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It’s All in the Fit – A Guide to Choosing the Right Baseball Glove For YOU

In spite of what some might think there is a distinct difference in softball & baseball gloves. Many things are the same, but there are some subtle distinctions. Here is another excellent guide for finding the best baseball glove. Enjoy!

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How to Measure a Glove
Baseball gloves are measured by beginning at the uppermost point of the index finger the glove. Then, measure down the finger, around the inside of the pocket and then out to the heel of the glove. Utilize a tape that is flexible and let it “lay” in the pocket when you are measuring. To measure first base mitts (which have no fingers) simply measure from the top on the mitt the same way like a fielders’ glove. All gloves are rated for size by inches. Most baseball gloves span of 9 inches (youth size of a starter) up to 12.75 inches for adults playing outfield. Sizes of catchers’ mitts when measured in inches, are measured by circumference. The typical baseball catcher’s mitt will be measured in diameter between 30 inches (youth size) from 34.5 inches with.5 inch increment sizes within this interval.

Glove Quality
The top quality gloves are usually made of thick leather that takes some time to break in they will also they offer the “snug” fit on your hand straight “off the shelf” and generally do not come with gloves with palm protectors or VELCRO(r) brand wrist straps. These are excellent features to have if one is buying the type of youth or recreational glove.

* Top-grain gloves are typically going to be imprinted by the manufacturer onto your glove. These are usually heavier gloves requiring a longer break in time and are typically used when you are wearing “top of the line” gloves.
* Kip leather (Kipskin) is now being used by a few glove manufacturer’s in some of their top-quality gloves. Kip hide (Kipskin) hide is made by younger cattle, which produces softer leather that is easy to break-in. If durability is as good as that of traditional hides is to be determined. The next level is Premium Steer Hide which tends to produce a stiffer glove with a greater break-in time and is sometimes pre-oiled to decrease this time. Next is
* Cow Hide that is typically moderate weight, and produces an array of high-quality products, is more durable and wears off faster that steer hide. The grade is typically pre-oiled or treated to reduce break-in time.This is a fantastic quality for a young glove ages 10 and up.
* Kangaroo Skin is a newcomer to the market for baseball gloves is being utilized by a few manufacturers. While it’s lighter and stronger than steer hide, it’s still too early to determine how good an investment gloves made of Kangaroo are.
* Pigskin is lower in durability than cowhide. It can however break in faster and easier than cowhide. The gloves made from Pigskin cost less and are ideal for children who will grow out of their glove in a season.

Baseball gloves can also be found in a variety of synthetic fabrics that make lightweight gloves that require little if any break-in, are less costly than leather and could be a good option for a child’s “starter” glove. One disadvantage to these gloves is that they are significantly less durable than leather and are unable to withstand the wear and tear leather can.

Gloves vs Mitts
The major difference between gloves and mitts is that gloves come with fingers, while mitts do not. Mitts do a better job of controlling balls that don’t go into the pocket. Mitts also aid scooping ground balls and short hops. 1st base and catcher are the only positions that utilize mitts.

Youth Gloves
The most crucial thing to remember in this section is to avoid the temptation to purchase a glove that is too “large” for the person using it with the thought that “they will grow into it”. What happens is the user will become annoyed and decide to leave after the glove has fallen off his hands a couple of times, or you’ll be demotivated and then either get a new glove of the appropriate size or wonder what the reason is for “little Johnny” can’t keep his glove on as other guys. In either case, it’s a loss-win scenario. Make sure you buy the correct size the first time to avoid unnecessary suffering.

First Base Mitts
The majority of first base mitts are made specifically for use in baseball and measure between 12 and 13 inches. First base mitts usually feature a stiff, thin pad that wraps around the entire circumference of the mitt. There is the least amount of padding on the fingers or in the palm. First base mitts designed specifically for children typically measure between 11 and 11.5 inches.

Catcher’s Mitts
Baseball catcher’s gloves typically feature a thick padding around the circumference of the glove with thick padding in the finger area , but less padding in the palm area. The pocket of modern catchers mitt is larger but more shallow than it was in the past with contemporary gloves for catchers being more flexible and evolving toward a first base mitt look similar to one, as speed of the ball’s hand transfer for a catcher is critical. Catchers mitts are available in a circumference between 31 and 34 inches with.5 inch incremental sizes in the band. Mitts for youth catcher fall in the 31- 32 inch range . Mitts made specifically for youth players will be smaller in hand opening and finger stalls with some form of wrist adjustment.

Open vs Closed Web
Open Web Ideal to quickly get the ball out of the glove. Therefore, it’s often the first choice of middle infielders, first basemen and even outfielders.
*Closed Web Offers greater support and ball coverage. Typically used by pitchers, third basemen, and the majority of outfielders.

Conventional or Open Back vs Closed Back
The back of conventional gloves leaves an opening across their back. They typically are a little lighter.
* Some closed-back gloves come with wrist adjustments which allows you to choose the tightness or looseness of your glove fits.
* Open back or conventional: Infielders & catchers are attracted by the flexibility of the conventional glove.
* Closed back is used mostly by first basemen and outfielders. Some players enjoy the additional support offered by closed backs. They can also include a back “finger hole” to further provide support.

Break-In & Care
There are some specific rules to break in the leather on the new baseball glove. Make sure you note all these tips to ensure you’re taking the right steps!

Break-In
The type of leather the glove is made of , the duration will differ between a couple of days to several weeks. The more you wear your new glove, the faster it will break-in. It’s also okay to use an Glove Oil or Conditioner made specifically for baseball gloves make sure you follow the directions exactly in order to not overload your glove with.

Do’s & Don’ts
Avoid using a hairdryer or any another source of warmth to your glove
Do not submerge, or even place your glove in water
Don’t beat the leather with any accessory
Don’t store you glove unattended in your vehicle or in any other poorly air-conditioned area when you’re not employing it.
Use only the best products on your glove that isn’t an oil or conditioner specifically designed for baseball gloves
Avoid using any oil or conditioner that contains silicone, even if it claims that it is made for baseball gloves
Don’t over-saturate your glove any conditioner for glove use; use sparingly

Essential Do’s
Use your glove daily during break-in procedure
The laces should be checked and tightened on regular basis
Wear a batting glove on your glove hand (provides support and shields the glove’s interior from water)
Store the glove away from extreme heat
Dry the glove naturally if it should get wet.

I personally feel that this guide is simple yet comprehensive. I hope you find it helpful.

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