Baseball season is almost here and fans are itching to go out to ball parks and scream their guts out for their favorite teams and players.
Being a Mets fan, I will still have to wait a few months for the best game of the season (Yankees in Aug). Sigh!
But there’s still excitement about the start of the season though and it’s also partly due to the fact that baseball attendance is experiencing resurgence. There’s nothing like a ball park packed to capacity and fans rooting for their favorite teams. Takes you to the good old days of baseball!
Call it the second golden phase or whatever else you want to, but the fact is that this puts to rest the theory that the popularity of baseball is waning.
Talking about popularity and fandom, I was recently privy to a furniture expo for sports themed furniture pieces. There were NFL, NBA, Golf and Baseball and as expected, Baseball ruled the roost.
One of the most sought after and most popular items in the expo was a baseball chair.
|Image||Product Details||Price||Our Ratings|
|Rawlings Heart Glove Chair Ottoman||$$$$||4.7 Out of 5|
|Crown Mark Baseball Glove Ottoman||$$$||4.9 Out of 5|
|Crown Mark Baseball Chair Ottoman||$$$||4.9 Out of 5|
|Acme 05522A 2-Piece All Star Set Chair and Ottoman||$$$||4.5 Out of 5|
|Gift Mark Chair Ottoman Baseball||$$$||4.6 Out of 5|
|1PerfectChoice Baseball Design Accent Leather||$$$||4.5 Out of 5|
While that makes it sound like a chair that’s used in a baseball park or one used by players for the team dugout, a baseball chair is in reality, a lounger that is designed to mimic baseball gear.
And it was so insanely cool that I had to get one for my home, one for my RV, one for the kid’s room and one for my café. (Even though it is not a baseball themed one)
Apart from spending some time drooling over the chair, it also triggered my curiosity for baseball theme furniture and set me on the course to spend the next few days researching and digging up the best of the lot in the market now. I visited countless brick and mortar furniture outlets and scourged the end of the internet too.
If you live baseball like I do and this is the first time that you are coming across baseball furniture, then sit back, grab a hotdog and a beer and enjoy this ride. Even if you don’t, maybe you have a budding ball fan at home in your kid. One of these baseball chairs will most probably be the best gift that you can give them.
So, here goes.
What is baseball furniture?
Baseball furniture is designed to look like baseball gear including mitt, gloves, balls, helmets and just about anything else that you can imagine. It remains unclear when or where it was first designed or originated but it started to appear in baseball themed bars, cafes and restaurants in the early 60s when USA was etching baseball into its ethos for the first time.
Apparently, what was limited to specific themed restaurants became so popular in the years to come that furniture makers were inundated with requests to manufacture these for households.
The most fervent demand was from Baseball fans of course. And USA certainly doesn’t have a dearth of those. But even otherwise, the designs were so immaculate that just about anyone looking for a refreshing change in their home décor were thronging for these.
One of the reasons being the versatility of these furniture pieces. You could add one to your lounge, your patio, your bedroom, your living room and even your office. It would blend right in or stand out like a stamp that certifies your passion for baseball.
There are many varieties of baseball furniture. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Baseball chair: Nothing adds more vibrancy and personality to a drab theme in a room like an accent chair. It works like an extension of your sofa, replaces a mundane looking ottoman, can be pushed to any part of the house and can be used for kicking your feet back and enjoying a drink on a weary day. As if it was not protean already, they designed it to look like baseball gear. Baseball chairs can be shaped like a glove, a baseball or a helmet. I have also seen a Jersey shaped chair but it was a disaster. The most popular baseball chair is the one that is designed like a baseball mitt.
The Baseball Mitt Chair: If you recall Bo Jackson stretch out his mitt and grab that flyer in a gravity-defying moment, you’d want to capture a part of that moment forever. What better way to do it than get a baseball mitt chair home. Designed to perfection like a comfortable baseball mitt, a mitt chair can be a great choice for a variety of applications. You can pick from a conventional accent chair shaped like a mitt or select one with other features. For example, some mitt chairs have a swiveling base while others let you recline. I tried my best to search for a baseball mitt chair with an integrated massage function. But sadly, that seems to be a distant proposition for now.
The baseball bean bag: While I am not a huge fan of bean bags, a baseball shaped beanbag is a huge hit especially with kids. The design is so impeccably accurate that you have white faux leather upholstery with the contrasting red stitching that looks exactly like a baseball or a softball.
