What is a First Base Glove – The Details
Baseball consists of nine different positions. Each position calls for a different type of glove depending on what position you play, and player preference. Here I am going to discuss what is a first base glove.
Basic Elements Of A Glove – First Base
There are six different basic parts that make up a baseball glove design. And within those parts, different variations of those designs to fit the position that the glove was made for. The six basic parts to a baseball glove are: webbing, fingers, pocket, heel pad, hinge, and the back.
First base is one of the most involved positions in baseball and softball, and it calls for a unique glove/mitt in order to excel at this position. A first base glove is longer than most gloves, for adults it should be about 12″-13″ in length. Many first baseman prefer a mitt over a glove. A mitt is different from a glove in that the fingers on the outside of the mitt are not separated, and has extra cushioning inside of the mitt for added protection and comfort. The finger separation makes it easier to scoop up wild throws from the other infielders in order to make the play, while avoiding a passed ball.
A Bigger Target
It is similar to an outfield glove in that it has a deep pocket. When playing first base, you will want a glove/mitt with a shallow pocket to allow for a quicker transfer from glove to hand in order to make quick plays on the field. You also want to have a decent amount of padding in the heel for this position as well. Getting constant hard throws from other fielders will almost definitely be a problem if you do not have decent, lightweight padding on your mitt or glove.
There are six different types of webbing on a traditional baseball glove, they are: two-piece closed web, trapeze web, modified trapeze web, closed/basket web, H-web, and an I-web. When playing first base, there are times you will have to field a pop-fly. In order to track down the ball with ease you will want a glove that has an open web so that you can see the ball through your glove, while also blocking out the sun if need be. An open web also allows for the dirt to slip out of the glove when fielding a ground ball.
Out of the six traditional webbing patterns on a glove, the best webbing pattern for a first baseman would be an I-web, or an H-web. Gloves that have a trapeze web, or a modified trapeze web are open as well, but they are almost exclusively used by outfielders. When choosing a first base glove/mitt, make sure that it has one of these webbing patterns (I-web, H-web) to account for fly ball situations, and the dirt to slip out on fielding ground balls.
Material and Sizing
Baseball gloves are traditionally made out of four different materials: leather, mesh, synthetic materials, and treated leather (leather gloves preconditioned with oil for a faster break in period, although they do not last as long). Playing the first base position, ideally you want either a leather, or treated leather glove. One that is firm, and that has good strength and stiffness. If looking for a glove for youth league players, synthetic material is okay as well, as they are lighter, and cheaper. But make sure that it is strong enough to handle the consistent hard throws that the first base position receives. If you are looking for a durable glove, Amazon has 1000’s of gloves along with reviews to help you make the best decision for you!
There are different sizing recommendations for each age group. I have another post here that shows detailed descriptions of the size of the baseball glove that you want for each position in each age group. To measure a baseball glove, you want a flexible tape measure. Measure from the top of the index finger down to the bottom of the heel, this will give you the glove size in inches if not indicated on the glove already.
To save you time, here is the size of glove you will want for the first base position in baseball, fast pitch softball, as well as slow pitch softball:
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AGE: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
SIZE: 11.5″ 11.5″-12″ 11.5″-12″ 12″-13″
FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
AGE: <7 8-1 0 11-13 14+
SIZE: 11.5″ 11.5″-12″ 12″-13″ 12″-13″
SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL
ALL AGES: 12″-13″
Lots of Action
As stated before, the first base position is one of the most involved positions on the field. The ideal first base glove or mitt should have a shallow pocket to make quick plays on the field, it is a longer glove than the other infield positions which creates a bigger target, it should have a stiff – curved edge to accommodate wild throws and line drives in the hole, it should have an open web so that you can track down pop-flys and as stated also allows for dirt to slip out when fielding ground balls, and ideally you should have a leather glove that has strength and stiffness to it.
If this article has helped you, and you feel confident enough to make a decision. Click here to take you to Amazon, where you can view all different types of first base mitts, as well as detailed reviews.
I hope that this post has informed you on what is a first base glove, and helps you to decide on the one that is right for you.