Bobby Thomson first wore batting gloves during spring training of the 1949 season. He used golf gloves in an attempt to get a better grip on the bat, and cut down on the tension. However, because he never wore them during the regular season, he is not given credit as being the first player to wear batting gloves. That distinction goes to Ken Harrelson of the Kansas City Athletics, who first wore them during the 1964 season. That year, his average dropped 36 points to .194, but rebounded the next year to .238. He finished his career with a .239 average.