Why Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?

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Players do rare and unusual behaviors in most baseball games, which confuses the audience. People who regularly attend baseball matches aren’t unknown of this fact. Let us know more detail about ‘Why Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?’.

Why Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?

Why Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?

One of these behaviors includes smelling their baseball bats. And they do this after a foul ball. People get confused about whether they are kissing their bats or smelling them. So to know why MLB players smell their bats, read further and find out. 

Why do Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?

Base players smell their baseball bat mostly after a foul ball because the friction between the ball and bat may burn the wood. To some players, it smells sweet. 

To create this sweet fragrance, they need to have a wooden bat, and the pitch has to be very high motion with a fastball throw. Some players like that smell, so they smell frequently after that particular friction. They made it a part of their routine to smell their bat which sometimes looks like they are kissing it. 

Sweet Smell Of Wood After Hard Hit

Not all players do that, but some players like to smell the sweet odor that spreads after a fraction of a hard-hit ball and bat. After a hard hit, the wood burn, and a sweet smell come out, which some players find addictive. The friction depends on how fast the ball was thrown, and the type of wood the bat is built. 

One of the most famous baseball stars Ted Williams was very fond of that sweet burnt smell, and people still remember him for this unique habit. 

This certain habit kind of seems like a special bond that a player and bat share. Ted often asks other players if they ever smelt the sweet burn of wood. 

Pine Tar And Its Effect On Creating Unique Smell

Sportsmen are always encouraged to invent new tricks and tips to get better results in their game, and baseball players are not exceptional. Their most valuable essential is the bat by which they hit, and coating will surely increase their performance. So baseball players coat their bats, which is an important task before the match.  

Pine tar is mostly used to coat baseball bats, and it improves to hold better grip. It mostly makes the bat grip sticky, and the chances are less that the bat will fly off the player’s hands while hitting. Fresh pine wood is what pine tar is made of. While taking a whiff of the burn, the sweet smell the players get is pine tar. 

Smelling Bats is Considered a Hitting Routine

Baseball hitters like to follow their routines. It depends on each player which one they would like to follow. Some prefer to talk to themselves before hitting or saying a prayer to encourage themselves. 

These small gestures the players follow relax their minds before the next hit. By encouraging themselves they increase their focus to perform a better shot. 

The pitch contact players like to smell the sweet smell of the burnt. The smell comes out if the hit is hard enough. So the player might smell the bat to increase their self-confidence and show off. After the hit, the smell proves that the hit was hard enough. 

Smelling the bat isn’t very famous among the players but for two reasons they do this particular behavior. Which are:

  • The players might go through training where they followed a fixed routine, which gives them a psychological effect. To this effect, they do the same thing in the field as well, which they did in training to maintain the routine. Maintaining a routine, helps them to focus on their shot and hit more accurately. Routine helps to keep performance consistent. Every player follows a fixed traditional routine, which they follow everywhere to remain consistent. They also consider this behavior as a lucky charm. 
  • Some players prefer to smell their bat after the hard hit, which gives them more focus and feel more connected to the bat. Viewers, they might get confused. Though they follow this routine, it doesn’t mean, that they must do it to achieve success in the sport.

Some players don’t get the same motivation by following a particular routine. To some people, these routines are a getaway for their success as they think this behavior will increase their performance and make them successful hitters. 

This mindset leads these routines to superstition. If success comes, players start believing that the reason for their success might be that particular behavior. 

Bat varnish burns when the ball hits fast and hard. The friction causes more fragrance, and the pine burn smell comes out. So sniffing the bat gives the players a relaxing feeling. A powerful swing also makes that kind of sweet smell. 

Players Whispers to Their Bat

People might think that players are sniffing their bats, but they sometimes talk to their bats as a gesture to motivate themselves. In case, they miss a hit, they talk to their bat to hipe and motivate themselves for the next pitch.

This strategy might work or not but is used by a lot of players. As a gesture to get ready for the next pitch, they do this behavior like golf players. This gesture to talk to their equipment is used in many sports and by many players. 

Extra Energy Flows After Sniffing The Bat After a Hit

Mainly the players sniff because of the burning smell of pine tar. Some players feel over-energized by smelling the fragrance after a powerful hit. 

They feel ready for the next shot. Players make some habits, as a part of their routine since they start their careers. Which encourages them to do better with every pitch.  


Whenever it is seen that the player is smelling their bat, it is because of their habit of smelling the burned wood after a powerful hit. Though, some players are used to this habit from their training period and continue till the game to not break the consistency. 

Players and sportsmen are always encouraged to follow a certain routine because discipline is the key to their success. Some players’ routines include whispering, smelling, or talking to their bats. This helps them to concentrate and is completely normal for them.

Why Baseball Players Smell Their Bats?
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