasses is up to the umpire. If the lenses are too dark, or the mirror coating is distracting to the batter, the umpire will ask the pitcher to remove their sunglasses. Luckily, a mirror lens is optional, and plenty of baseball-specific lenses like PRIZM Field are light enough for your eyes to still be visible.
So if sunglasses are allowed in Major League matches, why are they so uncommon? There are several reasons: Some pitchers believe the curvature of the lens affects how you see the ball, they've found the sunglass frame blocks their peripheral vision, and many don't see the need since pitchers don't have to look up into the sky as much as other players.
However, lens curvature affecting the ball is only an issue for some pitchers and would be more a matter of getting used to the lenses. As for the frame blocking your vision, this can be avoided if you pick the appropriate fit for your sunglasses. Check out our Baseball Sunglasses Buyer's Guide to make sure your glasses don't get in your way.
Despite the restrictions in place on pitchers, you should still try wearing sunglasses while you're on the mound. You don't have to look up as much as outfielders, but baseball sunglasses enhance color and contrast to help you track every detail of the field and make sure you can pitch with the best clarity.
And even if you keep your eyes fixed straight ahead and wear a hat, a bright day can still make you squint, causing watery eyes and discomfort. Sunglasses will darken your vision to ensure you pitch with minimal interference, but they won't darken it so much that other players can't see your eyes. Tints like Oakley's PRIZM Field are specifically designed to enhance colors on a baseball diamond, and they don't have a mirror that could be distracting to batters.
Since a mirrored lens can cause your sunglasses to get pulled from the game, we recommend pitchers avoid mirrored or polarized lenses. Polarized lenses, while not necessarily a distraction to batters, can mess with your depth perception and we don't suggest them for baseball players in general.
Likewise, we don't recommend a dark grey lens for pitchers. This might make it hard to see your eyes, and won't enhance contrast in the same way a lighter tint would. We've already suggested PRIZM Field, which has a rose tint, but any light brown or copper sunglass tint will darken your vision and brighten colors. And if you usually play at night, we suggest clear lenses for those prescription-wearers out there.
Need prescription baseball sunglasses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, Contact Us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription baseball sunglasses.
Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your sunglasses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription baseball sunglasses at SportRx today!