Things You Need To Consider When Buying Your First Gloves
The type of glove you choose as a baseball player significantly impacts on your performance on the pitch. Regardless of who you are, whether you are an ardent or a novice baseball player, this post will help you choose the right glove that will fit your playing style and position.
The number of games you play in a year, your brand preferences amongst other factors will determine which type of glove you are going to choose. The style, quality, material and the general design of the glove matters a lot.
We have thoroughly sifted through various factors that can make a glove the best and below are some of the important things you need to consider when shopping for your next baseball glove.
- Buying a baseball glove: The Size
- Buying a baseball glove: Focus on the Position & Glove Design
- Are You a Right-Hand-Thrower or a Left-Hand-Thrower?
- Be Aware of the Material
- Webbing also need to be considered
- Padding: Heavy or not heavy
- Flexibility: Is the Baseball Glove flexible or not?
- The Back & Pockets
- The Baseball Brands
Buying a baseball glove: The Size
Typically, this is the first consideration you need to make when going for a glove. Whether big or small, the size of the glove will determine the comfort of your game. Every baseball player needs a glove that fits into their hands. It doesn’t matter if you are an infielder or a pitcher, the glove size needs to fit well to your wrist.
- Infielder – the best size for you is between 11½ to 11¾ inches
- Outfielder – the right size should be between 12 to 12½ inches
- Pitcher – the ideal size should be between 11¾ to 12½ inches
Note that the age factor comes in when selecting glove sizes. Of course, adults will require gloves with solidly webbed large gloves.
Buying a baseball glove: Focus on the Position & Glove Design
Baseball gloves are crafted to be used for specific positions. For instance, catchers’ mitts are heavily padded while first base mitts are lightly padded for flexibility. First baseman mitts are also rounded for catching ground balls. Outfielder Gloves are designed with deeper pockets for trapping high balls while infielder gloves have shallow pockets (commonly I-Web or Post Web) for easy and quick ball transfers. Gloves designed for outfield players have open pocket designs (usually H-Web) as well extra support in the wrist for snow cones, and other diving plays. Pitchers’ gloves feature closed webbing to conceal the ball before throwing. Before going for any brand or size of glove, ask yourself, what’s my position as a player?
Are You a Right-Hand-Thrower or a Left-Hand-Thrower?
Right-hand thrower (RHT) uses the right hand to throw the ball meaning he wears the glove on the left hand. The converse is true for LHT players – they throw the ball using the left hand and wears the glove on the right hand. So, when selecting your next gloves, bear in mind if you are an RHT or an LHT.
Be Aware of the Material
Baseball gloves are made from wide variety of materials including vinyl, leather, treated leather, mesh and leather-vinyl composites amongst other materials. Vinyl gloves are cost-effective, but they can hardly last for a year. Professional players prefer gloves made of leather not only because they are durable but because they are comfortable and flexible to use. Even though they may be expensive; they are worth their prices. Other players may go for the treated leather gloves which are usually pre-conditioned with oils and other substances for more comfort and durability. Young players may prefer synthetic vinyl or leather-vinyl composites as they are light and flexible. Also, gloves having a mesh at the back are good for those who require light, flexible and easy-to-use gloves.
Webbing also need to be considered
Choosing the best type of webbing which may include I-Web, Post Web, H-Web, Trapeze Web or Closed Web, is not an easy task for new buyers. Your position will determine the type of webbing you are going to choose.
- Infielders – For these players, the webbing should be loosely stitched because they need to make quick responses. Mostly the first and the second baseman uses a single patch strap (mostly I-Web, Single Post and 2-piece closed) while the third baseman will use a thicker webbing (mostly Trapeze).
- Outfielders – Catching high fly balls need gloves with strong support, and that is why most outfielders opt for H-Web, Modified Trapeze or Trapeze.
- Pitchers – Being tricky and elusive means getting rid of I-Webs and H-Webs on your way. Pitchers mostly use the Basket Web because they are large so that they don’t give away the pitch to the batter. Pitchers can as well use modified trapeze as they are designed to conceal the ball
Padding: Heavy or not heavy
Catcher’s mitts and first as well as third base positions require gloves with heavy padding. The more padding is to protect the hands from fast and stinging pitchers’ throws. If you know you are going to play in a position which requires your hand to be protected from the pitchers’ throws, go for the heavily padded gloves.
Flexibility: Is the Baseball Glove flexible or not?
For a more intriguing and exhilarating experience, you need gloves that allow you to play the way you want. Some gloves are designed with special wrist adjustments such as the buckle system, D-ring fastener or laced system that lets users make the glove fit snug to their hands. Such adjustments enable you to put on and take off the glove without a hassle.
The Back & Pockets
Why is the back of the glove so important? Choosing an open or a closed back in a matter of personal preference but your position on the pitch also dictates whether you’ll go for an open or a closed back glove. As an infielder, a standard open back glove is ideal for your position as it helps keep your hand cooler. Outfield players will showcase a mix of fastbacks and open backs, depending on one’s preference. Pitchers prefer open back webbing designs – rarely do you see a pitcher wearing a fastback glove. Gloves with shallow pockets are designed for infielders while those with deeper pockets are meant for outfielders.
The Baseball Brands
The conventional glove brands include the Rawlings, Mizuno, and Wilson. Most people have ditched using Rawlings’ gloves citing poor quality as their primary concern. Rawlings make their gloves using pre-softened leather. Mizuno is a well-known brand making best quality gloves coming in various materials, sizes, and types. Mizuno gloves are a little bit expensive than other brands. Wilson also makes quality gloves using hard leather. There may be other brands out there, but these three are the standard brands in the market.
As a player, your glove is more than just a gear – it’s part of you and part of your game. The type and quality of glove you’re going to choose will likely affect your performance on the pitch. You can shop on online stores or on physical stores to get your first baseball glove. Just keep in mind your position on the pitch, the size you need and your age.