Posts Tagged baseball glove

The Differences between Baseball Gloves

It has been close to 150 years since baseball players played the grand old game without baseball gloves.  They played with their bare hands.  However, in the modern era it is a must to wear to wear baseball gloves.  When you have the likes of ace pitchers like Roy Halladay throwing 90+ mph fastballs at you or fielding sizzling line drives off the bat of Alex Rodriguez it is necessary to wear baseball gloves.

With advancing technology, baseball gloves have come a long way from their early days.  The first baseball glove used in a game didn’t have the webbing or the padding like we see today.  It was a small and thin, similar to that of a winter glove.  Players used the gloves not to catch the ball, but to knock them down to ground.  At first it took a while to gain popularity, but it wasn’t until after Albert Spalding started up his first sporting goods store that baseball gloves started to become popular.  To this date Spalding is still manufacturing baseball gloves. 

In 1920 it was suggested to add webbing to the baseball glove, which then created a pocket.  This was the origin of the modern day baseball glove.  With technological advances the webbing of the gloves got bigger, changed patterns, gloves got bigger and had more padding.  The material also changed and is now leather.  The leather on new gloves is usually stiff, which requires you to break in the baseball glove.

There are different types, colours and designs of baseball gloves.  Some have been sponsored by players and are stamped with their signature.  Baseball gloves have been made for all positions ranging from catcher, to infielder to outfielders.

When looking at catcher’s gloves they have the most padding of all baseball gloves.  They don’t have any fingers, they just have lots of padding.  This is because they will be catching 90+ mph fastballs and foul tips at such close range.  Catchers who catch knuckle ball pitchers wear larger catcher’s gloves to handle the movement from the knuckle ball.

A first basemen’s glove is similar to a catcher’s glove where it doesn’t have fingers, but it does not have as much padding.  The glove is typically long and wide to help catch good and bad throws from other players. 

An infielder’s glove tends to be smaller and have shallow pockets.  Most infielders break in the baseball glove so that the pocket is shaped like a bowl.  What this does is allow the infielder to reach in and get the ball out of the glove faster.  The webbing in infielder’s gloves tends to have larger gaps to allow dirt from the playing surface to pass through easier.

A pitcher’s glove usually doesn’t have large gaps in the webbing.  This allows the pitcher to conceal their grip on the baseball.  In a heavily competitive game teams look for any advantage to get ahead. 

Outfielder’s baseball gloves are usually the longest glove and do not have a pocket.  The player will break in the baseball glove so that the glove is flat.  The reason is that the outfielder wants the glove to be as long as possible to help catch balls that are going over their head or to scoop up balls rolling in the outfield.  The less they have to bend the faster they can get up and throw the ball back into the infield. 

The evolution of the baseball glove has come a long way from its days as a winter glove to the oversized leather gloves we see today.  Hopefully this post will come in handy when you are looking for your next baseball glove.  When you do find that new glove, check out Breaking in a Baseball Glove to get some tips on how to break your glove in faster so you can use it right away.

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