BOONVILLE — Yellow leather gloves work for fixing fences, digging with shovels, cutting brush, chopping wood and other farm chores. Why wouldn’t they work for gripping a baseball bat as well?
That’s Jason Luster’s philosophy.
Luster, a junior on the Boonville baseball team, uses yellow leather work gloves in place of batting gloves.
It all started the summer after eighth grade.
“I was hitting Wiffle balls at my house, and my hands were starting to blister,” he said. “All I had was those work gloves, so I put them on and liked them.”
Then, it carried over into his competitive baseball games.
“My friend, he dared me to wear them, and so I had to wear them,” he said. “I’ve worn them ever since then.”
The leather gloves made an immediate impact.
“I got a couple hits, and it just kind of carried over,” he said.
He has worn them in nearly every game he has played during high school. Luster said his teammates tease him about the gloves, but it doesn’t bother him. In fact, Luster said some of his teammates even wear the gloves during practice.
“Some of them kind of mess around with it, but none of them want to wear them in games,” he said.
Boonville coach Tim Edwards said the joking and criticism doesn’t bother Luster.
“He’s a kid too, that he doesn’t care what people say about it or anything,” Edwards said. “He’s going to do what he needs to do, and they work for him. He likes the feel of them, and he hits well with them.”
Edwards said he is fine with Luster’s unusual attire as long as he keeps hitting the ball as well as he has been this year. On Tuesday, Luster had six RBIs with a home run and two doubles in 14-9 victory over Moberly in Boonville.
“I’ve got no problem with it,” Edwards said. “The kid can hit with them. The kid can hit barehanded, with those gloves on, Nike batting gloves, it doesn’t matter.”
So, Luster continues to wear the gloves both at the plate and on the farm. But, he noted, the ones he uses for batting are exclusively for baseball.
“I have another pair to work on the farm,” he said.