Best Baseball Gloves
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Baseball has been a fan favorite game for generations, having the ability to create communities and friendships for years. It should come as no surprise that millions of American’s spend their weekends playing the beloved game in their own personal leagues.
Before being able to embark on a baseball journey it’s important to have a glove, as catching baseballs is one of the most important parts of the game. But sometimes finding a glove that has all the right features and feels right too, is no easy feat.
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Best Rated Baseball Gloves Reviewed
With an entire internet at your fingertips, it may be hard to find that one perfect glove. However, it doesn’t have to be an uncontrollable sea of results, because we have put together a list of our top 10 products, listed down below, to make shopping easier for you.
Key Considerations When Buying a Baseball Glove
Buying a baseball glove isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one, most gloves are not one size fits all, but more than that, most gloves aren’t one size does all either. It’s also important to know what you’re looking for before going out and purchasing a glove, that’s why we put together a list of key things to consider.
- Position – The baseball glove that you need largely depends on the baseball position that you play. This is because each position requires different functions and thus different features. For example, infield gloves will generally be shallow, this is in order to allow for easy access and transition at a quick pace. While outfield gloves, on the other hand, will often be deep in order to secure the ball and ensure a secure catch.
Pro Tip: The best way to know what position a glove is for is by looking at the pocket size. The deeper it is, the more likely the glove is an outfield glove.
- Padding – Padding is another key difference between different gloves, depending on the position you play, you will likely require padding in different areas. For example, outfielders will generally require palm padding given the power of the balls they are catching, while corner infield positions will focus more on wrist padding.
- Fit – The fit of your baseball glove is especially important. Much like Cinderella’s slipper, your baseball glove needs to fit just right. Moreover, it’s important that the glove be wide enough to keep your hand feeling comfortable and cool, but tight enough to remain secure and positioned. Basically, your baseball glove needs to fit, quite literally, like a glove.
- Features – Depending on the position that you play, and your own personal preference, there are certain features that will be more important to you than others. Thus, recognizing your needs and the functionality of the glove will help you find one which suits your needs best.
- Adjustability – Not all gloves feature wrist adjustments, but in today’s day and age, most do. These adjustments allow for any player to make the fit of any glove personal. This is a clear advantage as it allows for the security of your glove being secure and in place at all times. These adjustments allow you to ensure that your glove won’t fly off during a play.
Construction of a Baseball Glove
In order to be able to know how to choose the baseball glove that works best for you, it’s important that you understand the construction of the mitt and how it affects the gloves function.
- Webbing – The webbing in the glove is what is responsible for the gloves level of flexibility. It’s the part of the glove that allows you to open and close the glove and successfully catch the ball. Moreover, the depth of the web is what differentiates between infield and outfield baseball gloves. Infield glove generally have a shallower web in order to allow for quick transition, while an outfield glove will generally have a deeper web in order to ensure a more secure catch.
- Palm – Baseball gloves generally feature padding in the palm in order to protect your hand while catching. However, depending on the position that you play, the amount of padding may vary. For example, infielders generally have less padding as it is important they be able to feel the baseball in their glove.
- Heel – The heel of the glove is found beneath the palm by the ball of the hand. This is the part of the glove that offers the most protection and support and is the part of the glove that determines the gloves break.
- Lacing – The lacing that is around the glove helps the glove retain its shape. Most manufacturers prefer to use leather lacing so that the lacing can break in and adjust as the glove does. Moreover, the lacing keeps the glove together and firm.
- Hinge – Similar to a hinge on a door, the hinge on a glove is what assists the glove in opening and closing.
- Wrist – The wrist is where the glove would have adjustability options – should they exist. These adjustable straps consequently allow the player to make sure that the fit of their glove is perfect and customized. As a result, this ensures that the glove won’t fly off during a play.
Baseball Glove Materials
Baseball gloves come in multiple different materials, each one affecting the playability and the function of the glove.
- Synthetic Leather – Synthetic leather is the cheapest option when buying a baseball glove, plus it’s animal-friendly. Moreover, synthetic leather is a great option for those looking for a glove that you can use straight out of the box. This is because synthetic leather doesn’t require any break in period.
- Softened Leather – This refers to real leather that has been broken in by the factory. While this is also a good option for people looking for a glove that they can use right out of the box, it does mean that the break-in is not a customized break-in. Moreover, it’s important to remember that there are different levels of softened leather, while some manufacturers will break in the glove 100 percent, other will only break it in part way to shorten the break-in period but not eliminate it.
- Premium Leather – Different from softened leather, premium leather gloves do require a break in period. While the break-in period may be annoying and time-consuming, it does allow for a customized glove and optimized comfortability. Moreover, this type of leather offers better durability than softened or synthetic leather, allowing the glove to last longer.
- Pro Series Leather – If you’ve always wanted a glove that is so good that it passes the MLB standards, then Pro Series Leather gloves are the way for you to go. Furthermore, this type of leather is the most durable, comfortable and versatile type that is out there, offering you the best quality and easiest played game.
How to Choose a Baseball Glove
Choosing a baseball glove comes down to a lot more than just what sounds good on paper, a glove can’t just be good, it must be good for you specifically.
- Fit and Feel – After you have ensured that the glove you chose does actually fit you the way it should, you also have to make sure that it feels right. A glove should be flexible enough that moving is easy and flows. But, it should also be stiff enough that you don’t lose control of the glove.
