Women playing baseball had to be really determined, back in the day. Not only did they have to push against the prejudice and sexism of the times, but then there was the clothes.
Ah, yes. The clothes.
Women who played baseball were expected to wear uniforms that made it difficult to play. These restrictive outfits included tight sleeves to bind their swing and reach, long skirts to trip over, and high button shoes to try to run in.
Now that women have been loosed from these confines, enjoy the freedom of a roomy jersey, if you are wearing a uniform. Manufacturers of sports equipment have modified the original men's tools of the game for women's use.
Baseball gloves are a case in point. The bone structure of the female hand is different from a male hand, and it's important that a glove fits ... well, like a glove.
The first baseball gloves were not really gloves at all. They were pieces of leather that were sewn together and fitted over the player's hand as protection. It was not made for catching.
Later baseball rethought this design and the stitched-together pieces of leather were replaced by a padded glove without fingers. Another early catcher's mitt was a clove with a leather pillow sewn into the palm.
Long gone are the days when it was cool to play without a baseball glove. Gloves became more padded, and sculpted into something resembling a pocket for catching a ball.
These gloves evolved into a more flexible shape that could open for, and close around, a flying baseball.
Gloves come with an open web style and a closed web. And different gloves are used for different positions.
First base requires a bigger glove to catch balls being thrown from all over the field. A long glove for an outfielder can catch the high-flying balls.
Pitchers prefer a glove with closed webbing that hide what they're projecting from a batter. A catcher has some fast-moving balls headed for them, so they need more padding.
A baseball glove is just one piece of equipment to prevent injury during a baseball game.