OF YOUR GLOVE
BUYING YOUR GLOVE
BREAKING IN YOUR GLOVE
CARING FOR YOUR GLOVE
USING OIL ON YOUR GLOVE
RAWLINGS GLOVE CARE
BUYING YOUR GLOVE
In order to purchase good glove does not at all mean it has to be an
There are many styles of gloves that will give you many seasons of adequate service for less than $50.
You can pay more, but a more expensive glove does not necessarily mean a better, more serviceable glove.
There are expensive gloves which may ONLY last one or two seasons,
and there are inexpensive gloves that can last for ten years or more with routine maintenance.
Selecting a glove
FIRST OF ALL:
Selection should be based on personal preference
The only criteria is to select something you can handle.
Typically, infielders use small gloves with shallow pockets. A smaller glove lets you make faster transitions because you can get the ball out of the glove faster. Outfielders use a glove with a deeper pocket. Their main advantages are shock absorption and added reach. Whatever your choice, you should select a glove that you can handle and that fits your body.
Select a glove for the position you will be playing more often.
·Outfield -larger glove
·Infield (except first base)-small to medium
·First base-first baseman's mitt
(one is provided by the League,
however you may want to choose your own)
Types of Webs & Backs
Open Web: Preferred by Outfielders and Third Basemen
Closed Web: Preferred by Middle Infielders and Pitchers
Open & Closed Back: Individual Preference, though middle infielders like open back.
Every baseball player must have a glove. However, the type of glove you should be using depends on the position you play.
For the shortstop and second baseman, a split-second could be the difference between making or missing an out. With that in mind, middle infielders need to get the ball out of the glove quickly to get the ball to a base for an out. That's where an infield glove comes into play. Using an infield glove can help preserve those precious milliseconds when transferring the ball from the glove to the throwing hand.
Outfielders need a big glove to catch those big flies from batters; that's an outfielder's most important job. A quick release is not as important for an outfielder as it is for an infielder, so the glove can be bigger.
The large, heavily padded glove used by all catchers. The size of a catcher's mitt provides a good target for the pitcher, while the heavy padding inside the mitt helps soften the impact of the pitches received by the mitt.
If you want to make all the plays at first, the first thing you should do is get a first baseman's mitt. It's a large mitt with rounded corners designed to help the first baseman scoop poor throws while providing greater range when receiving throws.
Check for fit; a glove should feel fairly snug when adjusted. Make sure the glove adjusts to your hand. Allow for batting glove if you wear one (excluding pitchers for it is illegal), it helps to wearbatting glove inside your glove. The batting glove will absorb most of the sweat from your hands, thus protecting the lining of your glove. Change the batting glove when it gets wet or rotted.
Feel the leather.
It should be fairly sturdy to sturdy. Of course, a stiffer glove will have to be broken in but once done, the glove will be functional for many seasons.
Beware of gloves that are marked with such vague terms as
"specially treated leather" or "all leather palm".
These descriptions may mean tissue-thin leather bonded to a fabric backing (a sort of leather veneer). Obviously this leather is not going to give years of service to the serious ball player.
"All leather palm"
means just that.
The palm of the glove is leather.
The rest of the glove is usually not.
Beware of plastic gloves - it is getting more and more difficult to readily distinguish between plastic and leather. Leather gloves will have "Genuine Leather" stamped on them; plastic gloves will not.
Plastic gloves for kids are not recommended because they are almost impossible to break in. Oiling plastic does not soften it. Plastic gloves are not necessarily cheaper, especially if you have to buy a new one every season.
Easy-Fit Guide For Gloves
Use this fit guide to find the glove just right for you.
AGE of CHILD
Ages 4 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to adult
Ages 12 to adult
BREAKING IN YOUR GLOVE
Once you've chosen your glove, if it is not a "pre-broken" model, you will have to break it in.
Most gloves are designed with built-in hinges which allow the glove to be opened and closed easily. The most common hinge is located at the base of the little finger pad, about 3/4"-1 1/2" away from the heel pad. Normally, there is no pad in this area; this allows the glove to open and close with minor resistance. The glove should close just like your hand at rest with the fingers folding at their hinge where they join to the palm.
The next step is to work in the hinges.
The hinges are what allow the glove to close. To work the hinges, it is recommend that you do the following:
Put your hand in the glove and begin to close it. You will see the hinges fold near the areas marked above. Once you have found your hinge break-points, remove your glove and begin gently folding it back and forth in these areas. Do this 50 to 75 times or until the hinges feel comfortable to you.
The best and most natural way to form your pocket is to play catch. By doing this, the pocket will become customized to your catching style. Another way you can form your pocket is by pounding the pocket area with your fist. When you do not have time to work with your glove, put a softball in it and wrap it closed.