Baseball Bedroom sets: Baseball bedroom sets are typically designed for kiddy rooms. But there are adult sized sets also available with selected suppliers. As the name suggests, the design draws inspiration from the many facets of the game. The bed posts for example, can be shaped like baseball bats. There will be an accent chair that is shaped like a baseball mitt and it will also include matching bed linen. Some bedroom sets may also be made from real reclaimed baseball bats. Not only does it look rustic, it also is a great way to bring home a real slice of the game. How would you like to sleep next to the bat that slammed the maximum homeruns in a series thirty years ago? The chances of a collector’s item landing up in reclaimed wooden furniture are slim. But it is not unheard of to find baseball furniture that is made from bats that have been used in college level games.
Baseball accessories: Think about a baseball game and then take a good look at the furniture pieces around your home. There are tons of ways to incorporate baseball into home décor with accessories. Some of the best ones that I saw were baseball themed wall clocks, frames floor artwork from reclaimed wood, wool penants, pegs converted into clothes racks, vintage art prints, rugs, lights, pillows and even complete rocking chairs or baseball bat furniture.
How to use a baseball chair in your home décor?
A lot of people have this misconception about décor that you can just throw a new furniture piece into any room and it will fit right in. You couldn’t be more wrong especially when it is a specialized or themed furniture piece like a baseball mitt chair.
Imagine a baseball chair in the middle of a room that contains mainly antique furniture pieces.
The last thing that you’d want to do is spend a couple of hundred bucks on a baseball chair only to discover that it is an eyesore. Here are a few ways in which you can add baseball furniture to your home without the need for huge alterations or modifications in the existing layout.
Using it as an accent chair – I love accent chairs and the utility and practicality that they bring into any home décor. Due to the attractive designs, baseball chairs are a perfect choice for use as accents. They can accentuate the décor by becoming the contrasting element that creates an overall sense of balance. On the other hand, if you already have a contemporary décor theme, then they will fit right in. Always keep a close eye on the rule of scale while selecting baseball furniture. You need to ensure that you buy a chair that is perfectly sized for the room that you intend to place it in. If its too small, it will be towered by some of the other furniture in the room. And if it is too big, then it makes the room look unbalanced even if you do not use it with the sofa or the loveseat.
For the kids room: The most popular use of baseball furniture is in a child’s room. If your child already loves baseball, then you can just pick the one that catches your fancy or theirs if they have a favorite team for example. On the other hand if your child is not a baseball fan, then you can use a baseball mitt chair to introduce your child to the game. Children’s furniture can be great conversation pieces. They can capture the child’s imagination; inspire them and serve as multipurpose tools. If your child loves the furniture, then it will be used for everything from gaming to doing homework. Once again, the basic rules of furniture should be used before you buy any baseball chair for a child’s room. Think about proportion, balance and scale. Also, ensure that you consider durability and comfort. I will cover those points ahead in the article.
For the media room: The very design of baseball shaped chairs makes them unbelievably comfortable. You have these large and plush backrests and oversized cushions since they are designed to mimic the thick padding on baseball mitts. This makes them a great choice for an entertainment room. Be it the gaming room or a movie theater, adding these chairs make it a refreshing change from the norm. You can also spruce up the décor with other matching elements.
For the patio: Unless you select a baseball chair that is made of original leather (not recommended), you can put one or more of these on the patio or in the backyard. It will grab some eyeballs when you are hosting guests and serve as the perfect place to cuddle up when you are enjoying your barbeques in summer. The compact footprint and lightweight design that these chairs have make it easy to transport and stow them away when not in use.
Now that you know the possible ways in which you can use baseball furniture in your home, here’s a small guide to help you with the selection process. The market is flooded with options and it is not easy to narrow down on the right one.
How to select a baseball chair for your home
The first and the most important factor that will determine your purchase is your intended use of the chair.
Where do you intend to use it?
If you intend to place the chair in the living room, then you have to be very specific with what you choose because it has to blend with the rest of the décor theme. Also, you have to consider the dimensions. Some chairs can be used as an extension of your love seat or your sofa. Others come with a matching ottoman and can be used as a standalone seating place. You can be more flexible with your selection if it is the kids’ room or the patio.
The most popular one is the baseball mitt chair. But you have other choices too including chairs styled like a vintage glove, ones that resembles Rawling’s most famous ‘Heart of the hide’ players series of baseball gear and even ones that are styled like the baseball.
