Where I grew up only the rich kids had their own bat. Some of them actually let us kids from the other side of the tracks ' borrow ' it for our At Bats sometimes. Our right-of-passage was getting that brand new baseball glove. That my friend was a monumental Day, if you didn't sleep with that glove the first week after you got it, well you weren't a real sports fan. First thing you had to do was fit it to your hand by adjusting a couple of straps, apply leather cleaner to keep it 'like new' (just because) and take a baseball and slam it a Gazillion times into the palm to Make that pocket just right. Spiked shoes were the next big thing. Made your little 9 year old arse run that extra 1/2 mph faster. Plus you felt taller standing in them. I sucked at baseball. It probably would have helped if I had had an eye examine since two years later I was wearing glasses. I was great in Right field but couldn't see the ball coming to the plate.