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GLOVE RESOURCE GUIDE

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SIZING YOUR GLOVE

These size recommendations are an average and may not pertain to every player. They will give you a guide whether you are a baseball, fastpitch, or softball player.

First off, how is a glove measured?

Fielders gloves and first base mitts are measured by starting at the top of the index finger of the glove down the finger along the inside of the pocket and then out to the heal of the glove.  Lay the tape measure across the palm of the glove, so that it folds across and into the indenture, down to the heel of the glove.  A catcher's mitt is measured by the circumference.

Adult Baseball Gloves

Outfielder gloves are going to offer a larger pattern size in comparison to infielder gloves. This is due to outfielders needing a larger pocket to assist with pop flies while infielders need a smaller, more shallow pocket to help with quick transitions. But, ultimately, the size of your glove comes down to what is most comfortable for you. The best way to find that out is trial by error.

Second Base & Shortstop Gloves: 11.25 - 11.50 inch pattern

Third Base Gloves: 11.50 - 12.00 inch pattern

Pitcher Gloves: 11.75 - 12.00 inch pattern

Outfield Gloves: 12.25 - 12.75 inch pattern

Fastpitch Softball Gloves

Due to the larger softball being used, Fastpitch softball gloves for both infield and outfield feature a larger pattern in comparison to baseball gloves. But, similar to youth gloves, a lot of models will feature a smaller wrist opening and tighter finger stalls to accommodate a female athlete's hand. Typically, these softball gloves range from 11.75 inches all the way up to 13 inches.

Infield Softball Gloves: 11.75 - 12.50 inch pattern

Pitcher Softball Gloves: 12.00 - 12.50 inch pattern

Outfield Softball Gloves: 12.50 - 13.00 inch pattern

Youth Gloves

Youth gloves are recommended for younger players who have not stopped growing and are likely to outgrow their glove sooner rather than later. The age range of youth players is 12 years old and under. Because of the wide range in age, the sizes are going to have a larger range too. The difference in youth gloves is in the wrist opening and finger stalls. Manufacturers, such as Wilson and Rawlings, craft their youth gloves with a smaller wrist opening and tighter finger stalls for a more secure fit on a youth player's hand.

Infield Softball Gloves: 9.00 - 11.50 inch pattern

Pitcher Softball Gloves: 10.50 - 12.50 inch pattern

Slow Pitch Softball Gloves

Slow Pitch softball gloves are in a realm of their own. Slow Pitch softball gloves tend to run much larger in comparison to both baseball gloves and Fastpitch softball gloves and range from 13 inches all the way to 15 inches.

Infield Slow Pitch Gloves: 13.00 - 14.00 inch pattern

Outfield Slow Pitch Gloves: 13.00 - 15.00 inch pattern

First Base Mitts

To be able to play first base, you need to be able to catch extremely well. Having the right sized mitt helps. First base glove sizes will range from 12 inches to 13 inches.

Baseball First Base Mitts: 12.00 - 12.50 inch pattern

Fastpitch Softball First Base Mitts: 12.50 - 13.00 inch pattern

Catcher's Mitts

These gloves range in size from 31 inches to 34 inches. This isn't because they are three times the size of a normal glove, but rather because these mitts are measured by their circumference rather than top to bottom.

Youth Catcher's Mitts: 31.00 - 33.50 inch pattern

Adult Catcher's Mitts: 32.00 - 34.00 inch pattern

Fastpitch Softball Catcher's Mitts: 32.50 - 34.00 inch pattern

GLOVE CARE

A properly cared for quality glove will perform for many seasons. Improper handling, cleaning, adjusting and, in particular, over oiling can shorten the life expectancy of your glove. The most important part of caring for your glove is to recognize that leather will deteriorate if subjected to repeated exposure to moisture and heat. MOISTURE (Water / Steam) and HEAT (Oven / Baking) are the worst things for a leather glove.
  • Use the glove oil sparingly, as you can always add more.
  • NEVER put your glove in an oven or microwave, the heat can damage the fibers of the leather.
  • Water / Steam will cause the leather to dry out, crack, and the laces to become brittle. Some stores will steam for you, in a pinch it works for a weekend not the long term as it drastically reduces the life of the glove.
  • Applying glove oil to any non-black colored leather will likely darken it considerably.
  • Excessive glove conditioner/oil will damage and shorten the life of a new glove.
  • Allow the glove oil to absorb into the leather for 24 hours in a warm area, temperature between 70-90 degrees.
  • At the end of the season, apply glove oil very lightly to keep your glove from becoming brittle.
  • Store your glove in a dry place with a ball in the pocket to maintain shape.
  • Do not use neat's-foot oil, linseed oil or silicon-type spray, these tend to close the pores of the leather, causing it to dry, harden and become heavy.
  • Do not apply the glove oil directly to the glove, as it will be too concentrated at the point of application, apply to a cloth first.
  • Pummeling a new glove speeds up the break-in, but the glove will be better served if this extra abuse is avoided.
  • Wearing a batting glove under your glove absorbs moisture and prolongs the life of the liner of the glove.

Leaving your glove out in the weather will ruin it, as will putting it away wet from perspiration. If it is comfortable, wear a batting glove under your baseball glove (unless you are a baseball pitcher); this absorbs the sweat from your hand. This could 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 glove oil to moisten the leather. When you put your glove away, it's best to put a ball or two in the pocket to help keep its shape.

Routine maintenance should probably be done at least once a season so that you can check the condition of the glove. A tune-up involves tightening the laces in the fingers and web; re-tying any loose knots and cleaning, conditioning and shaping the glove. 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 even cause errors. The off-season is also a good time to have the glove professionally re-laced if it requires this work. A number of companies offer this work in addition to complete rebuilding and repair services. At the end of the season, you can take a moderate amount of petroleum jelly, and cover the outside and inside of the glove. Don't ignore the laces or hard-to-get-to areas, both inside and outside the glove. Then take a clean rag and wipe off excess to remove grit and grime. This will also remove and help neutralize much of the salt and acid buildup inside the glove caused by perspiration, a chief problem to the leather lining, usually made of softer leather.

BREAK IN YOUR GLOVE

The best way to break in a glove is to use specially designed glove oil.  Glove oil keeps the leather ''alive'' while providing a softening condition and minimizing weight gain.  Apply a small amount of glove oil to a sponge or cloth, then use the sponge or cloth to apply the oil to the areas of the glove that are currently firm. Start with the palm, the break point of the glove and then web.  Then use the glove oil on all other parts of the glove including the entire inside to help moisturize and protect the glove.  Work the glove oil into the leather evenly.  Do not apply the glove oil directly to the glove, as it will be too concentrated at the point of application.

Also, make sure that the laces get oiled so they can stay moisturized so they will not dry and begin to crack. Otherwise, the webbing of the glove will come loose.  Remember that leather is skin and leather experts tell us not to treat glove leather any differently than you would your skin. Therefore prolonged harsh temperatures (oven, microwave) excessive water soaking, especially use of hot water, abrasives, the salt and acids produced from perspiration and excessive dryness all or individually can be harmful to the glove leather.

Break Your Glove in Like the Pros