The most popular choice for the upholstery is faux leather because of its durability and low maintenance. But nylon and polyester have become equally popular choices for accent chair upholstery in the recent past. The one you choose will also depend on the other furniture in the room where you will place the baseball furniture.
There’s nothing like hardwood when it comes to choosing the frame for your furniture. It is lightweight, has excellent weight-bearing capacity and lasts for a lifetime. But due to the obvious cost that American hardwood adds to the furniture, metal has recently become quite popular. It rivals hardwood in durability. The only difference is in the weight of the accent chair which can increase a tad if it has a metal frame.
Most baseball furniture features oversized plush cushions and offers excellent support to your lower back and arms. But some of the designs do not have an armrest and if you intend to use it as a lounger, then it can get a tad cumbersome.
Some baseball mitt chairs feature a swivel function that is a favorite with kids. This also allows you to use the chair for office work.
Did you find that overwhelming? Well, you are not alone. I felt equally overwhelmed when I was researching baseball furniture especially because very little is known about it unlike accent chairs or IKEA furniture.
So, to select the best ones for my home, I had to speak to customers who had used these in the past. That wasn’t easy. But eventually, I did manage to contact them. In addition to it, I also spoke to product manufacturers and tested these on the basis of their quality, durability and design.
Here are the top 6 baseball chairs in the market currently. Kids room, living room, bedroom or the patio, no matter where you intend to use it, these will fit the bill perfectly.
The first baseball chair that I bought for my living room had to be special. And what better option than one that is inspired by a childhood favorite gear that was passed on by the old man? This is the Rawlings Heart of the Hide Glove Chair with Ottoman.
As the name suggests, it draws inspiration from one of the most popular baseball gear series ever used by professionals, the heart of the hide glove from Rawlings. I had received my first Rawlings glove chair from my father and I have since passed it down to my son, like a family heirloom. The thing is still as good as new though.
The Rawlings baseball chair is designed like a left hand glove by the same expert craftsmen who make the gloves in the Rawlings factory. While this is one of their pre-designed models, you can also get one customized like your favorite glove model.
The fingers are connected by a wide and thick stitching and the bridge is prominent too. Each finger is separated by a couple of inches but you do not feel uncomfortable at all when you use it as a backrest. The padding is plush and thick.
The pocket portion of the glove serves as the seat and the cushion is firm but comfortable. It does not sink in even after a few months of use which was very important for me. The last thing you need is a chair that is impossible to get out of after a few months.
It features the Rawlings logo and a stitch detailing near the heel which add to the authenticity of the design. The chair has a firm and sturdy wooden base which prevents the chair from moving even if you crash into it after a tiring day at work.
Roomy and Durable
At 44 inches tall and 39 inches wide, the Rawlings chair is roomy and comfortable. I was able to cuddle up with a pillow too. I am not too tall though. The matching ottoman is 25 inches tall which is at perfect height. You can club the two and it looks like a great addition to my man cave.
The beautiful tan finished leather is the same one that is used by Rawlings in manufacturing their gloves (top 5% of steer hides). It was a tad hard when the chair first arrived. But within a few months, it has worn out beautifully and is just starting to develop the natural patina that makes leather so desirable.
Unlike flimsy leatherette, there are no creases or tears.
I am not sure whether the frame is all-wood as I would have liked. But it seems firm and has held up well until now. Me and my wife have used it as a loveseat and that’s approximately 450 pounds right there.
Verdict: Be it a man cave, a basement or the patio, if you have ever used the Rawlings heart of the hide, this baseball chair is a must have. It is durable, stylish and extremely comfortable. Oh, it also comes with a matching ottoman. This is hands down, the best baseball furniture in the market currently.
#2 – Crown Mark Baseball Glove Chair/Ottoman
Once I had something for my living room, next up was the kids’ room and being hardcore ball fanatics, I was sure that anything lesser than the best was going to be met with serious opposition, especially when I had a Rawlings in my room.
Enter the Baseball glove chair and ottoman combo from Crown Mark. The kids are elated and I couldn’t be happier either. I almost chance discovered this after I was going to buy another chair that was priced much higher than this.
Thankfully, good sense prevailed.
This combo is a stunner. The chair is styled like a glove and the ottoman is styled like a ball. Both are bigger replicas of the real thing designed to perfection.
