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Baseball Gloves

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Whether youíre on a team or just want to throw the ball around with your friends or kids, you need a decent baseball glove. Thereís more to know than you might think and you can spend a lot more money than you may need to. To get the answers on what to buy, we ask the pros.

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • Any baseball glove is essentially going to do the job. Differences may come in the quality of the leather which can affect how stiff or soft a glove is. The better the leather, the more expensive it will be.

  • Gloves range anywhere from $15 to over $200. A more expensive glove will probably last longer, but performance will probably be the same. If you’re buying a glove for your little leaguer you really don’t have to spend too much.

  • Buy your glove at the end of a season – around the end of August – to get it on sale.

  • Gloves come in a variety of sizes, from 8-12 inches. Most kids aged 7-12 years old need a glove between 9 and 11 inches. Adults will want something on the larger end.

  • Some gloves have open webbing so you can see the ball, while others have closed webbing. Pitchers like the closed webbing so that it hides the ball and doesn’t give away the pitch that may be coming.

  • Typical brands to choose from include:

    • Easton

    • Louisville Slugger

    • Mizuno

    • Rawlings

    • Wilson

  • Depending on how serious you are about your game there are specialized gloves for the various positions:

    • Pitcher’s gloves are all round basic gloves.

    • Catcher’s gloves have much more padding and don’t have any finger holes to protect their digits from balls that are coming at them at speeds up to 90 mph.

    • First baseman’s gloves have a bigger trapper (the pocket that catches the ball) so they can pluck the ball out of the air better.

    • Middle infielders, short stop and second base players use smaller gloves with shallower pockets so they can get the ball out of the glove easily to make plays faster.

    • Third baseman use gloves that are a little bigger to stop those hard line drives but still make that double play.

    • Outfielders have the biggest gloves with deep pockets to nab those pop-flies.

  • Typically you won’t have to worry about purchasing a specialized glove for your child until they’re at least 12 or 13 years old, which is when they usually start to play more competitive ball.

Other Considerations

  • The best way to break in a glove is to play catch with it as much as possible. Some people go to the extremes and soak it in water or put it in the microwave, or use saddle soap, shaving cream with lanolin, Vaseline or mink oil to soften the leather.

  • When you’re not using your new glove, leave the ball in the pocket and wrap a rubber band or belt around it to keep it in place.

 

Footlocker.com

 

 

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