Baseball gloves have always been an iconic piece of sports equipment that is used by old and young athletes across the country.
From youngsters in their first summer league to professional all-stars,everyone playing baseball understands that they are a key part of the game. That’s the reason why it’s so important to find the right gloves, preferably ones that fit you right.
The problem is that there are several options available to you when you’re trying to find the right baseball glove. Different web types, materials, and your playing position all play a part in the kind of glove that is going to fit you.
Knowing these factors is vital as it guides you to choose the right glove for your baseball games this season. Before we go ahead and talk about how you can choose a baseball glove that fits, we’re going to highlight the anatomy of a baseball glove.
Anatomy of a Baseball Glove
Before you go ahead and match your baseball mitt to your playing position and needs, it’s extremely helpful to know about the anatomy of a baseball glove.
Several components make up the design of the glove, and each of them has a purpose in helping you catch the ball easily. Here is the anatomy of a baseball glove:
This part connects the thumb and fingers for greater control of the ball on impact. It is a tightly woven piece of leather, allowing fielders to get a firm grab on the ball to obtain possession. The web is the part of the glove where most line drives, fly balls, and pop-ups are caught.
This part is padding underneath the leather and provides impact protection.
This is the lower part of the glove towards the palm side, offering protection. It determines how your glove breaks.
This part gives the shape to the glove, and leather is generally used for lacing material as it allows the laces to break in when the glove does.
This part allows the glove to close and open easily.
This part is an optional feature that lets you adjust, and is common in slow pitch softball, fastball, and youth baseball. It comes with D-ring fasteners, buckle systems, and hook-and-loop fasteners.
Materials Used in Baseball Gloves
Baseball gloves come in various sizes and materials, with each one providing a unique feel on the diamond. The most common materials used in baseball gloves are:
Premium Pro Series Leather
This is the highest quality material used in baseball gloves and offers unparalleled comfort, craftsmanship, and durability. The best part about this material is that once it is broken-in, it conforms better to your hand.
Softened, Oil-Treated Leather
This material is generally used in gloves that are used when players get older and move to higher leagues. The best part about this material is that it provides a game-ready feel and easy break-in.
This material doesn’t require any break-in period and is a lightweight option that is preferred by younger players.
Web Types in Baseball Gloves
Once you’ve selected the material you want for your baseball glove, you’ll also need to check out the various web patterns used in baseball gloves. These webs are generally meant to add style and enhance the design of the glove, but each web pattern adds distinct benefits to your mitt. Here are some of the common web types used in baseball gloves, along with what impact they have on your game.
Web Types for Fielders:
This is the most popular web pattern among pitchers who want to hide the ball. The best thing about the basket web is that they are easier to close because of the flexibility in the basket weave.
This option is generally found on outfielder gloves and features a leather strap with interlaced lacing on every side, which creates deeper pockets for grabbing onto fly balls.
The Modified Trap
The modified trap web pattern is universally used by outfielders, pitchers, and infielders because thevleather strip on top of the web offers more stability.
The H-Web patterns are called that because of the ‘H’ created by the leather posts when it is sewn together. It’s the most popular web pattern for infielders and outfielders, especially third basemen. The open web allows dirt and debris to fall through and remains sturdy enough to catch hard-hit balls.
The I-Web gets its name for the same reasons the H-Web patterns get theirs, with the leather posts creating an ‘I’ when sewn together. This web pattern is generally found on gloves worn by infielders as dirt and debris fall through for easier exchanges and transfers.
The Single Post
This is also known as the Cross Web, and this single-post pattern offers ample visibility and flexibility and features a single vertical leather strip paired with two horizontal bars.
Just like the basket web, the two-piece web pattern is excellent for concealing pitches, but they can also make the glove heavier.
The Fit, Feel and Style
Selecting the right baseball glove for you largely depends on two main factors: your age, and your fielding position. However, your preferences also play a role in determining what glove you wear. Here are some simple guidelines you should follow:
Look for a glove that has a color and look that fits you.
You want to choose a glove that fits snugly, so don’t buy one that is too big for your hand as that will cause you problems in trying to catch the ball and fielding.
The glove you choose should be stiff to give you strength and flexibility so that you not only get control of the ball quickly in the field but can also release it rapidly.
The best baseball glove for you is ultimately going to be one that you feel comfortable with, but using the tips shared above will make it easier for you to choose the perfect baseball mitt that fits you.