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Gloves are known to have been used by players as early as the late 1860's.  First by catcher's using a small glove with the fingertips cut off covering only the palm of the hand.  Today this style is known as the fingerless glove.  From the 1870's to the 1880's players at other positions also began to wear gloves beginning with infielders first, followed by outfielders and then pitchers.  In the early 1880's padded finger style gloves, known as workman's gloves became popular.  Around the turn of the century a solid web of leather was sewn to the thumb and first finger.                                                                                                                                                                    
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO- MIKE CURTIN for his donation of a great MITT


In 1875, Fred Thayer of the Harvard Base Ball Club designed the first catcher's mask modeled after the Harvard's fencing teams mask.  Thayer's teammate, catcher James Tyng, first wore the mask in 1876. 

James "Deacon" White, the catcher for the 1870 Boston Red Stockings devised the first chest protector.

In 1907, Roger Bresnahan of the New York Giants become the first player to use shin guards.  Catchers gear quickly evolved over the years.