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How To Pick A Baseball Or Softball Glove

Aug 17, 2007
Choosing the right baseball or softball glove doesn't have to be difficult, but choosing the wrong glove can effect how well you field and enjoy the game.

Here are some factors to consider


Is the glove going to be used by a youngster, a high schooler, an over 40 year old? The size and quality of the glove really matters and varies depending on how the glove will be used.

For youngsters just starting out there are plenty on very inexpensive gloves on the market. The problem with them is they tend to be made of polyurethane or nylon fabric and are very stiff. It's very difficult to catch a ball using a rock hard glove. You may want to consider going a step up and buying a real leather glove. This way the youngster doesn't get discouraged and will be more likely to enjoy learning to catch.

For advanced kids in Little League or Senior League you will definitely want a medium quality leather glove. It should be easy to break in and fairly durable. However, kids grow fast so don't go nuts and get a $100 glove. It's not necessary at this age.

High school, college and minor league players should get a very high quality glove. The high level of play requires the proper equipment to compete effectively. Also, a durable glove is required to take the rigors of a couple of seasons. You can expect to get a very high quality glove for under $150.

Older people playing in advanced age leagues don't need the best. There are gloves available made of soft leather that take very little time to break in. You should pay no more than about $80 for a nice one.


Years ago there were not many choices of gloves besides, catcher, first baseman and 'fielders' gloves. Things have come a long way and there are specialized gloves for every position.

As a general rule, smaller gloves are meant for middle infield, slightly larger gloves for third base, and large gloves for outfield. There are special gloves for pitchers and a variety of designs for catchers and first baseman.

There are cool 'three finger' designs, gloves with adjustable wrist straps to get the fit right, extra padding for protection and liners for comfort.

Knowing what position(s) you play will dictate what type of gloves you look at. There are some general use gloves available if you play several positions. Pay attention to the recommended position a glove should be used for then narrow down based on your preference for design features.

Design Features

Open Back vs. closed back: This is simply whether the glove has a whole of your index finger to poke through (closed back) or there is a wide slot where you can see the back of your hand. There's really no advantage one way or another. The open back may be a littler cooler in the summer is about it.

Web Design: H-web, Bee hive web, T-web and on and on. You can narrow it down to open and closed, meaning can you see through it or not. There's not much performance difference. With the open web dirt scooped up while fielding a grounder will fall through easier. With a closed web blocking the sun on fly balls and pop ups is a little easier.

Pocket Depth: This is important. For middle infield you want a shallow to medium pocket depth so you can transfer the ball from glove to throwing hand as quickly as possible. Third and outfield a deep pocket is a little better. Again, gloves designed for specific positions should already have the right pocket depth.


Try to buy good quality without paying too much. Real well known brands like Rawlings, Wilson and Mizuno make a nice glove but you will pay top dollar. Akadema makes a very nice glove at a reasonable price.

Buy good quality not matter what the brand. You'll never regret buying too good a glove, but will always regret not buying good enough.
About the Author
Scott is a baseball and softball enthusiast. For more information about baseball and softball gloves go to www.baseball-softball-gloves.com.
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