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August 2: Father of the Batting Glove

August 2, 2014
franklin-cfx-pro-pedroiaIrving Franklin, who teamed up with Philadelphia Phillies third-baseman Mike Schmidt to design and popularize the batting glove and make it a standard part of baseball equipment, was born in Brockton, Massachusetts on this date in 1918. Franklin did not invent the batting glove: “On September 4, 1964,” writes Douglas Martin in Franklin’s New York Times obituary (at age 93), “Ken Harrelson of the Kansas City Athletics was credited with starting the custom by wearing a golf glove to protect a blistered hand in a game against the Yankees. He hit two home runs.” But it was Franklin’s company, Franklin Sports (co-founded with his brother Sydney), that designed a special batting glove, with Schmidt’s input and endorsement that became an official piece of Major League Baseball equipment in the late 1980s. The average player goes through nearly 100 pairs of the gloves every season. “Irving Franklin was particularly pleased about his batting gloves because the name of his company was so easy to see when television cameras closed in on a hitter. His other official major league products, cups and supporters, were not.” —Douglas Martin JEWDAYO ROCKS! Andrew Gold, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Burbank, California on this date in 1951. Gold produced the hit “Lonely Boy” (1977) which you can see below.