Growing up, I can think of only a few better days than going to the store and grabbing a fresh, new baseball glove and taking it outside to play catch with and break it in. There are only a few other things in this world more satisfying than breaking a mitt in perfectly for your hand. But here is the tricky part: How do you know what glove you should buy? Well, it depends on a variety of factors.

 

  1. Your Position

Every position on the diamond has specific needs when it comes to your glove. When you’re in the outfield, you tend to want to have a bigger glove. This means you really want to grab something 12” or bigger to give you a little bit of an edge when it comes to running down balls. These gloves normally have H-webs or trapeze.

For the infield, up the middle (Shortstop and 2nd Base) tend to use smaller gloves. These can range anywhere from 11” to 11.75”. For 3rd Base, you can stick to a mid-sized glove. Most professionals use anywhere from 11.5” to 12” to maximize their range at the hot corner. When you are diving after hard hit balls, you want to make sure you have some extra range. They call it the hot corner for a reason!

For first base, you need a specific glove to ensure that you can scoop all balls thrown or hit your way. This not only helps you make plays for your teammates when they make short or off throws, but it also helps extend your catch radius as well.

For pitchers, it really is subjective. Many big leaguers tend to use a little bit on the bigger side (11.5-12”), but what really differentiates gloves for pitchers is the webbing. Some like to use closed pockets to make sure that hitters and the opposing team can’t see their grip on the ball to allude to their pitch sequence, others couldn’t care less. For me, as a former pitcher, I enjoyed using a trapeze or two-piece web. I liked these because they looked cool, and it was hard for anyone to get a read on my grip. The younger you are, the less the web really plays a role, but the older you get, the more it plays into the selection of a glove.

Now catchers tend to have the most unique glove out of all positions. They need to have a half moon or one-piece to help them frame and give them a lot of flexibility behind the plate. Again, sizing is mostly preference as most catchers’ mitts come in 30”-33.5”. Obviously, the smaller mitts can help with movements and flexibility, but the bigger mitts extend your catch radius. All preference for behind the dish!

 

  1. Fitting Your Hand

When choosing a glove, you want to make sure that the glove isn’t too big or too small for your hand. Not only can this cause discomfort or irritability on the field, but it can hinder your performance and ability to field/catch. Make sure that you put your hand in and move around with it before playing catch!

 

 

  1. The Feel of the Glove

You want to make sure that your hand is able to move and squeeze almost involuntarily. Some people like stiffer gloves, others like them looser and more “floppy”. It’s all preference. For example, Rawlings has 2 different types of Heart of the Hide models: traditional and R2G (Ready 2 Go). The traditional comes extremely stiff, requiring a good amount of break-in time before it’s ready, while the R2G comes a lot softer, meaning it will loosen up much quicker than its other half. Either way, both are quality mitts, just feel and play a little differently.

 

  1. The Style of the Glove

Ah, now we get to the cool part. When it comes to styles of gloves, that is entirely up to your preference. For instance, Rawlings recently made a jump and made some gloves that look super cool and colorful called the Rev1x. It looks vibrant and colorful, which is a huge jump from traditional mitts such as the Pro Preferred line. Whatever your swag or style of play, embrace it! Choose wisely and make sure you grab a mitt that will represent you well and become your new best friend on the diamond!