Baseball in October! We're two games into the 2014 World Series, and the Kansas City Royals are split with the San Francisco Giants.
Yes, baseball is as American as apple pie, high caloric intake, 40 hours in front of the television a week, and fireworks on the 4th of July. But how about the baseball equipment?
Baseball equipment is a good example of how tough it is out there for the average consumer to keep their purchases American-made. This stuff comes from everywhere, and ultimately, it's up to the buyer to check the label. But before you build your own Field of Dreams, we've put together a handy list for you to peruse (and ultimately, you only need a few essentials to pull off a baseball game). So let's get down to it:
Balls: Rawlings makes the official ball of Major League Baseball. And it makes ’em in Costa Rica.
Gloves: You're gonna have a lot of options here. But the one and only baseball glove maker of significant size that is entirely American-made is Nokona – based in Texas. Nokona doesn’t have the bankroll to endorse a lot of major leaguers, but guess who’s one of them? San Francisco Giants pitcher Jean Machi.
Bats: You might have heard of this company before, but they make a bat called a “Louisville Slugger” in Kentucky. Must be some kind of overnight start-up. Where did they come from?
Catcher’s equipment: Hunters for catcher's equipment will run into the same problem they’ll find while looking for gloves. Most of the major equipment makers have diversified and sent their production elsewhere — but some still keep it Made in America. Schutt Sports has some U.S. operations; just make sure to check the label.
Bases: Safe at home! MLB uses bases made by Schutt in Litchfield, Ill.
And ... Hats: Almost as iconic as the ball itself is the baseball hat. New Era makes the ones on major leaguers’ heads, but as recently as 2011 the actual on-the-big-league-field hats were Made in China. That said, New Era makes a lot of caps in its Buffalo, N.Y. factory. Check it out: