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    Tips, Care & Frequenty Asked Questions

    What Size Glove Should I Use?

    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 softball, or Slowpitch 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 Gloves: 9.00 - 11.50 inch pattern

    Pitcher / Outfield 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

    What Size Bat Should I Use?

    We recommend the longest and heaviest bat that you can swing without losing bat speed. Although the Feel of the bat will be the most important factor. You have to make sure it feels right to you. The more you like it the more confident you will be at the plate!



    We usually start with a length based on a player's height and weight as seen above. As far as the best weight, it is difficult to make a recommendation because it will vary from player to player depending on one's personal preference, hitting style, bat speed, and strength. If you need some help please contact us or come into the store and we will size you for a bat. While bats can have the same measurements they often feel different and it's beneficial to take some swings with them at the store.

    Check out our Diamond Demo Program to find a bat to fit your swing!

    LENGTH-to-WEIGHT RATIO

    The ''DROP'' as some may call it, or the number with the MINUS in front of it is the LENGTH-to-WEIGHT ratio. This defines the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. The larger the number, the lighter the bat.

     

    What are the different Bat Certifications?

    As bat certifications continue to change we are here to try to help you sort out what they mean and which one you need on your bat. First and foremost what standard does your league use? You should check with your coach or league to make sure what bat certifications are required to avoid purchasing a bat you cannot use.

    What does BPF mean? Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. The major baseball and softball organizations have adopted the BPF standard to determine whether a bat is legal for play.


    BASEBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

    • BBCOR (0.50 BPF): Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution. This certification is the standard that regulates the overall performance of adult bats used by high school and collegiate players. BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat. BBCOR bats are only made in a drop 3 (-3) or minus 3 and have a 2 5/8" Barrel. Search available BBCOR Certified Baseball Bats.

    • USSSA (1.15 BPF): Bat Performance Factor measures how fast the ball comes off of the bat. 1.15 is the standard for travel baseball bats. Includes 2 1/4" Barrel, 2 5/8" Barrel, & 2 3/4" Barrel bats. Search available USSSA 1.15 Certified Baseball Bats.

    • USA Baseball (Little League): Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will adhere to the new USABat standard. NO bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity. USA Baseball believes that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood and BBCOR bats. USA Baseball bats can be 2 5/8" Barrel or smaller. For more information read our New USA Baseball Standard post. Search available USA Baseball Certified Bats.

    FASTPITCH SOFTBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

    • ASA / NSA / USSSA: Bats that meets ASA's 98 MPH certification and the Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.20 for NSA and USSSA. Almost all Fastpitch softball bats meet both standards. Search available ASA / NSA / USSSA Certified Fastpitch Bats.

    • ASA Only: Bats that only meet the ASA 98 MPH standard and NOT the 1.20 BPF standard, including the Easton Ghost.

      SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

      • ASA (98 MPH / ASA Only): There are two different standards for ASA for Slowpitch and Fastpitch softball governed leagues. The traditional 2004 98 MPH certification that can be found on All Association (ASA / NSA / USSSA) bats and the ASA Only 2013 certification. All association bats will perform at about 98 MPH while the ASA Only bats will preform at about 100 MPH. Search available All Association Slowpitch Softball Bats or ASA Only Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      • NSA (1.20 BPF): Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch softball governed leagues. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available NSA Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      • USSSA (1.20 BPF): Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch softball governed leagues. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      • 1.21 BPF: Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch senior softball leagues such as SSUSA. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available SSUSA Senior Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      BASEBALL & SOFTBALL ASSOCIATIONS

      • ASA: Amateur Softball Association.
      • NSA: National Softball Association.
      • USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association. 
      • SSUSA: Senior Softball-USA
      • ISA: Independent Softball Association.
      • ISF: International Softball Federation.

       

      If you still have any questions pertaining to bats and their certifications, don’t hesitate to contact our expert customer service staff. Diamond Sport Gear is here to help find the bat to fit your swing!

      How to 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

      For nearly 40 years, Wilson Glove Master Craftsman Shigeaki Aso has applied his love for ball gloves by designing the glove of choice for the best players in the world, and then some. He works with players at every level, gathering feedback and information to help craft the most innovative and extensive line of ball gloves in the game. As his designs continue to advance, he's become the most respected figure in the industry.

       

      Breaking In an Outfield Glove

      Breaking In a Middle Infielder Glove

      Breaking In a First Base Mitt

      Breaking In a Catcher's Mitt

      Breaking In a Nokona Brand Glove

      How To Apply Baseball Glove Conditioner and Oil

       

      General 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.