You should always keep something in your glove when you are not using it. This will help to insure a nice pocket,
Some players prefer to break a glove so that the little finger and thumb tips come together. There are a few glove models designed to accommodate this break. These gloves usually have a series of vertical laces securing the heel pad. These laces allow the glove to fold across the heel. It is possible to break down the thick heel pad on the former glove type, but it is preferable to buy a glove designed to break to your specs than to try to modify the break angle.
USING OIL ON YOUR GLOVE
FIRST OF ALL - DISMISS THE MYTHS!
Gloves do not break in properly by:
Soaking them in linseed oil or other oils
Saturating them with water
Heating them in the oven or microwave
Beating the leather with a hammer or bat
Wrapping it up with rope and sleeping on the glove
Breaking in a new glove and preparing it for years of use is a minimum two week process.
PLAY CATCH DAILY - For the first two weeks you own the glove give it at least 100 good catches. (This exercise is not only good for the glove but also for you!) Do not apply any more oil until the end of the second week and only then if there are areas that still require softening.
Rawlings Glove Care
Breaking in a new glove can sometimes take time and a lot of work. Use these steps to help break-in and care for your Rawlings ball glove.
1. Press a small amount of regular shaving cream on a clean dry cloth and carefully work the cream around the outer shell palm and back. A light coating is all that is necessary. This will lubricate the leather fibers just enough prior to usage. Remember: LUBRICATE NOT SATURATE.
2. Allow the cream to dry thoroughly for 12-24 hours.
3. Wipe off the cream and play catch for 10-15 minutes. This stretches and conforms the glove to your hand and speeds the break in process.
4. Position a ball in the "pocket" and tie the glove closed for a few days with a string or rubber band around the outer perimeter.
5. As the glove starts to break-in pour a small amount of Glovolium, glove treatment, on a clean dry cloth and carefully work the oil around the outer shell palm and back. A light coating is all that is necessary.
6. Allow the glove to dry thoroughly for 24 hours after oiling so the oil has the proper amount of time to penetrate and recondition the leather.
7. Lace will stretch with use. Keep the laces taut but do not over tighten. Check the laces after each season to determine if any need replacement.
8. Store in a cool dry place with a ball in the pocket when not in use. Do not leave your glove in an area where the temperature will become excessive.
9. DO NOT OVER OIL YOUR GLOVE. TWICE A SEASON IS SUFFICIENT.
CARING FOR YOUR GLOVE
Your new glove is made of full grain leather for years of play.
Leather is a natural material and doesn't like to get wet. But if you do get caught in the rain, first dry your glove off with a soft towel, then let it air dry for several hours.
It is even a good idea to let the perspiration dry from inside the glove after each game. But don't try to bake your glove by putting it too close to a heat source-it could make the leather brittle.
The most important part of caring for your glove is to recognize that leather is a living, organic material that will decompose if wet and stiffen if allowed to dry out. The enzymes in saliva will also deteriorate it, so DON'T SPIT IN YOUR GLOVE. Leaving your glove out in the weather will ruin it, as will putting it away wet from perspiration. Always wear a batting glove under your baseball glove; this absorbs the sweat from your hand. When your batting glove gets wet, change it. This will add years to the lining of your glove. When your glove gets wet, dry it with a towel or soft cloth, and leave it exposed to room air for a few hours until the lining is dry. After it dries, use a little oil to moisten the leather. When you put your glove away, it's best to put a softball in the pocket and wrap with a wide "magic" rubber band.
This should probably be done at least once a season just so you can check the condition of the glove. A routine maintenance involves tightening the laces in the fingers and web; retying any loose knots; and cleaning, conditioning and shaping the glove. Worn or damaged laces are easy to spot when a routine maintenance is performed. Another problem which can be observed during a routine maintenance is a blow out at the crotch of the index finger. This is a common occurrence because the glove manufacturers/designers have lowered the finger crotches in gloves, which puts seams right where the ball impacts the glove. This constant battering results in seams bursting and then, if not repaired, a torn palm.
If you find torn seams, split leather, or broken laces, be sure to have them repaired as quickly as possible. Playing with a damaged glove can damage the glove further and cause personal injuries and even errors.
We have come up with a few things
you can do to maintain the look,
performance and life of your glove:
clean your glove as often as possible (use a damp cloth)
keep the strings on your glove tight
refrain from throwing your glove
recondition it with gel shaving cream (with lanolin in it) twice a month
as mentioned before, keep something in the pocket
if you feel your glove starting to dry out, lightly rub some Kelley oil in it
if possible, be selfish with your glove. other users will hamper the custom fit
talk to your glove often. praise it for good work
END OF THE SEASON
When you are ready to put the glove away for an extended period of time, use only the smallest amount of oil on a dry cloth and wipe if all over the glove. Do not neglect the inside linings and between the fingers. Place a ball in the pocket. Putting the glove in a cloth bag and setting it in a protected location, such as the top shelf of a closet, will ensure the glove is in good condition for next season.
Special thanks to the staff at Kelley Baseball for some of the information found on this page