What is a Pitchers Glove – Conceal and Throw
There are nine positions in the game of baseball. Each position calls for a different glove. Each glove is designed specifically to fit a certain position. There are a few different factors that go into picking the right glove for whatever position you play.
Here I am going to answer the question of what is a pitchers glove, and how you can choose the right glove to help you excel as a pitcher.
A Pitchers Role
It is important to know a pitchers role in choosing the right glove. First of all, I want to point out that a pitchers main role in the game, without a doubt, is obviously pitching. They do have fielding responsibilities, but not even close to the amount that the other positions have. Pitchers have arguably the most important role on the field. Good or bad pitching has a huge impact on the outcome of a game.
Pitching is a pitchers main priority, nothing else even comes close. In the American League of Major League Baseball, pitchers don’t even come up to bat, there is a “designated hitter” (that plays no position) that hits instead. It is also highly preferred that they never field pop fly balls. This is done to decrease the odds of them having a wrist injury.
As stated, there are fielding responsibilities that pitchers have, the main one being covering bases when a player is fielding a ball. For example, if a grounder goes to the first baseman off of the bag, the pitcher will run to first base to catch the throw, getting the runner out.
Another thing pitchers have to account for is hard line drives up the middle. Although technically this is not a responsibility, as we all know hard line drives can be very difficult to catch especially after just pitching the ball.
Webbing – Concealing the Ball
Out of the six traditional webbing types made for gloves (H-web, I-web, trapeze web, modified trapeze web, closed web, two-piece closed web), the ideal webbing patterns for the pitcher position would be a closed web, or a two-piece closed web. Similar to a catcher and a first baseman, but for different reasons.
This is especially important as you get older, and the leagues become more competitive. This is not as important in leagues where the pitchers are just throwing fastballs all day, although it would be a good idea to use one simply get used to it.
The reason pitchers use a closed web is simple; To conceal the ball.
Each pitch has a different grip, and if the batter is able to see the grip on the ball in the pitchers glove, then the batter knows what pitch is coming and greatly increases the odds of them getting a hit. This is why it is important that a pitcher has a closed web on their glove.
Here is a great place to start to browse through gloves and read reviews on gloves that will help you conceal the ball from opposing batters!
Color – To Avoid Trickery
A pitchers glove can not be white, or grey. It also can not be multi-colored. This is to avoid confusion for the batter. It is much more difficult to focus on the ball if the pitcher has a white glove on, as it can be difficult for a batter to distinguish where the ball is coming from if the pitcher has a white glove.
This becomes increasingly important the faster and more difficult the pitches are coming in. It would be hard to focus on a 80mph heater if the pitcher is wearing a white glove. This rule is simply to make the game fair. Click here to browse through solid colored gloves allowed on the mound.
Glove Size – The Middle Ground
A pitchers glove should not be too small. This is for the exact same reason that closed webbing is needed. If the glove is too small, the batter will be able to see the pitcher moving his hand around in the glove for a certain grip (certain pitch), and with a little trial and error, it wouldn’t take to long for the batter to know when a breaking ball is coming in, which would give the opposing team a huge advantage.
The glove also should not be too big, and should be lighter than a normal glove as well. Some pitchers even use custom gloves designed for pitchers that are lighter. The reason you don’t want too large of a glove is because it can be awkward when pitching. The ideal size for an adult pitchers glove should be between 11.5″ and 12″.
This size has shown to be large enough to conceal the pitches, while small enough to not be cumbersome or awkward to the pitcher. Shown here is a detailed diagram of the different glove size for each position by age group, but to save you time this is the ideal pitchers glove size for each age group in both baseball and softball:
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AGE: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
SIZE: 8″-10.5″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11.5″-12″ 11.5″-12″
FAST PITCH SOFTBALL:
AGE: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
SIZE: 8″-10.5″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11.5″-12.5″ 11.5″-12.5″
SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL:
ALL AGES: 11.5″-13″
A Simple Glove For A Complex Position
Pitching is one of the hardest positions to play, you either “got it”, or you don’t. If you “got it”, then the primary focus of that player when it comes to the field, is to get even better at pitching. And, the better pitcher you are, the less fielding everyone is going to have to do in the first place. Which obviously makes winning much easier.
It is a complex position, especially as you get older. One has to be mentally strong in order to “get it together” after letting up a home-run, walking a run in with the bases loaded, or simply after allowing a hit. It is a tough position, and unfortunately often times a lot of the blame for a loss goes on the pitcher. And, often times for good reason as well.
So, we learned that pitchers play a fairly minimal role when it comes to fielding, that a pitchers glove needs to have a closed web to conceal the pitches from opposing batters, a pitchers glove can not be white, grey, or multicolored, and that a pitchers glove should not be too small (to conceal pitches) or too large so that it is cumbersome to the pitcher.
If this article has helped you, and you feel confident enough to purchase a pitchers glove, click this link to bring you to Amazon and browse through 1000’s of gloves as well as reviews.
I hope that this answers the question as to what is a pitchers glove, and that you now have insight into what type of glove you should get for this position. Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you soon.