Everyone knows that having a good glove is essential in baseball but not everyone knows how to buy, choose and size a baseball glove.
There’s a few important things to think about and it can get confusing. In this guide I’ll show you what to focus on so you can make an informed purchase and play at your highest.
Are you ready?
Know Your Position
From years of playing baseball (and playing every position possible) I believe buying a position appropriate mitt is the single most important aspect of you decision.
Each spot on the field has it’s own unique needs and you need a product that caters to those needs. Here’s a quick rundown on what you should look for at each position:
- First Base: This mitt tends to be longer so you can scoop balls out of the dirt and have a better chance of catching errant throws. They tend to have an open web design and this allows for a large catching area. Padding for these gloves tend to be a little extra to prevent injuries from hard thrown balls and hits too.
- Catchers Mitts: These gloves are the most “position specific” in baseball and look completely different than others. Catchers mitts (you can see my top choices for catchers here) have a lot of padding because of injury risk. Depending on who’s pitching and the level you play, there’s a chance you’re catching 95 MPH fastballs. You need a product that can do that without breaking your hand. You’ll notice your fingers aren’t separated either with these mitts – it keeps your hand from being in pain.
- Pitchers: Unlike catchers mitts, pitching gloves are non-specific. You’re expected to make plays from the mound but it’s not your main focus; a pitchers focus is pitching. This position requires a slightly longer glove to stop line drives and tends to be lightweight to eliminate distractions. I pitched for many years and usually just focused on comfort when making my selection.
- Infield: If you are an infielder you need to transfer the ball from your glove to your hand as quickly as possible. Any delay can be the difference between a key out and letting a man get on base. Because of this they tend to have an open pocket so you can easily pluck the ball out to make the throw.
- Outfield: Outfielder gloves tend to be a little longer which allows you to make diving plays and to make catching difficult fly balls easier – they usually have an open and deep pocket for this reason too. You’ll see these mitts up to 15 inches which is much longer than other gloves.
If you’re a utility player purchase a glove that has standard webbing – this will allow you to play all over the field without having to worry.
After you look at position specific mitts, shift your attention to sizing.
How To Properly Size A Baseball Glove
This is another important step and it mainly comes down to age and position. Here’s an excellent chart from Dicksportinggood.com that explains it:
Here’s a helpful video that goes a little deeper into everyhing:
Not too bad right? Next, you need to know your own skill level.
What Level Do You Play And What’s The Competition
This is really important to think about. If you’re an elite level high school, college or professional player your needs are a lot different than a father playing catch with his son.
You need high quality equipment when playing tough competition. Not only will it put you in the best position to make plays and help your team but it will keep you safe and prevent injuries.
I’ve seen people get hurt time and time again, across all sports, because of cheap equipment. The last thing you want is to break a finger because your glove didn’t have the right padding or take a line drive off the face because the lacing couldn’t stand the velocity of a hard hit baseball.
It’s worth it to spend a little extra and get the best glove possible. These products tend to last longer and remain structurally intact for years too. It may cost more up front but you’ll save money over time because you won’t have to replace the mitt every year.
Having said all that, if you just want to have a catch with some friends or with your son or daughter, you won’t need to spend too much.
Are You Ready To Make Your Purchase?
I hope by now you’re a little more comfortable making your selection and know everything you need to know. If that’s the case you should check out my list of top gloves for the year, by clicking below:
My Favorite 17 Mitts For 2017
I made a separate list for catchers mitts because of their unique needs and you can read that by clicking below:
My 12 Favorite Catchers Mitts
If you’re looking for a child. check this article out:
My Top Picks For Youth Gloves
If you have any questions about what you’ve read comment below and I’ll make sure to respond as fast as possible. You can let your friends, family and teammates see by sharing on social media too.
Are you ready to make some plays this year?