Baseball gloves have changed dramatically from the past and there are a variety of decisions to make when choosing a proper ball glove. The decisions you will be facing will depend on whether your child is just beginning baseball or whether they are older and more advanced. If a child does not have the correct size glove made with the right material for the right playing position, they will not perform well. If a child does not perform well, it is likely that they will become embarrassed and quit playing. If your child’s glove does not “fit like a glove” it will not respond like one. It is up to us as good parents to make sure our children or teenagers have what is
Corresct Sizes of Gloves:
Youth Baseball Glove = 8 to 12″
Adult Baseball Gloves = 10.5 to 13″
Professional Baseball Gloves = no more than 12″
Baseball Beginners or Youth Baseball (8 to 12 years):
When shopping for a little leaguer consider their growth and inexperience. Find a glove that fits well. Don’t pick a glove that your child will “grow into”. The proper size glove will help your child learn his/her position properly. Children this age rotate positions and do not need special gloves for specific positions. Just keep in mind that a stiff, over-sized glove will lead to inconsistent playing and poor fielding.
*Youth sized gloves are smaller to help kids maintain control
*Beginners benefit from the added control they get from a smaller glove
*Kids under the age of 8 will need a 9-11″ glove.
*For kids 8 to early teens you should consider an 11″ glove.
Advanced Youth / Early Teens (Usually 9-13 years of age): As children get older and more experienced it is time to buy them the right sized glove for the position they will generally be playing.
* Infield: 9 to 10″ glove
*Outfield: 11 – 12″ glove
Advanced Ball Players / Teenagers:
Older children will probably want special gloves to match the positions they will be playing and make them better as a baseball player. Following is a list of gloves and their differences.
Catchers Mitt – Catchers Gloves are called mitts because they lack individual fingers. They have extra padding and a claw like shape that provides a good target for pitchers. The size of a catcher’s mitts, unlike the size of other gloves, is measured around the circumference, and will typically be 32- to 34-inch around.
First baseman’ s mitt / glove- First Baseman Mitts also lack individual fingers. They are similar to the catchers mitt, but have less padding, shallower pockets, and a longer reach. The extra length enables first basemen to “pick up or scoop” badly thrown balls from infielders. These mitts usually are 12.5 – to 12.75″ and they are measured from the wrist to the top tip of the glove.
Infielder Glove: Unlike the first baseman’ s mitts, the infielder gloves have five fingers and tend to be shorter and smaller. They have shallow pockets to allow the fielders to easily remove the ball from their glove to make a quick throw to a base. Often the webbing will be open to allow dirt to move through the glove so that the infielder does not pull out a handful of dirt when trying to remove the ball from the glove. Infielder’s gloves typically have 11- to 12-inch patterns, measured from wrist to the top tip of the glove. This glove is made for the second baseman, short stop, and third baseman.
Pitchers Glove: – The pitcher’ s gloves is similar in size and shape to the infielder glove, but usually have a closed, opaque webbing to allow them to conceal their grip on the ball, which determines the behavior of the pitch from the batter. Measurements are the same as the infielder glove.
Outfielder Glove: Outfielder’ s gloves are five fingered and are usually quite long with deep pockets, to help with both catching fly balls on the run or in a dive. They also keep outfielders from having to bend down as far to field a ground ball. These gloves typically have 12 to 12.75-inch lengths, measured from wrist to the top tip of the glove.
Materials that Baseball Gloves are made from:
This material is man-made and is usually plastic. Although these gloves are inexpensive, they will not withstand the wear and tear of playing ball nearly as well as leather. They are stiff, awkward, and uncomfortable.
Top Grain Leather Gloves:
This material is standard leather used in most gloves. This mid-range leather comes from the top of the animal and is thinner than full grain. It sometimes comes pre-oiled.
Premium Steer-Hide Gloves:
High-grade stiff, heavy, and durable leather of lesser quality than full grain and requires a lengthy break in and sometimes comes pre-oiled.
Full Grain Leather Glove:
A heavy, high grade steer or cowhide leather featuring a high percentage of original animal hide. It has not been excessively buffed and requires a lengthy break in.
This is the best material for gloves although it is expensive. This leather is treated and softened for faster break-in and has increased durability. Since the leather is treated it does not need as much care and the glove is more apt to keep its shape.
Search the internet to see what types of gloves are available and what prices to expect before you go shopping for a glove. Take your child with you to get the best fit. Remember if you take the time to buy the correct glove, your child will be able to relax, have fun, and be more confident.