What is an Infield Glove – Picking the right glove
There are nine positions in the game of baseball. Each position call for a different glove. Gloves are designed in a specific way to fit a certain position. There are quite a few factors that go into picking the right glove for your position. Here I am going to discuss what is an infield glove, and how is it different from the other gloves on the field.
Elements of a Baseball glove – 3B, SS, 2B
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.
Third baseman, shortstops, and second baseman play a crucial element in fielding. It is very important that they get the fundamentals of fielding ground balls and pop flies down. Infielders prefer a specific type of glove in order to aid in both of these game realities, and they will need to get the ball quickly out of their glove to throw a runner out after picking up a ball.
I will show you the ideal guidelines for choosing the right glove for these infield positions, you will see the types of webbing these positions call for, the pocket size you want, general sizing based on age group, as well as the backing most infield position players should use. Click here for details about a first base glove.
An Open Web – For Visibility and Easy Handling
For each one of these positions (3rd base, shortstop, and 2nd base), you want a glove that has an open webbing design. There are two reasons for this:
1) In order to be able to track down a fly ball while also shielding the sun.
2) So that you do not pick up clumps of dirt/sand when fielding a ground ball.
The last thing you want is to drop a fly ball because you couldn’t see it, I do not think that would go over well with coach. And you definitely don’t want dirt to slow you down or cause you to make a wild throw while transferring the ball from glove to hand.
There are six traditional webbing patterns used in the design of gloves. They are: trapeze web, modified trapeze web, I-web, H-web, closed/basket web, and two piece closed web.
The webbing that you want as an infielder is almost primarily an I-web, or an H-web. Gloves with a trapeze webbing design are almost exclusively used by outfielders, and a closed web design by pitchers and catchers. The open webbing design allows for a player to see through the glove so that they are able to track down pop fly balls, while also shielding out the sun. Without an open web, it will be much harder to track down pop flies. The open web design will also allow dirt and sand to easily slide out of the glove, so that it does not get in the way when you grab the ball from your glove.
Click this link to browse different infielders gloves.
Transferring The Ball – Quick Response
Playing any infield position, you will want a glove that has a shallow pocket. This is very important. A shallow pocket will make the transfer of the ball from glove to hand much quicker, and allow you to throw a runner out a split-second faster. And in baseball, a split-second can make a huge difference. How often does a player get called out or safe by a half-step?… Quite often. So, you definitely want to jump ahead of this potential issue by using a glove with a shallow pocket.
Backing – Flexibility and Air Flow
The backing on a glove is the area right above the wrist. There are two types of backing on a glove: open, and closed. When playing the infield position, primarily you want a glove that has an open backing.
A glove with an open backing above the wrist allows for more flexibility in the wrist, which is important in fielding ground balls. The open back also gives more air flow in the glove, which is much more comfortable in my opinion.
Some gloves also have an opening right above the index finger, this type of glove is usually proffered by outfielders to provide support in catching a fly ball.
Sizing – Different Size For Each Age
There are slight variations in the sizing of the gloves that you will want on an infielders glove, the third baseman glove should be longer than the shortstop and second base glove. The way to measure a glove is by taking a flexible measuring tape, and measure from the top of the index finger, down to the bottom of the heel (if the glove size is not already indicated on the glove).
Click here for a complete graph of each age group, position, and glove size that will show you the best glove for you. Here is a size list for each age group at 3B, SS, and 2B for baseball, and softball:
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AGE: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
3B: 8″-10″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11″-11.75″ 11.5″-12″
SS/2B: 8″-10.5″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11″-11.5″ 11.5″
FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
AGE: <7 8-10 11-13 14+
3B: 8″-10.5″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11.5″-12.5″ 11.5″-12.5″
SS/2B: 8″-10.5″ 10.5″-11.5″ 11.5″-12″ 11.5″-12.5″
SOFT PITCH SOFTBALL
ALL AGES 3B –> 11.5″-13″
ALL AGES SS/2B –> 11.5″-12.5″
Playing the infield position is very fast. Things happen very quickly. We see that to accommodate this in our glove choice we want to pick one that has an open webbing design (I-web, H-web) so that you can track pop-flys and also allows for dirt to pass through the glove, a shallow pocket to allow for quick transfer of the ball from glove to hand, as well as an open backing above the wrist to provide ample flexibility while fielding ground balls.
If you are looking to purchase an infielders glove, you can click this link to take you to Amazon, where you can browse all different types of gloves, as well as read others’ reviews.
I hope that this post has helped you learn more about the ins and outs of what is an infield glove, and that you are now confident in your decision of what glove will work the best for you.