Batting Glove (1954)

“Catcher Gets OK for Batting Glove” (Headline). The Dayton Daily News, May 28, 1954, p21 (UPI)
— Roy Campanella, coming back from injury, “has been granted permission by National League President Warren Giles to use an ordinary dress glove on his hand while competing.” Article appeared in many papers, but this is the only one I found that used the term in its headline. (Ken Liss)

“Let’s see now … glove … my two fav’rite bats … goggles …batting helmet … jacket … reg’lar cap …towel … shin guard f’r foul tips … batting glove …” (Cartoon text). Lou Darvas, The Sporting News, July 18, 1956, p1

NOTE: The 2009 Dictionary does not cite an earliest use for the term, but provides this information: “It was introduced by Kansas City outfielder Ken Harrelson in 1964, and later popularized by Rusty Staub. Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants wore golf gloves in spring training and batting practice as early as 1949, but he never wore them during the regular season. Two Brooklyn Dodgers hitters (Johnny Frederick and Lefty O’Doul) wore absorber-type material to protect hand injuries in 1932 (The Sporting News, May 12, 1932). 

Another early description of a batter using gloves is this one: “…. Captain Dixie ‘One-Punch’ Roberts, who has been practicing his batting with gloves on his mitts ….” The Nashville Tennessean, March 26, 1933, p8.

There are also the following two descriptions of modern-style batting gloves that predate Ken Harrelson’s use of them:

“…. a rubberized batting glove used to prevent ‘bat sting’ while batting during cold weather.” The Hartford Courant, January 28,, 1963, p14 
— An innovation for which the trainer at the University of Connecticut was awarded by the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association.

“Frank Bolling and Roy McMillan were cornered by a salesman trying to the pair in a new style batting glove. These gloves are similar to golfers gloves, but have no fingers. In recent years, these gloves made their way onto the diamond and are very popular this time of year to prevent bone-bruises and blisters.” John Braun, The Capitol Times [Madison, WI], March 10, 1964, p17