How to: Choose the Right Baseball or Softball Glove
Walking into a store or shopping online can be be overwhelming. There are hundreds of styles, sizes, colours, leather combinations, never mind the custom option that Rawlings and Mizuno now offer through their custom glove builders. That's why at Source for Sports our baseball experts take some time to chat and answer some essential questions to give them a good understanding about what you might need out of a ball glove considering type, size, position, and leather. Once you've purchased that brand new glove, it's time for you to get outside and do your thing and toss that ball around.
Let's get into what you should consider before making your next purchase.
Type of Glove
What type of ball do you play?
Baseball and Softball glove models are designed differently to accommodate the size of the game ball. For example, a baseball is only 9 inches in size and a baseball glove is designed to catch and hold that size, whereas a softball could be 11 or 12 inches, so these gloves have a larger pocket.
Size of Glove
Softball gloves typically come in 12, 12.5 inch and 13 or 14 inch. H-web pockets create a large catching area, allowing the glove to close around the ball. Baseball gloves range from 11 – 12.75 inch. Outfielders want a bigger glove for maximum catching area, while infielders prefer a tight, narrow pocket to contain the ball.
Position You Play
What position do you play?
Pitchers want a closed pocket so that the batter cannot see what their fingers are doing to predict which pitch is coming, nor anticipate when the ball will be released. Middle field positions such as shortstop, 2nd base and 3rd base, usually look for an 11-11.75 inch glove that has a narrow close, with either an I-web or modified trap design. The I-web closes thumb to forefinger and is designed to trap and release the ball quickly. The modified trap design closes thumb to ring finger, creating a deeper pocket and a little more space to catch the ball. The outfield position glove has a H-web design which opens up to a deep and wide pocket for maximum catching area in the glove and holds the ball in the palm upon closure.
Type of Leather
What is the quality of Leather and Laces?
Leather quality will range, depending on where it is harvested from the cow hide. Some stretch more, some are softer, others have more imperfections (scars and irregularities) and some require more break -in than others. The price point will vary according to these features. Plastic laces have a tendency to break, but are suitable for players who play once or twice a week. Leather laces are much more durable and long lasting for those players who play more often or at a higher level.
Let's Break it In!
You have found the perfect fitting glove for your softball or baseball play. Now how do you break it in? The best way is to wear, use it, and play with it. This will allow the leather to conform to your hand and as you open and close the glove, it will begin to soften. For helpful tips and information on how to break in your glove before putting it to use on the diamond read How To Break in a Baseball Glove!