This article originally appeared on BaseballMonkey.com
In baseball and softball, a fielding glove is one of the most important tools you’ll need to become a successful player. In a lot of ways, it’s the final piece to that spectacular diving catch in the outfield or what you need to stop that line drive down the third base line. Not all gloves are created equal in terms of size and material. What size baseball glove or softball glove you should use largely depends on the position you play, but there are also other factors that help determine exactly which glove you should equip yourself with.
In this guide, we will cover:
- The parts of a baseball and softball glove
- Guidelines for selecting a glove
- The proper way to measure a baseball or softball glove
- Differences in the gloves by position
Parts of a Baseball/Softball Glove
There are four major important parts to a baseball or softball glove and they are specified below:
When buying a glove, there are a few basic terms that have to be defined first:
- Type of throw - Refers to which hand a player uses to throw the ball (not which hand the glove is on), depending on if the player is a righty or a lefty.
- RHT - Right hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her right hand and wears the glove on the left.
- LHT - Left hand thrower. Means the player throws with his or her left hand and wears the glove on the right.
Guideline for Selecting a Glove
We’ve already mentioned that the best glove for you depends on which position you play. But there are other factors as well:
- Pocket size - The pocket size of an outfielder’s glove is bigger than that of a middle infielder, allowing outfielders to catch fly balls with more ease. Shortstops and second baseman usually have a shallower pocket, which allows them to get the ball out of the glove quicker, especially on double plays.
- Webbing - There are different types of webbings found in gloves for baseball and softball players including, but not limited to: I-web, Basket web, Closed web, Single Post web, Dual Post web, Modified Trapeze web, and Trapeze web. The type of webbing most common for infielders contains a looser stitch which gives more control in hopes of getting the ball out quicker - it also doesn’t pick up large clumps of dirt with it. Traditionally, there are eight different kinds of webbings to choose from:
- Padding - Padding preference is another thing to consider. The amount of padding you have on your glove depends on the position you play. Catcher’s mitts feature more padding to protect their hands from pitchers’ throws. Other positions, such as first and third base, may also need more padding. Recently, the popularity of extra wrist padding has grown, especially at the corner infield positions.
- Wrist Adjustments - Some gloves are made with wrist adjustments that allow players to make the glove fit snug to their hand, allowing them to put on and take off the glove with ease. These can either be Velcro, a buckle system, laced, or a D-ring fastener.
- Material - Gloves can be made of many different types of materials including leather, synthetic materials, mesh, and treated leather. Leather is the preferred material among players due to their durability and comfort. Players may opt for treated leather gloves which is pre-conditioned with oils for quicker break in period. Some prefer a mesh backed glove for a lighter glove. For younger players, a synthetic glove is good it's the lightest and most inexpensive glove available.