Major League Baseball bans personalized bat knob decals

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In an ever-growing age of standardization, it seems as if it’s getting harder and harder for players to express some sort of individuality when it comes to sports. Granted, you don’t want to see players going crazy and wearing/sporting random accessories that are too crazy, but it’s nice to give the players at least some chance to have a little fun expressing themselves. In baseball, some players have taken to using personalized bat knobs, like the one you see below for Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants.

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Get it? Duffy? Duffman? It’s not the most hilarious thing in the world, but it’s fun, right? Well, apparently it’s too much fun for Major League Baseball to handle, because they’ve announced that they’re banning personalized bat knob decals like the one Duffy has.

Bat decals aren’t going away, though — According to Paul Lukas, “standardized team designs and player numbers” are okay. While I’m glad that they aren’t doing away with decals cocmpletely, it’s still a bit of a bummer that the personalized decals are going away.

This would probably be okay under the new rule
This would probably be okay under the new rule
However, these designs will probably have to go
However, these designs will probably have to go

Again, it’s a sign of more standardization, and while that can be a good thing sometimes, in this case it just seems like MLB is coming off as being the fun police. Also, when you consider that baseball isn’t exactly the coolest sport in American culture right now, you’d think that they’d give the players a bit of leeway here in order to make the sport seem less stick-in-the-mud-ish. Instead, we’ve got this ruling.

What do you think, though? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill here, or do you think that they should let the players do what they want (within reason) with their bat knob decals?

(H/t to the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated for images)