Eye Black

One of my teams favorite pregame rituals was applying the eye black.  During our season, I had our team mom line up the players and proceed down the line making them look like real ball players.  I would take a guess that most of the kids really don’t know what the the eye black is for.  Most of them would probably say it is cool, or makes you look intimidating or it is what big leaguers do.  I was reading this article on www.eyeblack.com on the history of eye black and was surprised to find out that Babe Ruth reportedly started the trend.  Weather you know the science or not, I would agree with the kids who just thought it makes you look cool!

To American athletes and fans, eye black is a staple in our sports culture, equivalent to sweat bands or high socks. We never stop to question the history behind the trend or how it came to be. Well, if you ever wondered why, you’ve come to the right place.

Babe Ruth reportedly started the trend by smearing grease under his eyes during afternoon baseball games to reduce the glare. According to Paul Lukas of ESPN, Andy Farkas is credited as the first football player to sport the mark in the 1930’s and 40’s. Local athletes began to emulate the look by burning the end of a wine cork and smearing the ashes under the eyes.

Continue reading at History of EyeBlack – Eye Black


Leave a Comment