A comfy glove to rest in
The baseball glove chair looks exactly like an old and cozy baseball glove that you’d want to sleep in. The faux leather upholstery is tanned to perfection and the extra detailing in the webbing between the fingers adds to the appeal of the design. The padding is very comfortable (thankfully). The kids just jump into the chair the first chance they get and have even slept on it a couple of times.
The seat is 32.5 inches round and the backrest is just at the right height to provide optimum back support.
This would only accommodate one average sized adult at a time though. So, if your intention is a loveseat for two, then I’d recommend that you check out my #1 pick, the Rawlings.
The frame is wood but it was not mentioned anywhere on the package about what type of wood. I hope it is not low quality Chinese fir. Doesn’t seem like it.
Swivel function for the gamers
The Swiven function was not something that I was looking for because I was unsure that it would hold up to the constant swiveling that the kids can subject it to. But coming to think of it, it is a very neat addition. The kids use the chair as their gaming chair and the swivel function allows them to move without getting up off the chair, which is great.
I keep forgetting to mention the ottoman. In this combo, the Ottoman plays a very important role to amplify the aesthetics. The white faux leather with the red stitch detailing is so cute. The base is 17 inch round and approximately 13 inches tall which is the perfect size for use as a footstool.
You can even use the ottoman separately as a tuck-under seating or just about anything else that you can think of. We have been using it as our coffee table lately.
Verdict: If your kids love baseball, then this deserves to be in their room. Period! I spent a few hours trying to pick nits with it but was unable to. It is so beautifully designed. And it’s durable too.
#3 – Crown Mark Baseball Chair/Ottoman
One of the lesser known aspects of owning baseball furniture is that you will get a lot of compliments, especially if you like to entertain a lot. Thoroughly impressed with the baseball glove chair/ Ottoman combo in our kids’ room, a close buddy wanted one too. But unfortunately, the Crown Mark baseball chair ottoman combo was sold out.
Crown Mark directed us to another product of theirs which is also a baseball chair and ottoman set. The only difference is that the chair is not styled like a glove. Instead, the chair and the ottoman are both styled like baseballs and it looks incredibly stylish. Also it is priced about $80 lesser than the one that I ordered.
The all-white upholstery is what makes this set very different from the baseball furniture that I have recommended so far. If you are not finicky about having a glove and a ball, then this combo from Crown Mark will look equally good in your home.
Super comfy seating option
Despite being styled like a baseball, this is very close in its design to an accent chair. It has a low back rest, rounded arm rests and plush cushioning which makes for a very comfortable seating space. If your idea of a baseball chair was something that you could cuddle with a book on, then this is one of the best choices you have.
The seat is 28.5 inches wide which is perfect for both adults and kids alike. The backrest is approximately 26 inches and it gives your back a firm support when you are reclining all the way.
The cushioning on the seat and the back is identical to the one that is used in their glove chair and it does not sink or give away even after months of use.
Surprisingly low on maintenance
One of the reasons why I was skeptical about buying all-white upholstery for the kiddy room is because of the potential risk of stains. But the Crown Mark baseball chair is extremely low on maintenance. Spills do not stain the faux leather and a simple wipe down with a wet cloth removes any accidental spills on the seat.
The red contrasting stitch detail is very durable too. Three transportation attempts which resulted in the stitch getting snagged in a jagged edge near the doorway did not tear it. That’s all the assurance I need.
There’s no difference in the ottoman in both the models. It is the same 17 inch round ottoman that is 11 inches tall and can be used in so many ways.
If you hate assembling furniture, then you’d be pleased to know that this Crown Mark Ottoman/Chair combo comes ready to use out of the box. I was not too pleased with the shipping for this one though. The chair/ottoman was unpadded. Thankfully, there was no damage.
Verdict: This baseball chair and ottoman combo from Crown Mark is a great addition to any living space. You can also club this with the glove chair that I spoke about earlier if you are not limited by space.
#4 – Acme 05522A 2-Piece All Star Set Chair and Ottoman
Acme Corp is one of America’s oldest furniture manufacturers and I can recall countless Acme products in our home across the years. So when I found a baseball glove chair from Acme, I decided to give it a closer look.
This is a 2-piece glove chair and ottoman set that is similar to my #2 pick in design. Well, almost similar that it. The Acme glove chair is all-black. No tanned leather or beige here. This is 100% pure semi-gloss black that is the perfect low-maintenance upholstery color that anyone would need.
