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How to Choose the Right Baseball Glove
How To Choose Baseball Gloves
There are many factors which will influence your decision in determining which baseball glove is right for you or your child. Your choice will ultimately affect your performance, success and fun while playing the game.
Your Position Matters
When it comes time to purchase baseball gloves, one of the most important factors in choosing the right glove will be determined by the position you’ll be playing. There are gloves made specifically for different positions and these gloves provide certain features necessary to help the player perform well. If you’re not sure which position you’ll be playing, or if you’ll be playing multiple positions, you can choose either a glove designed for the position you’ll be playing most often, or a general utility glove.
A Custom Made Baseball Glove
The catcher’s mitt is more like a fingerless mitten rather than a glove. It’s heavily reinforced and padded to withstand the repeated impact and provides extra padding to help reduce the sting of high speed balls.
There are no baseball gloves that are considered standard for pitchers, but they generally prefer a glove with closed webbing because it helps to hide the ball from the batter.
The first baseman’s glove is slightly padded since this position requires catching a lot of hard thrown balls. This glove is also longer making it easier to help field throws.
Middle infielders use baseball gloves that are smaller. This is a five-fingered glove with shallow pockets making it easier for the fielder to scoop up grounders and put the ball back into play.
Outfielders generally use a larger and longer glove than the infielder gloves. The outfielder’s glove enables him to catch high-flying balls more easily.
Baseball gloves come in a variety of price ranges. Base models can be relatively inexpensive, while high-end gloves from top manufacturer’s can be quite expensive. Obviously, the quality of the glove is going to be a factor in the overall price. The higher the quality, the more you should be prepared to spend, but this expense is offset by the fact that the glove will likely last longer. Putting your money into a good quality, durable glove may be less expensive in the long run because you’ll have a glove that will last for many years.
A good baseball glove, even one that is moderately priced, can give you many years of service if you take care of it and perform routine maintenance. Another factor to consider is the age of the player, a young player may quickly outgrow their baseball glove making spending top dollar on a high-end model unnecessary.
A good option when budgeting for a baseball glove is to consider buying used. You can often pick up a good used glove at thrift stores, garage sales, online auctions and sporting good stores that specialize in resale of used equipment. Buying used often means a considerable discount, especially when looking at high-end gloves. You’ll also have the advantage of a quality glove that is already broken in.
How Does it Feel?
When choosing your baseball glove, you’ll want to consider how it feels on your hand. If you try it on at the store and it feels uncomfortable, it will probably still be uncomfortable even after you’ve broken it in.
Put the glove on and adjust it to your hand, you’ll want a fairly snug fit. Try to open and close the glove, it should respond quickly and easily and should be light enough for you to control with ease.
Choosing the Right Size
Baseball gloves come in a variety of sizes. For players over the age of 13 and up through adult, outfielder’s will need a glove that is 12 to 13 inches with deeper pockets. Infielders will use a slightly smaller glove, 10-3/4 to 12 inches with shallower pockets.
Youth baseball gloves are made in sizes specifically for kids. Choose your glove carefully, it needs to fit properly. You can not buy a big glove for a child with the expectation that he’ll grow into it. Big gloves will not give a child the control they’ll need to succeed in baseball.
Young kids under eight years of age should have a glove that measures from 9 inches for an infielder’s glove to 11 inches for an outfielder. Kids between the ages of eight and thirteen should not consider gloves bigger than 10 inches for an infielder and 12 inches for an outfielder.
To measure a baseball glove, measure from the heel of the glove all the way to the very tip of the longest finger, or webbing.
Does it have to be leather?
What your glove is made of is an important factor in choosing the right glove. There are three types of materials used in making baseball gloves.
- Leather gloves are definitely the most popular because they offer the best feel, comfort and control. The higher the quality of leather used in the making of the glove, the more durable it will be. The leather should be fairly stiff and sturdy. Gloves marked “genuine leather palm” means that only the palm itself is leather, the rest of the glove is made from a synthetic material.
- Some gloves are made with treated leather. These gloves have chemicals added to help break the glove in faster. It also helps the glove to keep its shape, but they typically don’t last as long as a leather glove and repairing them can be very difficult.
- Plastic and synthetic materials are used in making many baseball gloves. These gloves are easier to break in, but they’re also much less durable and usually can not be repaired. These gloves are considerably less expensive and can make a good choice for a younger player who will probably only use their baseball glove for one or two seasons.
Baseball Bats and What You Need to Know
Be sure to see our article Choosing Baseball Bats - Baseball Equipment for help with understanding baseball bats and the things you need to know before purchasing one.
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