Contrary to what many might think there is a distinct difference between baseball and softball gloves. Many things are the same, but there are some subtle distinctions. This is a great guide to find the perfect baseball glove. Enjoy!
How to Measure a Glove
The measurement of baseball gloves is done by beginning at the uppermost point on the index finger of the glove, and then measuring down the fingers, across the inside of the pocket , and finally, out towards the heel of the glove. Make use of a flexible tape and let it “lay” in the pocket while you measure. First base gloves (which don’t have fingers) simply take measurements starting from the highest point on the mitt in the same way as fielders gloves. All gloves are rated for dimensions in inches. Most baseball gloves size ranging from 9 inches (youth size for starters) up to 12.75 inches for adults playing outfield. Sizes of catchers mitts, when expressed in inches are measured using circumference. The typical baseball catcher’s mitt is measured in diameter between thirty inches (youth dimension) all the way to 34.5 inches with.5 inches increments in the size range.
The best quality gloves are typically made of thick leather that takes time to get used to and offer the “snug” fit on your hand straight “off the shelf” and generally do not come with gloves with palm protectors or VELCRO(r) brand adjustable wrist straps that are great options to have when purchasing an adult or recreational glove.
* Top-grain gloves are typically going to be printed by the manufacturer on the glove. These are usually heavier gloves that require a longer break-in time, and are typically used for “top of the line” gloves.
* Kip leather (Kipskin) is now being used by a few manufacturers of gloves in some of their premium gloves. Kip hide (Kipskin) hide comes made by younger cattle, which produces soft leather that is easier to break-in. The durability of the hide is similar as traditional hides remains to be determined. The next level will be Premium Steer Hide which tends to create a stiff glove that has a longer break-in period and can be pre-oiled to speed up the break-in time. Next is
* Cow Hide that is typically moderate weight, and produces an array of high-quality that break in quicker and wears out more quickly as steer hide. It is usually pre-oiled or treated to decrease break-in time.This is a great grade for a glove for children aged 10 and over.
* Kangaroo Skin is a brand newcomer to the market for baseball gloves is being utilized by a few manufacturers. Although it is lighter and stronger than steer hide, it’s too early to judge the quality of investment glove made of Kangaroo are.
* Pigskin is more brittle than cowhide. However, it does break down much faster and is more comfortable than cowhide. The gloves made from Pigskin aren’t expensive and are ideal for young players who are likely to outgrow their gloves in the course of a season.
Baseball gloves can also be found in a range of synthetic materials that create lightweight gloves that require little breaking-in or no break-in. They are also cheaper than leather and are a great option for a child’s “starter” glove. The drawback of these gloves is that they are significantly less durable than leather and will simply not stand up to all the wear and tear that that leather can.
Gloves vs Mitts
The primary distinction between mitts and gloves is that gloves come with fingers, whereas mitts do not. Mitts perform better at controlling balls that don’t land in the pocket . They also assist in scooping ground balls as well as short hops. First base, catcher and catchers are the two only positions that require mitts.
The most crucial thing to remember in this article is to stay clear of the temptation to purchase a glove that is too “large” for the person who is using it, with the idea that “they will grow into it”. What actually happens is the person will be frustrated and may want to give up when the glove slips off his hand a few times, or you’ll be frustrated and decide to purchase a new glove that is the correct size or ask yourself what the reason is for “little Johnny” can’t keep his glove on as other guys. It’s a losing scenario. Make sure you buy the correct size the first time to avoid unnecessary suffering.
First Base Mitts
The majority of first base mitts are made to be used in baseball and are measured between 12 to 13 inches. First base mitts typically have an extremely thin and stiff pad that wraps around the circumference of the mitt , with very little or no padding inside the finger or palm area. First base mitts designed specifically for young players typically be between 11 and 11.5 inches.
Mitts for catcher’s baseballs typically feature a thick padding around the circumference of the glove with a thick layer of padding in the fingers and less padding on the palm. The pocket of a modern catcher’s mitt is bigger, but it is also less deep than it was in the past with contemporary gloves for catchers being more flexible and evolving toward an initial base mitt that looks similar to one, as speed of the ball’s hand transfer for a catcher is crucial. Mitts for catchers vary in size between 31 and 34 inches with.5 inches increments in the size range. The catcher mitts for youth typically fall in the 31- 32 inches range. Mitts designed specifically for young players, they will have a smaller opening for the hand and finger stalls that have an adjustable wrist.
Open vs Closed Web
Open Web Ideal to quickly get the ball from the glove. This is why it’s the preferred choice for the middle-infielders and first basemen, and even outfielders.
* Web that is closed: Offers greater support and ball coverage. Most commonly used by pitchers, third basemen, and the majority of outfielders.
Conventional or Open Back vs Closed Back
Back gloves that are conventional leave an open space across both sides of the glove, and generally are lighter.
* Some closed-back gloves come with a wrist adjustment to allow you to determine the tightness or looseness of your glove is.
* Open or Conventional back Infielders and catchers like the flexibility of the traditional glove.
Closed backs is used mostly by first basemen and outfielders. Some players like the additional support provided by closed backs. They may even have an in-back “finger hole” to further help.
Break-In & Care
There are some specific guidelines for breaking in the leather of the new baseball glove. Make sure you note the following tips to make sure that you’re following the correct steps!
Based on the kind of leather the glove is constructed of, the time can vary between a few days to a couple of weeks. The more you wear your new glove, the faster it will begin to break in. It’s also acceptable to apply the Glove Oil or Conditioner made specifically for baseball gloves, however, you must follow the directions precisely because you don’t want to overload your glove with.
Do’s & Don’ts
Do not use a hair dryer or any alternative source of heat to your glove
Do not submerge or put your glove in water.
Don’t smudge the leather with any of your accessories
Do not leave the glove inside your vehicle or in any other poorly air-conditioned area when you’re not making use of it.
Do not apply anything to your glove that isn’t an oil or conditioner designed specifically for baseball gloves.
Do not use any conditioner or oil that contains silicone, regardless of whether it claims that it is made for baseball gloves
Do not saturate your glove with any type of glove conditioner. Use it only sparingly
Make sure you use your glove regularly during the breaking-in process
Make sure the laces are tightened on a regularly
Put a bat glove on the glove of your hand (provides support and shields the glove’s interior from water)
Keep the glove safe from excessive heat
Dry the glove naturally if it should become wet.
Personally, I think this guide is short but thorough. I do hope that you find it helpful.