That’s the reason why it holds prime real estate in my RV now. Time spent in the upkeep of RV furniture is the last thing on my mind. So, this fits the bill perfectly and maintains the baseball theme that is now uniform across my home, lakeside cottage and RV.
One of the first things that you’d notice when you get this 2-piece baseball chair and ottoman home is the quality of the construction. This is quintessentially acme. Built like a tank and designed to last forever. Unlike some of the other sellers that we have dealt with, they are not shy of mentioning the materials used in the construction either.
The frame is a combination of wood and plywood. The upholstery is durable polyurethane and the cushion is high density foam. The high quality materials used have slightly upped the weight of the chair and ottoman set. It weighs nearly 55 pounds. But it gives me the assurance that there is no tradeoff in the quality.
The ottoman in this set features an integrated storage area that can be used for storing the remote control or the gaming joystick. It is not very spacious but does prove to be useful to store stuff that are at a high risk of being misplaced.
What I really like about the design is the attention to detail. While searching for baseball furniture, I came across several baseball glove chairs and mitt chairs but they only looked like the real thing from the distance. Upon a closer look, it was evident that the designer had no idea what a glove looked like up close. This glove chair from Acme is designed so precisely. Everything from the interconnected webbing to the stitch detailing on the edges is top notch.
Verdict: At under $190, this 2-piece baseball chair and ottoman set from Acme is a steal. The quality is incredible and the monochrome color tone makes it possible to add this in a variety of contemporary décor themes.
The next two pieces of baseball furniture in this list have come as recommendations by people in the baseball fans community. I have not used these myself. But after carefully analyzing the features and the average customer rating across online retail portals, I am convinced that they are among the best in the market.
#5 – Gift Mark Chair and Ottoman, Baseball
We officially enter kiddy turf now and this baseball themed ottoman and chair combo is just what your little budding baseball fan needs. This is designed for kids who are 3 years and above and features an incredibly soft sitting surface that children will hate to get out of.
The only difference is that the ottoman is not shaped like a conventional round one. It is a pull ottoman that is shaped like the missing part of the chair.
In other words, you can place the ottoman on the baseball chair to get a complete round baseball. Very innovative design that children adore!
Low on maintenance
Being a kiddy chair set, the Gift Mark combo is designed to be low on maintenance. All it takes is a quick wipe with a wet cloth, some soap and water and you will be able to get rid of dirt, dust and mild stains.
The cushioning is extra soft just the way that kids like.
One of the things that a few customers mentioned is that the chair is 18 inches tall from the ground up. And the backrest may be a tad smaller than what you’d expect it to. If you have a tall child, the backrest may not cover the entire back.
Otherwise, this is a flawlessly designed kiddy baseball chair set.
#6 – 1PerfectChoice Accent Swivel Chair
Last but not the least; we have this stunningly designed baseball glove chair from 1PerfectChoice. Unlike all the other ones that I have recommended in this list, this is not a 2-peice set and does not include an ottoman. Instead, it features an immaculately designed glove styled chair with a swivel function.
When I first saw this, I was surprised at how beautiful this baseball mitt chair looks. Everything from the styling to the rustic leatherette upholstery screams retro. Yet, it is stylish enough to blend in perfectly with just about any décor theme.
It does not have the conventional webbing between the fingers either. Each finger is extra plush and is connected to the rest with a flap of the upholstery. The fingers are spaced just right to ensure that the gap does not make sitting uncomfortable.
The cushioning on this chair is just perfect. That’s the best way to describe it. It is soft, comfortable but firm enough to prevent the dreaded sink-in.
Also, the seat is a lot wider than any most of the chairs in this list. It is 33 inches wide which make it just the right size even for a large sized adult. Two children can easily sit on this. The backrest is 13 inches tall and the depth is 22 inches allowing you to rest your back comfortably without slouching.
I was initially skeptical about the leatherette losing its sheen and rustic charm with time. But after speaking to someone who has owned this for a year, it was clear that the quality is excellent. 1Perfectchoice have not cut corners.
Verdict: At above $500, this is not the cheapest of baseball furniture that we have seen. But everything from the wooden frame construction to the vintage leatherette upholstery rivals the features of many baseball chairs that are sold at outrageous prices in retail outlets. I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a durable and single baseball glove chair.
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog with my recommendations on baseball furniture. If you have your own favorites, then feel free to mention them in the comments section or shoot us an email. As they say in the game, ‘Hustle, hit, never quit!’