- Style – This may not seem that important, but the same way the nice clothes make you excited to start your day, a nice looking glove can get you excited about playing. Plus, as long as the glove offers all the functional features that it has to, why not get one that has the style you like too?
Which Glove Should You Have for Your Position?
As we have already stated multiple times, different positions require different baseball gloves. Therefore, we’ve put together a list describing the different gloves, in order to help you decide which one works best for the position you play.
- Catcher’s Mitt – A catcher’s mitt should be a fingerless glove with a lot of padding. This also helps keep the catcher from getting hurt when catching the powerful pitch. Moreover, a catcher’s mitt is like a claw, make catching easier. It also offers the pitcher a clear target to aim for.
- Pitcher – A pitcher’s glove doesn’t necessarily require a lot of padding. The pitcher’s main job requires throwing and not catching. However, the pitcher’s mitt will be tall and have a lot of webbing in order to better conceal the ball from the batter.
- First Baseman – For a first baseman, two things are important, a fast retrieval and being able to catch and scoop all kinds of throws. Therefore, the first baseman’s glove is long and wide, to make scooping up grounders up easy. And, the first baseman’s glove will also have a shallow web or pocket in order to make ball retrieval easy and consequently keep transitions quick.
- Infielders – Infielders don’t have to bother themselves with catching crazy catches. Instead, they rather use it as a strong defense to the batter. Therefore, an infielders glove needs to be shallow to allow for quick ball retrievals and smooth transitions and plays.
- Outfielders – Outfielders, on the other hand, their main purpose in the game is to catch fly balls. It is for that reason that outfielder mitts generally have deep pockets and webs. The depth of the glove allows for the ball to be embedded after being caught and thus remain secure.
How to Care for Your Baseball Glove
A baseball glove, especially one made from leather, can be a large expense, so in order to ensure that the leather doesn’t deteriorate it’s important to know how to care for the glove.
- Brush – In order to keep from mud and dirt from building up in the leather, it’s important to brush the leather after use. This will consequently get rid of all the grime that has built up on the glove during the game.
- Wipe – Using safe for leather cleaner, wipe the glove after use. And keep in mind that a little product can go a long way. This product will clean the leather without drying it out the way that soap and water would.
- Moisturize – In order to keep the leather from flaking it’s important to constantly be moisturizing and conditioning. It’s important to make sure to condition between the fingers and to wipe up any excess product. It is also good to keep from oil and dirt from building up there.
How to Break in Your Baseball Glove
Breaking in your baseball glove can be a long and painful process. That’s why we put together a list of ways to make this process go easier and faster.
- Play the Game – The best way to break in your baseball glove is quite simple to play baseball. This will this allow you to develop a customized break. It will also consequently make the glove as comfortable. Plus, it’s a great way to get some practice in too.
- Steaming – A popular way that factories and manufacturers break in baseball gloves is by steaming them. Simply apply conditioner to the leather to soften it up, then steam the glove to 150 degrees. Then, break in the glove using a glove mallet. This will consequently soften up the leather enough to allow a break and make the glove game ready.
- Hit it – Not only does this method provide for a more customized break, but it is also a great way to let go of some of that pent up anger. Simply put the glove on and repeatedly hit the pocket of the glove with a glove mallet. Once the initial break happens you can also take the glove off and start hitting it from the sides for a smoother, more flexible break.
- Oils and Conditioners – Although these products don’t have the ability to break the glove in on their own, they are a huge help when trying to speed up the process. Oils and conditioners can soften up the gloves leather and allow for the more hands-on methods to take effect quicker. However, it is important to remember to only use products that have been by your baseball gloves manufacturers.
- Glove Wraps – Glove wraps are a great way to break in your glove, or keep it broken over the offseason. Simply put a ball in the glove before folding the glove in on itself. Then tie the glove wrap around the glove to keep the shape secure. Not only will this allow for the glove to break it will also ensure that the break is suitable for the shape and size of a baseball.
How to Store Your Baseball Glove
Storing your glove correctly during offseason is one of the most important parts of ensuring that your glove survives the winter months. Storing it wrong can ruin the glove and cause the lather to deteriorate.
- Keep it Cool – One of the most important things is to keep your glove cool during the offseason. Storing it in a place other than your gym bag can help you make sure that the leather isn’t getting too hot. This will ruin it.
- Keep it Dry – Don’t allow the leather to get wet. That doesn’t mean that the second it does, it will ruin. However, if it gets wet, it’s important to wipe off the moisture and leave it to dry. Then, moisturize the hardened leather after it dries.
Pro Tip: Don’t store your baseball glove in humid or moisture filled areas.
- Keep it Conditioned – It’s important to take your glove out and give it a little cleaning and conditioning during off seasons. This will keep the leather soft and keep the leather from deteriorating.
Pro Tip: Don’t spit on your glove to clean it because that will only dry out the leather.
- Keep a Ball In It – Storing your baseball glove with a ball in it will help the glove keep its shape and flexibility. This will also make sure that even after months of not using it, your glove will be able to play well.
In summary, baseball has been a game that has been around for generations and will be around for countless generations to come. It is the sport that has taken America by a storm and has thousands of different leagues constantly running; turning it into a business worth billions.
However, you don’t have to be a famous MLB athlete to have the best there is. There is no reason why you shouldn’t have the best right in your very own home. A baseball glove is one of the most important pieces of equipment the game requires. Anyone should be able to enjoy that luxury no matter state or status. In the end, getting a glove online is the perfect way to make sure that you’re getting the perfect glove.