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Baseball players and eyeglasses

In baseball, players rarely wear spectacles but some players played in the major leagues with glasses. For many years, wearing glasses while playing the sport was an embarrassment. Baseball talent scouts routinely rejected spectacled prospects on sight. The stigma had diminished by the early 1960s and by one estimate 20 percent of major league players wore glasses by the end of the 1970s.The development of shatter-resistant lenses in the latter half of the 1940s contributed to their acceptance.

The first major-league player to wear spectacles was Will 'Whoop-La' White in 1878-86. Only pitchers dared wear glasses while playing until the early 1920s, when George 'Specs' Toporcer of the St. Louis Cardinals became the first outfielder to sport eyewear. Bespectacled pitchers are less rare as they have less need to field the ball.

There are only two players in the Baseball Hall of Fame to have worn eyeglasses during play: Chick Hafey and Reggie Jackson. Because his vision became so variable, Hafey was obliged to rotate among three different pairs of glasses.

 reggie jackson


Other notable non-pitchers who wore glasses include:


 kyle farnsworth

Pitchers who wore glasses include:

And an umpire:

Frank Umant 

  • Frank Umont — first major league umpire to wear glasses