Outfield Baseball Gloves – The Basics
There are nine different positions in the game of baseball. Each position calls for a different type of glove depending on what position you play, and player preference. Here I am going to discuss outfield baseball gloves.
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The Basics Elements of a Glove
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.
What sets apart an outfield glove, is bigger deeper pockets to increase your success in catching fly balls. A longer glove (similar to first base gloves), which will give you that extra inch or two in range you need when diving or jumping over the wall to make a play. As well as the webbing, which will allow you to be able to track down the ball through the webbing, and shield your eyes from the sun.
Webbing – So you can see
Each glove design has different types of webbing that are made to fit each specific position. The six traditional webbing patterns used on most gloves are: closed/basket web, H-web, I-web, Trapeze Web, Modified Trapeze Web, and two-piece closed web.
A very important aspect in an outfielders job is to catch fly balls. Since baseball is (primarily) an outdoor game, there is an issue – the sun. So, in order to still be able to track down the ball, while also blocking out the sun at the same time, an outfielder will want to have a glove that has an open web.
Out of the six webbing patterns mentioned above, the four types that are open web patterns are: Trapeze Web, H-Web, I-Web, and Modified Trapeze Web. As on outfielder, you will want to have one of these four types of webbing on your glove.
It is true that each one of these webbing designs will allow you to track the ball down with ease. However, in my opinion the trapeze web is the ideal webbing design for an outfield baseball glove. It has both deep pockets, and an open web. Both to protect against the sun, and a deep pocket to allow you to catch those fly balls with lower risk of an error (when compared to a shallower pocket). The modified trapeze web is similar, but different in that it provides a leather strap near the bottom of the webbing to provide stability.
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An outfielders glove should have deeper pockets than an infielders glove. The shallower pocket in an infielders glove allows for the quick transfer from glove to hand to throw runners out as quickly as possible. Although shallow pockets are great for an infielder, it is not what you want if you are playing left, right, or center field. Yes, you will field balls from the ground, but you will not need as quick of a transfer from glove to hand while playing in the outfield compared to an infielder. The deeper pocket is needed.
The deeper pockets (and longer glove) make it easier to make the catch. If you are using a shallow pocket, it would be much easier to make an error on the play, and miss that diving catch that you may have made if you had an extra inch of range on your glove. A deer pocket, and longer glove give the outfielder more range.
Sizing – Bigger Hand = Bigger Glove
As we grow, we will need bigger gloves. I have a separate post here that has detailed glove sizing for each age group and position. But to save you time, here is a general sizing chart for outfield baseball gloves in both baseball, and softball. If you’re looking for youth gloves, click this link for great deals!
Age: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
Size: 9″-10.5″ 10″-12″ 11.5″-12.5″ 12″-13″
Fast Pitch Softball
Age: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
Size: 9″-11″ 10″-12″ 11.5″-12.5″ 12″-13″
Slow Pitch Softball
All Ages: 12″-15″
The Right Glove For the Job
So, we have learned the six basic parts of a glove, different webbing designs in baseball gloves, the need for a deeper pocket in outfield baseball gloves, and the different sizes for outfield gloves in each age group (both baseball, and softball). No matter what position you play, it is important to know the different aspects of a glove, the different types of gloves, and the best glove for the position you are playing. Not only will it improve your game, but it will also boost your confidence knowing that you have made the right choice based on the research you have done for your glove.
If you have enjoyed this article, and believe that you are ready to make the right choice for you, click this link to take you to Amazon, where you can find every kind of glove you need!
I hope that this post has helped you in making the decision for what type of glove not only fits you best, but also fits the position you play.