How To Choose A Baseball Glove – 4 Deciding Factors
Picking the right glove is essential to the game. Here I will discuss 5 factors on how to choose a baseball glove.
- Knowing A Glove
Position – Does the glove fit the bill?
The position you play is definitely the most important factor in deciding how to choose a baseball glove. Each position calls for a specific type of glove for that position. For example, if you are a catcher, you are not going to be using a first basemen glove (backyard baseball, yeah, I can understand that – although I will say it is not the safest option).
Each glove has a specific design, geared toward the position it was made for. A catcher’s mitt has more padding to protect the catcher’s hand. An outfielders glove has a deeper pocket to catch fly balls. A pitcher will use a glove with closed webbing to conceal the ball. A first baseman will use a glove that has wider mitt to field ground balls, and also a longer glove to field throws from the other infielders. And an infielders glove will have a shallow pocket for easy removal of ground balls.
There is much more detail on the different glove types that I will not go into on this post, I will have separate posts that will go into more detail on these positions. (Detailed description of each glove in links above)
It is absolutely essential to your performance that you pick a glove that is geared toward your position.
Knowing A Glove – Parts of Your Glove
There are six basic parts to a glove:
- 1) Webbing – there are six traditional webbing patterns (trapeze web, modified trapeze web, I-web, H-web, closed/basket web, two piece closed web), each position calls for different webbing.
- 2) Pocket – Shallow pockets vs deep pockets. It depends on the position you play. Outfielders want a deep pocket, infielders want a shallow pocket.
- 3) Heel Pad – Catchers and first baseman want a mitt that has sufficient padding in the heel.
- 4) Hinge
- 5) Back – closed backs have no open area above the wrist, open backs have an open area above the wrist to allow for more flexibility.
- 6) Fingers – Glove vs mitt. Mitts have no finger spacing, gloves do.
Durability – Will it last?
This is very important in deciding what baseball glove to choose. Is it too flimsy? Odds are if it is those ground balls are going to be a lot more difficult to field. If that is the case I would definitely consider looking into a more durable, sturdier glove.
Is it too stiff? If so, I would consider getting some oil in order to break it in quicker so it feels more comfortable, and is usable. There are a few ways to break in a glove. Personally, I prefer doing it the old-fashioned way (through repeated use). But, if you are in a more competitive league, then I think oil may be the way for you. There are also treated leather gloves, which could be an option if this is an issue. They come pretreated with oil already which allows for a quicker break-in period.
Ideally, you want a glove that will last until you grow out of it. A strong, durable glove that you will have for years to come. One that will take some breaking in, either through repeated use the traditional way, or by oiling it up to get it on the field quicker. Either way, durability is definitely something that one should consider when they are picking the right glove.
Comfort – Does it “feel right”?
So, you have a picked a glove for your position, and it is a durable glove as well. Now, does it “feel right”. Ultimately, you are the only one who can determine this. Does it fit? (<– sizing chart in link) Is it comfortable? Is it too heavy? Too light? If it does not fit, consider getting a different size (there are gloves that can be tightened at the wrist to give it a more snug feel). If it is too heavy, a lighter glove is an option. And if it is too light, then you may want to get a heavier glove (synthetic gloves are the lightest and cheapest gloves, and may be best option for youth league players. Many pitchers gloves are designed to be light as well, pitchers should generally use a light glove).
The most comfortable type of glove is almost without a doubt a nice leather, or pretreated leather glove. If you’ve been playing the game awhile, and plan on continuing, I would definitely recommend that you get a leather glove.
Depending on the level you are playing at, and the type of person you are, this may be the most important factor in picking a baseball glove. Everyone likes comfort, and although there may not be a huge difference in the feel of each glove as long as it is the right size, each glove does have a unique feel to it.
You also want to make sure that it has a decent amount of padding. If you have ever been hit in the palm wearing a glove with minimal padding, then you know it can hurt. It is not very fun using a glove knowing that if you don’t catch it in the web you’re going to get a tough sting in your palm upon catching the ball (which can also cause an error on the play). So try to make sure that it has a decent mount of padding as well. For the catcher, first base, and third base position this is especially important.
Look – …
This is definitely not the most important factor in how the glove will perform. But, lets be honest, everyone wants a glove that looks cool. We all have a specific color in mind when deciding what glove we prefer. Personally, I always liked the dark brown look. But everyone has their preferences.
I will also add, this should not prevent you from getting a glove that fits the previous three factors on choosing a baseball glove (which is why it is last on this list), but if it looks cool, it definitely adds to the glove. If anything, this can be a confidence booster. And in the game of baseball, confidence is definitely important.
Getting The Job Done
So, you have a glove for your position, you know what its made of, it is durable, comfortable, and you like the way it looks. Now you have a glove that will help you perform on the field in order to get your job done. No matter what level you are playing at, a glove can make a huge difference in the game, and how you perform. The right baseball glove is essential in performing your task on the field.
Below are detailed posts about the glove that you will need at each position to get the job done!