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Give Your Serious Youth Baseball Player A Head Start

Aug 17, 2007
If you are serious about your youngster playing baseball and really enjoying it, then you need the right equipment. There's nothing more frustrating to a child than to make learning to field with a glove that is hard as a rock and difficult to break in.

You want to get a glove that the child can use right away with success. If the child can not properly manipulate the glove and catch the ball, they can become discouraged and give up the sport before they really get started.

There are gloves on the market specially designed for those kids that take their baseball seriously. You will want a glove made from supple leather, so the glove is easy to break in. Another benefit of supple leather is the ball will stay in the glove, unlike gloves made from plastic fabric that allow the ball to slip out all too easily.

Two innovations in glove design are incorporated into several of these gloves on the market. There is a three finger design by Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. The other unique design is a youth catchers mitt by Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter.

The three finger design allows the pinky, ring and middle fingers to be in the same large finger stall. This arrangement allows balls to be scooped easily and facilitates closing the glove.

The unique catcher's mitt is a hybrid of a first basemans mitt and traditional catchers mitt. With more surface area to catch the ball plus extra padding where you need it, young catchers will find this glove very easy to use. The youngsters hand will be protected and they will experience less 'sting'. Also incorporated into this design is a well defined pocket that allows the ball to easily stay in the glove once it has been caught.

The measure of quality in a glove is the material it is made from and the design for serious youth ball players and are age specific. High quality gloves are made with steerhide or a combination of steerhide and thin more flexable leather used on the back of the glove which makes it light, durable and easy to break in. These types of gloves are typically hand crafted for high quality the serious players demand. Many good quality gloves also incorporate the a velcro wrist strap system, allowing the player to adjust the wrist strap to just the right size.

Youth gloves come in different sizes, for example, and 11.5 inch glove. This measurement is meant to indicate the overall length of the glove. However, there in no standard and you may find that an 11.5 inch glove from one manufacturer is different from another.

Typical sizes are 10.5 inch, 11 inch, 11.25 inch and 11.5 inch. There's really not a lot of difference in the gloves. A good rule of thumb is for say a six year old a 10.5 inch glove would be good while an 11 year old an 11.25 or 11.5 would be good.

There are adult gloves that are 11.5 inches long, however, the difference if the adult glove will be much wider to accommodate larger hands. Make sure you are getting a youth glove, as the adult size will be far too large.

Expect to spend about $35-$70 for a good quality youth glove. Any less and you may be disappointed, any more and you probably have gone overboard.
About the Author
Scott Peters is a baseball and softball fan and equipment retailer. For more information please go to www.baseball-softball-gloves.com/youthgloves.
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