Can MLB Pitchers Wear Sunglasses? Surprising Reasons, Benefits, Rules and Styles [2023]

For Major League Baseball pitchers, having clear vision is absolutely critical for optimal performance on the mound. That’s why many MLB pitchers opt to wear sunglasses while pitching, to help reduce glare and improve their ability to see the catcher’s signals, hitter’s positioning, and the incoming ball.

But are there any special rules about sunglasses for pitchers in professional baseball? Let’s take a closer look at detailed guide on “Can MLB Pitchers Wear Sunglasses”.

So we start directly the main question …

Can MLB Pitchers Wear Sunglasses?

Answer is yes – MLB pitchers are permitted to wear sunglasses while pitching in games, if they choose to do so. Sunglasses are not considered distracting or problematic attire, so pitchers can utilize them to help improve visual clarity and reduce eye strain in daylight games.

There are no specific rules limiting the styles or types of sunglasses that a pitcher can wear. As long as they are deemed appropriate eyewear by the umpires and do not cause any delays or distractions, MLB pitchers have the freedom to select sunglasses that best meet their needs and preferences.

Many pitchers rely on sunglasses to optimize visibility and safety while performing in their high-pressure role on the mound. The ability to reduce glare and see the ball clearly can give pitchers increased confidence and consistency in their pitching performance.

Common Reasons MLB Pitchers Wear Sunglasses

There are a few key benefits that sunglasses provide which make them so popular with MLB pitchers:

ü  Reduce glare:

Cutting down on bright sunlight, reflections, and glare improves visual tracking of the ball. This helps pitchers locate the strike zone consistently.

ü  Enhance contrast:

The tinted lenses also heighten the contrast between the white ball and backgrounds/batter clothing, making it more easily distinguishable.


ü  Protect eyes:

Sunglasses shield pitchers’ eyes from exposure to intense UV light during day games and games under bright stadium lights at night.

ü  Eliminate distractions:

Lenses help pitchers filter out visual clutter from crowds in the stands so they can focus intently on each pitch.

ü  Improve safety:

Reducing squinting and eye fatigue allows for better vision and reaction time to avoid comeback line drives toward the mound.

Regulations on Sunglasses in MLB

While pitchers have freedom in their sunglass options, there are a few regulations that MLB enforces:

1.    Cannot be reflective

Lenses cannot be mirrored or so dark that the pitcher’s eyes are not visible. This is to prevent pitchers from hiding their gaze.

2.    No delaying the game

Pitchers must promptly comply if umpires ask them to remove sunglasses that are causing delays or distractions.

3.    Cannot obscure eyes

Lenses cannot wrap around to the sides or contain large logos that prevent the pitcher’s eyes from being seen clearly.

As long as sunglasses don’t violate any of these rules, interfere with play, or provide any unfair competitive advantage, MLB pitchers are welcome to utilize sunglasses to help them perform at their best.

Popular Sunglass Styles Worn by MLB Pitchers

While personal preference varies, there are certain styles of sunglasses commonly spotted being worn on the mound:

1.    Wraparounds

These sunglasses wrap around the face and provide protection from peripheral glare while keeping lenses securely in place. A top choice for reducing field-of-vision distractions.

2.    Sport performance

Pitchers often opt for sunglass models designed for athletic use, which emphasize grip, fit, and durability during movement. Brands like Oakley and Nike excel in these areas.

3.    Large rectangular lenses

Bigger lens surface area equals more visual clarity and less squinting for pitchers. Rectangular shapes allow for full coverage.

4.    Dark polarization

Polarized lenses are effective at cutting reflective glare. Gray and brown gradients are popular lens tints that don’t overly darken vision.

5.    Secure fit

Pitchers favor sunglass frames crafted from lightweight polymer materials that conform closely to the face. Rubberized tips provide extra grip.

Notable MLB Pitchers Known for Wearing Sunglasses

Many prolific MLB pitchers have become closely associated with their preferred sunglasses:

v Zack Greinke

Often pitches in classic Oakley Half Jacket wrap shades with ice blue iridium lenses.

v Max Scherzer

Has sported matte black Oakley Radar EVs and custom Nike shields on the mound.

v Adam Wainwright

Fans recognize his bright red Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ shades as a signature look.

v Chris Sale

Has worn Oakley Holbrooks and Radar EVs in shades like grey with black iridium.

v Justin Verlander

Sticks with tried-and-true Oakley Flak 2.0 XL sunglasses in baseball.

While styles may evolve over careers, many star MLB pitchers clearly share a preference for the consistent performance of premium sunglasses on the mound.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are prescription sunglasses allowed in MLB?

Yes, prescription shades made to a pitcher’s vision needs are permitted, provided they adhere to normal sunglass regulations. Some companies can insert custom prescription lenses into standard sport sunglass frames.


Can MLB pitchers wear sunglasses at night?


During night games under bright stadium lights, sunglasses can still help reduce visual fatigue and glare. So pitchers may choose to wear them for increased comfort.


Do sunglasses help pitchers see the ball better?

With reduced glare, increased contrast, and more stable positioning, quality sports sunglasses can potentially help pitchers better track and visually respond to pitches.


Can sunglass lenses fall out if struck by a ball?

Lenses shattering or falling out upon ball impact is extremely rare with durably constructed, properly fitted sport sunglass frames designed for athletics.


Do MLB umpires ever wear sunglasses behind the plate?

Yes, umpires commonly wear wraparound sport sunglasses, especially those working the plate, to help see balls and strikes more clearly in glare.


Conclusion: Optimizing Performance and Protection On the Mound

In summary, sunglasses serve as a legal, recommended aid for MLB pitchers seeking every advantage possible out on the mound. Allowing better vision can lead to increased confidence, consistency, safety, and effectiveness for pitchers over the course of a game or long season. As long as sunglasses don’t violate league rules or delay play, pitchers can utilize quality shades to help them elevate their pitching performance.

So, the next time you watch a baseball game, take note of the pitchers sporting stylish shades. They are not just making a fashion statement; they are taking proactive steps to enhance their performance on the mound.

Remember, whether you’re an aspiring pitcher or a dedicated fan, protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial. So grab your favorite pair of sunglasses and step into the game with confidence!

Also Read:

Can Tennis Players Wear Sunglasses?

Walter Hendricks

Walter Hendricks is a well-known authority in the eyewear industry, specializing in a diverse range of products such as gaming glasses, swimming goggles, sunglasses, eyeglasses, computer glasses, and fashionable daily-wear eyewear.

Hendricks believes in empowering his readers with in-depth information to help them choose the right glasses that blend functionality and fashion, catering to their unique lifestyle requirements.

His comprehensive reviews and informative articles provide clear insights on everything from cutting-edge gaming glasses to the latest trends in eyewear fashion. Through his work, Hendricks has proven his dedication to helping consumers make informed eyewear decisions that support both their visual needs and style preferences.