The Evolution Of Baseball Gloves
Buying & Breaking In A New Baseball Glove by Billy Beansprout
Buying a New Baseball Glove
When searching for a new baseball glove, there are many factors to consider, such as the feel of the glove, the size of the glove, and your budget. A glove can run you anywhere from $15 to over $200 for a good glove. The quality of the glove is generally the determining factor in the price. The higher quality, the more expensive, and the longer they will probably last. It may be more cost effective in the long run to spend a few extra dollars now. On the other hand, when purchasing a glove for a child, you don't want to invest too much because they may soon grow out of it.
Sizes of baseball gloves depend largely on the age and size of the buyer, the position on the field the buyer will be playing, and the type of game (baseball or softball). A measurement is made from the heel of the glove to the top of the glove on the palm side. This is called the pattern size. Gloves for younger people range from 8" to 12". Grown up's gloves usually fall around twelve to thirteen inches. According to rule 1.14, a professional baseball players glove can be no more than twelve inches long and eight inches wide.
The feel of the glove is the most important part of purchasing a baseball glove. You may spend a hundred and seventy five dollars on a glove, only to have it give you a nasty little blister between two of your fingers. Make sure the glove is comfortable, and that there aren't any spots where the glove rubs excessively on your hand. Be sure that it isn't too loose though it needs to be able to stay on your hand.
Breaking That New Glove In
If you asked a team full of baseball players how they prefer to break in there gloves, you would most likely get a different answer from every single one of them. There are many ways to break in a glove, from the old tradition of leaving it under your mattress for a few days, to actually baking it. Some people even prefer to let the break in from play. There two things to improve upon when breaking a glove in: the softness of the leather, and the shape of the pocket. Some of the various ways to soften the leather are using oils and lotions, such as Vaseline, saddle soap, glove manufacturer's oils, tanners glove oil, and a Hot Glove treatment. A hot glove treatment is where you put a special foam on the glove and bake it for about four minutes in your oven. Though some people swear by this method of softening your glove, there are others who say it puts the integrity of the glove at risk. When breaking in your glove, don't use extra oil or soap to help it soften quicker, it won't help, instead it will make the leather deteriorate faster.
Of course, the most popular method of forming your gloves pocket is to play catch, or sitting on the back porch tossing a baseball into the pocket of your baseball glove. Another excellent way to form the pocket of your new glove is to take a baseball, place it in the pocket of the glove, and tie it shut. Also, you can just take a trip to your closest batting cage and catch balls from the machine to help form the pocket. This constant catching also helps to soften the leather of your baseball glove quite a bit.
Billy Beansprout writes about baseball (especially historical baseball) at http://www.BigShowBaseball.com - Read articles on subjects such as the History of the Baseball Glove
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