Baseball Glove Buying Guide
What is a Baseball Glove?
There are several things that you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the right glove for your needs. Not at gloves are alike and they are not all created equal. One of the things that will determine the type of glove you get is what position you will be playing. Here are some of the guidelines
- Choose a glove that fits your hand comfortably; not too small or too large
- Choose a glove the enhances the position you play
- Choose a glove that can handle different positions
- Get a glove that is durable and long lasting
- Look for a glove that is made from quality leather
- Look for a glove that is within your budget
- Make sure that the glove you choose has the right webbing, laces and other parts it should.
The Right Glove for the Position you Play
There are several positions that you can play when you are playing Baseball. The right glove helps you to field better. One of the key factors that determine what kind of glove you choose is the position you play most often.
- Catcher – Catcher’s mitts do not have individual fingers like a regular baseball glove. The heavy padding that a catcher’s mitt has protects the player’s hand from the pitcher’s throw. Catcher’s mitts are reinforced to stand up to the heavy use that it receives during games and practices.
- First Base – A first baseman’s glove also looks more like a mitt than a baseball glove. There is less padding on a first baseman’s glove than there is a catcher’s mitt. The pocket of the glove is more shallow which allows the first baseman to retrieve the ball from the glove quickly to make those outs.
- Infielder – A good glove for an infielder will be five fingered and have a shallow pocket. The standard size for an infielder’s glove will be 10.5” to 11.5”. If you play second base, you may want to look for a smaller glove to aide in making quick throw and not give up any of the control. Third basemen need a larger glove to help with catching.
- Outfielder – Most baseball gloves for outfielders usually measure 12” to 12.5”. They have a deeper pocket that helps handle balls that have been popped up into the air. The longer length gives as much reach as possible. If you play a lot of different positions, either purchase a few different specific gloves, or try to find the one that is the best all around glove.
Common Baseball Glove Features
Baseball gloves have many different features that are built-in to the glove. These features are designed to help players improve their game and utilize their strengths. There are some key features that are commonly found integrated into baseball gloves. We will also show you what to consider when it comes to finding the glove that suits you the best.
- Pocket – The pocket size you want will depend on the position you play. If you are an outfielder, a deep pocket glove will help you get those fly balls and really seat them inside the glove. A shallow pocket helps infielders grab the ball out of the glove and throw it quickly.
- Webbing – There are different styles of webbing that are available for you to choose from. Closed web gloves are much better choices for pitchers who want to hide the ball from the batter or runner. Outfielders and third basemen also like closed web gloves because of the extra support they offer. If you play middle infield, you may prefer an open web to help aide you in getting that ball out of the glove and thrown quickly.
- Glove Backs – There are two types of glove backs to choose from: open which is conventional and closed, also called the fastback style. Open back gloves leaves a space open across the back of the glove. This type of back is preferred by middle infielders due to the flexibility that they provide. Outfielders like a closed back with a finger hole in them for extra support.
- Wrist Adjustments – Not all gloves offer “fit systems” where it can be adjusted to the individual wearing it. There are several forms of adjustments that a glove may have. Some have a D-ring fastener that will allow you to pull on the gloves laces to make it looser or tighten it up.
Velcro fasteners are very fast and convenient and are probably one of the quickest ways to adjust your glove. The downside to Velcro is that it wears out fairly fast. Lace adjustments allow the player to loosen or tighten the wrist fastener using leather laces. If the glove has a buckle system it will work similarly to the way people adjust buckle hats.
- Padding – Padding will vary from glove to glove. It also depends on the type of glove it is and the position that it is for. A glove with a good amount of padding will protect the player’s hand from the sting of the ball. Some will even have padding in the wrist.
Common Glove Materials
Baseball gloves are made from a variety of materials. We’ve outlined them below so you can see the differences.
- Leather – Leather is probably the most popular material used to make a baseball glove. A glove made from real leather will offer players the best feel, control and comfort. AS a general rule, the better quality the leather is, the better the glove is. When you buy a brand new leather glove, you may notice that it feels very tight. This is a good thing so don’t worry. The finger spaces will expand as you break in the glove, customizing that fit to your hand.
- Treated Leather – A treated leather glove is one where the leather has been softened and treated with chemicals to speed up the process of breaking in. It is also a little more durable. Treated leather doesn’t need as much care as regular leather and also keeps its shape better.
- Synthetic Materials – Synthetic baseball gloves are not usually used by adults. They are most often chosen as gloves for kids since they are lighter weight and less durable. They are also less expensive which one of the reasons for their popularity. Synthetic baseball gloves will not stand up to a lot of wear and tear and will have to be replaced much more often.
Finding the right baseball glove for your hand can be a challenge if you are not sure of the size you need. Measuring your hand is one way, but it also pays to know the specifics of baseball gloves like we have shared above, so you can sort through all of the choices much easier.
With the right knowledge, you will not have to struggle to figure out which is the right glove. You will make an informed decision that will help you secure the baseball glove that will improve your game and be really enjoyable and comfortable to play with.
- Rawlings – http://rawlings.com/
- Easton – http://www.easton.com/
- Wilson – http://www.wilson.com/en-us